Category Archives: Fitness

Compassionate Catering 2017

The holiday season is upon us, and I’ve got a Compassionate way to share it with your family & friends…

As the world becomes more aware of the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle, I am forever in debt to those who have served before me, and continue to pass along the messages of Hope, Grace & Ancient Wisdom.

Orders placed prior to 11/15/17 will receive an early bird discounts of 10% on this Compassionate Catering menu. For any questions, contact me at by emailing me at alicia@pandorasproducts.net.

P.S. you won’t even have to mention it’s plant-based, which may save you a lot of unwanted grief! (Because I do understand your position!)


 

Delivery fee included: Babylon to Sayville, Brentwood to Ronkonkoma

$3 delivery & $40 minimum: Northport, Huntington, Commack, Amityville, Smithtown, Patchogue (and surrounding areas)

$5 delivery & $50 minimum: Wantagh, Massapequa (and surrounding areas)

$8 delivery & $65 minimum: Rockville Centre, Port Jefferson/Station, Eastern Suffolk County (and surrounding areas)

Is Soy Bad?

I get asked this. A LOT.  

Males and females alike are concerned, as are people of all ages. Social media and the World Wide Web have quickly touted the dangers of soy, DESPITE the evidence stating otherwise. Study after study shows non-GMO, organic soy is actually beneficial to our health. 

Why the misinformation? Like most studies, the first step is to look at who’s backing the study, or the publication of it. Here, we find no study actually saying “soy causes cancers, or prostate disease.” So we’re left with the publication aspect, and who’s starting the rumours. The meat and dairy industry, who directly takes a hit, when you replace their products with soy? Dr’s who are well-intended, but just aren’t nutritional experts? Perhaps neither, or perhaps both.  

The point is, the research plainly shows cultures who consume high-quality, non-processed soy foods, have lower risks of cancers, and have better heart health.  

So is soy bad? 

The short answer is a resounding no. It’s been eaten in Asia for thousands of years, and until the Western world introduced high levels of meat and dairy into their diet, we didn’t see an epidemic of cancer in their culture.  

Simply put, the fact that we isolate one compound in a food that causes disease (phytoestrogens in soy), is as nonsensical as isolating a compound to cure a disease (taking lycopene pills, rather than eating the tomato as a whole). Nature is not that simple, and is the very reason those of us pushing for a healthy lifestyle, tout the benefits of a low-fat, plant-based, VARIED diet. 

But there’s more to be considered, when it comes to soy consumption. Is it 

  • Gmo-free or organic? 
  • How much are you consuming? 
  • What type are you consuming? (Best to worst in my research– fermented like tempeh, sprouted such as tofu, whole such as soynuts or edamame, soymilk/soy creamer, all the way down to those crappy isolates found in protein powders and highly processed foods, which you definitely don’t want!) 
  • Do you have a need to watch the amount of estrogen in your diet, per hormone tests? If so, what other foods and essential oils (e.g. lavender oil) are you consuming that contain phytoestrogens ? Are you consuming meat and dairy, which are actually WORSE for our endocrine system? 
  • Are you consuming veggies that may counteract the estrogenic foods? In eastern cultures, fermented foods and cruciferous veggies are a staple food in the diet. These foods often help cleanse the system of excess estrogen. Who hasn’t seen tofu and broccoli in a Chinese restaurant?  
  • Are you cooking foods in containers that have BPA? Most cans and plastics contain this harmful chemical, which is a huge non-no for our hormone system.  

Soy is a complete protein, for those who are concerned about this. (This is another grossly misunderstood viral theory, which I’ll explain in another post.) Soy is also a low-fat, healthy plant-based food that makes a great snack when it’s baked (aka soynuts). 

Phytoestrogens may actually DECREASE the risk of cancers and can actually be beneficial to the endocrine system, when estrogen levels naturally deplete. Yes, I know this is contrary to what bounces all over the internet. 

If you are concerned about the amount of estrogen in your system, or would like to incorporate more soy in your diet without fearing excess estrogen, incorporate more of these foods into your diet: 

  • Cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, and Brussels Sprouts. To really boost your digestion, try these foods fermented! 
  • Citrus fruits 
  • Tea and coffee also contain flavones that help regulate hormones 
  • Herbs such as turmeric, passionflower, and fenugreek help reduce excess estrogens by blocking the enzyme aromatase, which converts testosterone to estrogen in men.  

As you now see, there are a multitude of factors that can, and probably have, led to the incorrect reporting of statistics about soy and phytoestrogens. I’ve incorporated it in my diet for over 20 years, and honestly can’t imagine life without it (and my blood tests are just dandy!)  

That being said, remember to focus on consuming it as one of the healthy forms listed above, as a part of a varied lifestyle, and is organic/non-gmo only.  If you’d like to read more on the subject or the specific studies on the benefits of soy, check out the resources section below. 

Resources: 

Dr Weilhttps://www.drweil.com/diet-nutrition/nutrition/rethinking-soy/  

PLOS: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0089288  

NCBI: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28263368  

The China Study: Dr. T. Colin Campbell 

Staying Healthy with Nutrition: Dr. Elson Haas 

Kris Carr: http://kriscarr.com/blog/are-soy-foods-healthy/ 

http://kriscarr.com/blog/soy-breast-cancer/?utm_campaign=weekly-blog&utm_medium=email&utm_source=email-broadcast&utm_content=nl-071817&utm_term=existing-list  

Dr Josh Axe: https://draxe.com/phytoestrogens/  

Dr Mark Rosenberg: http://www.foodtrients.com/news/could-you-be-eating-too-much-estrogen/ 

http://www.foodtrients.com/news/could-you-be-eating-too-much-estrogen/    

Do I really need to fast?

In short, yes…and maybe.

A cleanse (or fast, as I’ll refer to it from here on out) is an important part of many cultures, for the spiritual and physical effects.  Extended fasts are typically done during a season change, allowing the body to rest and fully be in tune with nature.  At the return to food, we ideally dive into whatever is flourishing during that season.

This is how I began my research and fascination with fasting about 20 years ago.  I fasted on Mondays back then, and would complete a 3-day Ayurvedic detox during the change in season.  Mondays were ideal for many reasons in the Corporate America world, because my job was demanding and kept my mind off of food.  Typically, Sundays were my cheat day, so I wasn’t as hungry the next day and/or knew my body needed a recharge.

At some point, I fell off the wagon.   It’s taken me the last 20 years to jump back on the bandwagon, and find a fast that worked best for my body and mind.

I’ve personally completed quite a few different types of detoxification programs, as well as led clients through them.  What I can tell you is that there are as many ways of going through a detox, as there are ways to meditate.  My favourite fast throughout the years is what’s known as an intermittent fast; this is simply an extended period of avoiding foods (typically 24 hours).

If you are a follower or fan of the Paleo diet, pay attention—this is how our ancestors ate.  Though we have research to prove this, common sense tells us our ancient predecessors didn’t have grocery and convenient stores nearby, and we weren’t all that great at hunting.  Thankfully, we figured out how to forage and eventually plant/gather!

From masteringdiabetes.org: “your body can stay alive for long periods of time with limited calorie intake.” In fact, if you want to live longer, perform fasts.

Regularly.

Eating is a metabolic process, and reducing calories reduces the process of oxidation/aging (if you don’t believe me, research calorie-restricting diets).  If you want to improve insulin sensitivity, perform regular fasts.  I’ll write about insulin sensitivity in a later blog, but for now, check out this wonderful site on diabetes for more information on an intermittent fast and a free guide about the research and benefits of performing one.  (It was one of their many webinars that I’ve taken, which led me to fasting and has in fact, reduced my A1C level .2 points in 9 months.)

Who needs to fast?

Anyone that has the ability.  I know that sounds ridiculous on the onset, but keep reading.

You automatically fast nightly when you’re sleeping (hence the word break-fast); we’re simply looking to extend the length of time you’re fasting, and do it consciously.

There are so many benefits to fasting, that I find there are few people who cannot handle a 24-hour cleanse.  Below, I’ll show you some options for a 24-hour fast that will make it a little more tolerable for most of the population.

For those with extremely unstable blood sugar or those who are seriously ill, I would urge you to only follow this under the observation of a physician or naturopathic physician.  If you just get “hangry” (angry when hungry) when you don’t eat, don’t just throw up your hands and say you have unstable blood sugar.  Even if you feel a bit shaky and you feel you’re “starving” when we haven’t eaten in a few hours (it will pass, trust me!) —know these feelings are often eliminated after a few weeks of following intermittent fasting.

Fasting is 98% mental, in my opinion.  You’ll be surprised how much your mind is actually in control of your hunger and your thoughts about food.  You’ll be surprised how many times you may unconsciously reach for food, when it’s not truly needed.

What is intermittent fasting? 

As stated above, it’s simply an extended period of time, when no food is taken in the body.  It provides a period of rest for your entire system.  It gives your body a negative-calorie deficit/negative energy balance, in which it becomes impossible to eat the amount of calories you have not consumed in the last 24-hours.  But this isn’t about weight-loss, it’s about optimal health…

There are 4 different ways to complete intermittent fasts: 

  1. The 12:12 method – fast for 12 hours and eat for 12, doing this daily.
  2. The 16:8 method – fast for 16 hours and eat only for 8, doing this daily.
  3. The 24-hour method – fast for 24-hours (dinner to dinner, for example) on the same day each week (I started with this process, performing it on Thursdays, when my work load was lightest and I had more time alone).
  4. The alternate-day fasting method which involves eating normally one day, and then eating zero or very low-calories (500 or less) the following day.  After about 1.5 months of doing the 24-hour fast above, I started fasting for 2 days each week, when I feel it’s necessary…the effects feel that good!

If this seems too difficult, you can also succeed by reducing calories as such:

  1. The 5:2 method – eat your normal caloric intake for 5 days of the week, and restrict your calories to 500 for women or 600 for men, for the other two days.
  2. 25% Calorie Restriction – reduce your calorie intake by 25% every day (a standard 2000 calorie diet would be converted to 1500 calories).
  3. 40% Calorie Restriction – reduce your calorie intake by 40% every day (a standard 2000 calorie diet would be converted to 1200 calories).

Choose what works for you, or perhaps combine them…it may be easier for you to follow these in the order I have them listed, or mix-n-match.  I personally find it easier to consume NO food and avoid the temptation altogether, rather than restrict calories and have to worry about counting calories each day.  For those who are used to calorie-counting, the calorie reduction methods may be best for you to start with.

A note: you may find it harder to stick with calorie restriction, as you will be hungry every day of the week.  With a regular fasting regimen, your body gets used to the fasting routine, and begins to actually crave the day of rest.  In my case, it certainly makes meal planning simple—there are too many days when thinking about what I need to put in my mouth is just too daunting of a task (ironic, I know!).

When should a fast be completed?

Let’s be realistic for a minute.  If you drive a school bus full of elementary children at 5am or work on Wall Street, a fast isn’t the best idea for you when working.  I’ve never studied a detox or fast that ever suggested working during a fast, though I am able to do it now (and as most of you know, I am a chef 6 days a week, so I’m cooking during the days I’m fasting—further proof that it’s mind over body!).

Fasting is best completed when you’re alone and/or can rest a bit.  Don’t try and run a triathlon when you’re fasting.  You need to be in a place where you feel safest and won’t be agitated.  If you’re reading this and saying that’s not possible, email me and let’s figure out HOW to make it work for you!

Where should a fast be completed?

Wherever you can mentally and physically handle it.  I do my fasts when I’m at work and at home, but I am also in a job that I love, and one that keeps me very busy.  Make sure you’re in a place where you can access a good amount of liquid, so you stay full and hydrated.  Your body often confuses the need for oxygen as a need for food.  Try drinking water when you’re hungry next—you may be surprised to feel the urge to eat dissipate.

As a friend of mine stated when doing an alternate cleanse I offer, “The last few days were a battle of mind over matter, mostly. Though there were times I was hungry some water and a little deep breathing helped that pass.  It made me realize how little we actually need to exist, and how much we consume in just indulgence. I know D has decided to start making better choices and realizes with the difficulty of this detox how badly he has been punishing his body.”

Why should a fast be completed?

Simply put, we eat too much.  Our portion sizes grow and grow, to the point where a healthy portion is often looked at as “chintzy” in a restaurant.  We snack constantly, which never allows our blood sugar to stabilize.  Eating frequently also never allows our body to burn fat, only glucose.  When your body can’t burn fat, it stores it and all the toxins that reside there.  When your body can’t burn fat, it becomes insulin-resistant, which leads to a HOST of other health concerns.

If you want a tad more information on frequent eating, check out Dr. Douillard’s blog on frequent eating here.

How should a fast be completed?

With intent.  Please communicate to your body about why you are fasting. There’s a mind-body connection that we are often lacking in our culture—a little self-talk goes a long way!

Have a plethora of herbal teas and pure water available!  I suggest this herbal teas anyway, but especially during a cleanse!  Dandelion and nettles are two powerhouse herbs for nutrition, and mint tea helps with headaches and stomach discomfort.  When you’re fasting, you can consume non-caloric beverages that include coffee, herbal tea, and water.

If you’re an athlete, intermittent fasting is still absolutely possible and recommended.  If you are familiar with Matt Frazier, you’ll know the No Meat Athlete is into rigorous sports, is 100% plant-powered and oh yes…loves his intermittent fasting!  There’s a bit more guidance on his site, which details the benefits and logistics of this process.

Also remember the power of oxygen.  Above, I stated that we often confuse hunger for thirst…the body wants oxygen, and breathing absolutely helps center you and cure hunger cravings during a fast.  I’ve found that several deep breaths during a bout of hunger (especially when driving), can help the urge for food to pass right by.

Are you convinced to give intermittent fasting a shot?  For your health, I hope so.  Trust me when I say it makes a huge difference in how you feel and think!

Nutritional Wellness FREE Library Event

Nutritional Wellness Free Library Event

July 20 @ 7:00 pm8:30 pm, Central Islip Public Library

What is wellness? For me personally, wellness is something we strive for with the whole of our being—it’s not just the pursuit of healing the mind, body or spirit individually.  I also believe we have a skewed sense of wellness in our culture, for a multitude of reasons too complex to be discussed here.  For instance, being thin doesn’t mean you’re healthy.  Conversely being curvy, doesn’t necessarily make you unhealthy. If you suffer from depression, it’s often not looked at as a condition or dis-ease, but rather as a “mood we need to get over.”  The point is, you can look well on the outside but be depressed, lonely and/or void of any spirituality; wellness comes in many forms and is ever-changing.

Wellness Model

Our system of medicine here in the west is concentrated on symptoms (allopathic medicine as it’s called, which is concerned with curing a symptom, rather than the whole being). For instance, we treat the skin for the condition of eczema, rather than the underlying cause (which may be a food allergy, seasonal allergy, leaky gut, so on and so forth). Wellness is being self-responsible for what is going on in your body and being self-AWARE of it.  It’s a constant striving for balance. We often forget that true wellness involves not only ourselves, but also our immediate surroundings, friends, family and our cosmos as a whole.

In 2003, it was estimated that we spent $1.4 trillion on health care annually. In 2010, that number jumped to about 2.6 trillion. That’s an increase of $1,200,000,000,000 in less than ten years!  In 2015, we hit $3.2 trillion dollars.  We are NOT getting healthier, and we have one of the SADdest diets of any country in the world (SAD=Standard American Diet).

I believe that two of our greatest challenges as a nation are diseases of affluence and confusion on health/what wellness truly means.  Never doubt the power of the media and books in deliberately making wellness more confusing for us…as well as those who have perfectly well-meaning intentions.

I like to think of Wellness as I view religion and politics…we all are saying basically the same thing, if we’d just listen to the core message.

So what is that core message?  Simply put, it’s eat fresh, whole foods as much as possible, and avoid refined carbohydrates, sugars, and genetically modified foods.  Please learn to ignore the daily blasts of superfoods and diet trends.

Remember above, when I said that Wellness is being self-responsible for what is going on in your body and being self-AWARE of it?  That means doing what feels right for YOU, regardless of the latest trend. Start listening to your body and how it reacts. Do you have problems metabolizing coffee, or can you drink a latte and go to sleep with no trouble?  (There’s a specific gene that handles that, by the way—it’s why the research can seem so opposite and confusing from one day to the next!)  Do you eat more than your coworkers, b/c you exercise more? Can you eat before a workout, or immediately after, or do you need liquid fuel instead?

Most of the diets or eating trends are focused on what you eat…we agree on that.  So why are we not focusing on getting our supplementation from food, rather than a pill?  Perhaps it’s because a large number of the vitamin companies are actually tied in to BigPharma.  Perhaps it’s because as a nation, we’re looking for a quick magic pill to fix all of our problems (and is why BigPharma has done so well in the last few decades).

So what’s my solution?

It’s best to get your supplements as a whole, and from food. Food is nature’s multi-vitamin!   And if you want to know more on Nutritional Wellness and ask questions, join me for the next Library to host this workshop, free of charge.  Just click here for more info and to RSVP… 

 

October ’16 Events and links for more details:

It’s my favourite season, and it’s starting off with a real bang with all these October events!  Join me for some amazing ways to “Fall Into Wellness!”

october-2016-events

  • *October 1: Fall Festival 2016 Phoenix Eastern Medical Center, Farmingdale—11am-3pm. Food and Family Fun – Free Massages, Free Yoga Classes, Martial Arts Show, Face Painting, Raffles, organic skincare by Pandora’s Products and more! This event is free.
  • *October 1: After The Noise Clears “Spirituality and Art” Baffa Art Gallery, Sayville – 5:30-10pm. Singing bowl meditation, kirtan, Sacred Geometry Art showing, vegan snacks provided by Pandora’s Lunchbox (and other local eateries). Suggested Donation: $10
  • *October 6: Women’s EXPO Middle Country Public Library, Centereach – 11-6pm. The Women’s EXPO is a showcase and a marketplace for Long Island women entrepreneurs: artisans, importers, designers and distributors of products like Pandora’s Products! This event is free
  • *October 11: DIEts Workshop Deer Park Public Library, Deer Park – 7-8:30 pm In this workshop, we will discuss*Staple foods for a plant-based diet, to keep optimal levels of protein, iron, vitB. *Healthy greens without overdoing it-overcooking or over eating? *GF, Dairy-free, nightshade free…the difference b/w allergies and sensitivities and is elimination truly necessary? *A close look at fad diets; is weight loss really necessary, info about foods that may lead to weight loss/weight gain This is a free event
  • *October 14: Compassion and Your Diet Kundalini Yoga of Long Island, Northport – 7-8:30 pm. In this workshop we will discuss how to maintain a healthy lifestyle on a plant-based diet. Transitioning to any food-style can be difficult and confusing at first. Join Alicia Randolph- Lucchesi to discover how you can make smarter choices about what you’re putting in your body and how it affects the planet. $25 investment prepay – $30 day of event
  • *October 19: Transformation Through MovementHeritage Center, 633 Mt. Sinai-Coram Rd, Mt. Sinai – 12:30-3 pm.  Join us for an afternoon of the ABC’s of Prevention & Fitness (alignment, breathing & centering)-snacks provided by Pandora’s Lunchbox. $25 prepay – $30 day of event
  • *October 22: Dinner and a Movie – Halloween (John Carpenter’s) Cyrus: Chai & Coffee Company, Bay Shore – 6:30-8:30pm. This month, enjoy a horror classic from John Carpenter! For those who haven’t seen it yet, there is little to no blood in this movie, and it has no gore. You’ll find more violence on the nightly news! 😉 Trick or treat! As always, our viewings feature a plant-based multi-course tasting menu, inspired by this cult classic film! Doors NOW open at 6:30, so come grab some coffee or tea, while waiting for the movie to begin at 7. Bring a date, bring a friend, or come alone! *Seating is limited for these engagements, so RSVP/PREPAY IS REQUIRED* $35/PERSON
  • *October 29: Chakra Immersion Series – #7 Sahasrara A Jewel in the Lotus, Islip – 6-8pm. In this immersion, we will study the Chakra’s and teach you how to balance them. This workshop will specifically focus on Sahasrara (the 1,000 petal lotus) with yoga poses, meditation, mudras, basic information about the chakras, essential oils, foods, and so much more! The last session will be a summary in case you miss any during the immersion. Exchange: $35 each
  • *October 30: FALL! Cooking Demo at OT Farm’s monthly Green Fair Organics Today Farm, 169 Washington St, East Islip – 10am-1 pm. We are proud to team up with Organics Today Farm, to offer true Farm-to-Table meals! From OT Farm to our pots and pans, into your belly; come join us and get your organics on, ask cooking questions, sample free food (with options to purchase lunch and hang out with all of us), as well as learn from our cooking demo!   Other vendors are on hand as well, answering questions about organic products, and offering their services.  This event is free, and the demo includes a tasting.

September ’16 Events and details

Please click the title of each September event to be directed to further information on Facebook, as well as RSVP links.  Thank you as always, for your interest in Holistic Wellness!

September 2016 Events copy

  • *September 10: YOGA OPEN HOUSE Celebration Kundalini Yoga of Long Island, Northport—11am-3pm. FREE CLASSES ~ RAFFLES ~ FUN ~ GONG ~organic skincare ~plant-based snacks KYLI offers ALL types of Yoga from Basic to Kundalini! Try different yoga classes, holistic facials and other healing modalities. This event is free.
  • *September 15: Easy plant-based cooking demo with take-home meals! The Golden Sparrow, Bayport – 3-6pm. Learn tricks on how to eat clean without breaking the bank!Not only will you help prepare the meals, but every attendee will leave with a serving of each item. Our goal is to teach everyone easy tricks for prepping meals, so you can stay on track with your health! Come join us and get your organics on, and learn how to make simple and fun recipes! Ask questions on substitutions for allergies/sensitivities, overall health, and anything else food-related.
  • *September 17: Chakra Immersion Series – #6 Ajna A Jewel in the Lotus, Islip – 6-8pm. In this immersion, we will study the Chakra’s and teach you how to balance them. This workshop will specifically focus on Ajna (the third eye chakra) with yoga poses, meditation, mudras, basic information about the chakras, essential oils, foods, and so much more! The last session will be a summary in case you miss any during the immersion. Exchange: $35 each
  • *September 24: Dinner and a Movie – They Live Cyrus: Chai & Coffee Company, Bay Shore – 6:30-8:30pm. This month, enjoy a sci-fi classic from John Carpenter! For those who haven’t seen it, this movie was chosen because of our feelings about the upcoming election. Once you see it, you’ll understand what we mean! 🙂 Plus, it’s got the greatest and longest fight scene EVER – what else would you expect when Rowdy Roddy Piper stars in a movie!?! Believe us when we say this event is out of this world! As always, our viewings feature a plant-based multi-course tasting menu, inspired by this cult classic film! Doors NOW open at 6:30, so come grab some coffee or tea, while waiting for the movie to begin at 7. Bring a date, bring a friend, or come alone! *Seating is limited for these engagements, so RSVP/PREPAY IS REQUIRED* $35/PERSON
  • *September 25: FALL! Cooking Demo at OT Farm’s monthly Green Fair Organics Today Farm, 169 Washington St, East Islip – 10am-1 pm. We are proud to team up with Organics Today Farm, to offer true Farm-to-Table meals! From OT Farm to our pots and pans, into your belly; come join us and get your organics on, ask cooking questions, sample free food (with options to purchase lunch and hang out with all of us), as well as learn from our cooking demo!   Other vendors are on hand as well, answering questions about organic products, and offering their services.  This event is free, and the demo includes a tasting.
  • *September 29: Truth in Labeling Cold Spring Harbor Library, Cold Spring Harbor – 2-3:30pm. This is a FREE EVENT, open to the public! Join us in the fresh fall season, and learn how to read about the chemicals in our food, and what MSG really is, and how it’s used. We will also discuss GMO’s more, caffeine, sweeteners, flavor enhancers, and a host of other additives. This event is free, and is open to the public.
  • *September 30: Tea & Tarot Spaliday Party, Cyrus: Chai & Coffee Company, Bay Shore—6-8 pm. What’s a Tea & Tarot Spaliday Party? It’s a night of relaxation, fun and learning more about your path in life (RSVP is required). Included in the price is a 15-minute tarot card reading, a cup of herbal tea by the brewmasters at Cyrus, and each attendee will create their own organic spray blend with Alicia. If you want to learn more about a spiritual practice or how to easily relax yourself, this is the spot to be! $35/PERSON.

It’s a wrap!

Here’s a little known fact…

I hate getting wraps or burrito’s that are messy, or uneven.  I worked for a Mexican fast food chain for 4-1/2 years in my teenage years (I’m sure you can guess which one!), and was highly-trained in wrapping burritos.  Yes, one can be “highly-trained” in a skill such as this – or at least you could be in those years! (I’ve recently learned this IS still a handy skill.)

Never-the-less, that training made me quite picky about how to properly portion, ration, roll and present burrito’s and wraps.

  • Every bite should contain every ingredient.  
  • The wrap shouldn’t be so full, that everything’s bursting at the seams, and you have to eat it with a fork.  
  • It should look NEAT.  
  • It should be made with lots of love!

A dear friend made a comment about wanting me to teach her to properly wrap a burrito…and thus came this lil diddy!  (Props to my beloved husband Rob, for his filming, editing & musical genius! And yes, the song is his.)

My yummus-filled specialty (yummus=yummy+hummus)...

My yummus-filled specialty (yummus=yummy+hummus)…

If you have a skill you’d like me to show you, please ask!  And while you’re on my YouTube page, feel free to browse other educational how-to-food vid’s, or other goodies (and subscribe, to be notified of future endeavors).

As always, thank you!

August ’16 Events and links for more details

  • August 4: Alive After Five, Patchogue (in front of Roast Coffee)—5-9:30pm. For our 3rd year, join Pam as she offers mini tarot readings throughout this 4-night event. I’ll have samples of my organic skincare products, with specials you won’t find anywhere else! If you want to learn more about a spiritual practice or how to easily relax yourself, this is the spot to be! We’ll be located in front of my favourite shop in Patchogue, Roast Coffee. This event is free.
  • August 18: Alive After Five, Patchogue (in front of Roast Coffee)—5-9:30pm. For our 3rd year, join Pam as she offers mini tarot readings throughout this 4-night event. I’ll have samples of my organic skincare products, with specials you won’t find anywhere else! If you want to learn more about a spiritual practice or how to easily relax yourself, this is the spot to be! We’ll be located in front of my favourite shop in Patchogue, Roast Coffee.This event is free.
  • August 20: Veggie Venture- Meditative Hike and Lunch Belmont Lake Park (meeting at Deer Park Library first! Babylon – 2:30-5pm. Join Jessica Saraswati and Alicia for an afternoon filled with fun, nature, Spirit and delicious plant-based food. *Please note: This is NOT a silent walking meditation. This is mindful hike infused with enlightening discussions about veggie-living and Spiritual life. Free event, as this is sponsored by Deer Park Library – RSVP is however required.
  • August 20: Chakra Immersion Series A Jewel in the Lotus, Islip – 6-8pm. In this immersion, we will study the Chakra’s and teach you how to balance them. This workshop will specifically focus on Vishuddha, the throat chakra with yoga poses, meditation, mudras, basic information about the chakras, essential oils, foods, and so much more! The last session will be a summary in case you miss any during the immersion. Exchange: $35 each
  • August 26: Dinner and a Movie – Star Wars (the original version)Cyrus: Chai & Coffee Company, Bay Shore – 6 – 9pm. This month’s cult classic film is Star Wars (unedited by George Lucas)!!!  As always, our viewings feature a plant-based multi-course tasting menu, inspired by this cult classic film! Doors open at 6, so come grab some coffee or tea, while waiting for the movie to begin at 6:30. Bring a date, bring a friend, or come alone!  *Seating is limited for these engagements, so RSVP/PREPAY IS REQUIRED* $35/PERSON
  • August 28: End of Summer Cooking Demo at OT Farm’s monthly Green Fair  Organics Today Farm, 169 Washington St, East Islip – 10am-2 pm. We are proud to team up with Organics Today Farm, to offer true Farm-to-Table meals! From OT Farm to our pots and pans, into your belly; come join us and get your organics on, ask cooking questions, sample free food (with options to purchase lunch and hang out with all of us), as well as learn from our cooking demo!   Other vendors are on hand as well, answering questions about organic products, and offering their services.  This event is free, and the demo includes a tasting.

Dinner and a Movie? #FFC

In case you didn’t know, my husband and I started a side project together, called Food Flix Cinema (#FFC).  We’ve combined our love of movies and food (respectively), hosting monthly events at Cyrus: Chai & Coffee Company in Bay Shore.  We were fortunate enough to have an article published about it, just 4 months into our endeavor.  All of our event’s promotional materials include the tagline, “Re-imagining the TV Dinner Experience,” because that’s our exact goal.  We both grew up in a TV dinner era, when Swanson’s (aka Salt-son’s?) was very popular…fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, peas and apple pie.  You know the meals I’m talking about, don’t you!?!

Well…it’s now 2016,

and since we can’t open a drive-in just yet, you always have the option for joining us at Cyrus!  This article will give you a bit more of a background, and a feel for what we do.  And if you’re ever looking for this month’s feature film (or want to prepay for next month’s film), just click here.  We hope to see you soon, and give you a new idea for your next party, perhaps!

peapods06-25-16

“In a world where Netflix makes for an easy and inexpensive “date night,” a husband-and-wife team from Islip is looking to offer a better alternative to the couch.

Alicia Randolph-Lucchesi is a chef who works in the realm of plant-based fare. She owns Pandora’s Lunchbox, a company that specializes in meal delivery and catering.

Her husband, Rob Lucchesi, is a tattoo artist, an amateur filmmaker, and a self-proclaimed ‘huge movie fanatic.'”

July ’16 Events and details

  • July 7: Alive After Five, Patchogue (in front of Roast Coffee)—5-9:30pm. For our 3rd year, join Pam as she offers mini tarot readings throughout this 4-night event. I’ll have samples of my organic skincare products, with specials you won’t find anywhere else! If you want to learn more about a spiritual practice or how to easily relax yourself, this is the spot to be! We’ll be located in front of my favourite shop in Patchogue, Roast Coffee. This event is free.
  • July 8: Wellness Satsang ~ Herbal Basics for Relaxation  A Jewel in the Lotus, Islip – 7-9 pm. In this workshop, we will discuss *Common herbal uses *Safe use of herbs as healing tools *6 herbs for relaxation *Herbal recognition *The importance of organic herbs and where to purchase. $15 exchange or $10 for previous YTT’s of Jewel.
  • July 9: Chakra Immersion Series A Jewel in the Lotus, Islip – 6-8pm. In this immersion, we will study the Chakra’s and teach you how to balance them. This workshop will specifically focus on Vishuddha, the throat chakra with yoga poses, meditation, mudras, basic information about the chakras, essential oils, foods, and so much more! The last session will be a summary in case you miss any during the immersion. Exchange: $35 each
  • July 12: Learn and Play Organic Skincare Workshop (Bellport) —South Country Public Library, Bellport – 7-8:30 pm. In this FREE interactive workshop, we’ll talk about the importance of natural and organic skincare products including tattoo aftercare. Learn the basics on how to read labels, and how our body absorbs nutrients.A run-through of a basic skin care routine is included, with sampling of massage oils and ointments. PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU RSVP VIA THE LINK, OR BY CALLING THE LIBRARY TO RSVP.
  • July 21: Alive After Five, Patchogue (in front of Roast Coffee)—5-9:30pm. For our 3rd year, join Pam as she offers mini tarot readings throughout this 4-night event. I’ll have samples of my organic skincare products, with specials you won’t find anywhere else! If you want to learn more about a spiritual practice or how to easily relax yourself, this is the spot to be! We’ll be located in front of my favourite shop in Patchogue, Roast Coffee.This event is free.
  • July 28: Learn and Play Essential Oil Workshop (Centereach) —Middle Country Public Library, Centereach – 6:30-7:30pm. In this FREE interactive workshop, we’ll talk about the importance of choosing and safely using essential oils. Learn the basics on how to read labels, and how our body absorbs the essence of plant power. Please note you must be a patron of this library to attend. PLEASE ALSO MAKE SURE YOU RSVP HERE OR BY CALLING THE LIBRARY TO RSVP.
  • July 30: Dinner and a Movie – Friday the 13th! Cyrus: Chai & Coffee Company, Bay Shore – 6 -8 pm. This month’s cult classic film is Friday the 13th!!!  As always, our viewings feature a plant-based multi-course tasting menu, inspired by this cult classic film! Doors open at 6, so come grab some coffee or tea, while waiting for the movie to begin at 6:30. Bring a date, bring a friend, or come alone!  *Seating is limited for these engagements, so RSVP/PREPAY IS REQUIRED* $35/PERSON
  • July 31: Mid-Summer Cooking Demo at OT Farm’s monthly Green Fair Organics Today Farm, 169 Washington St, East Islip – 10am-3 pm. We are proud to team up with Organics Today Farm, to offer true Farm-to-Table meals! From OT Farm to our pots and pans, into your belly; come join us and get your organics on, ask cooking questions, sample free food (with options to purchase lunch and hang out with all of us), as well as learn from our cooking demo!   Other vendors are on hand as well, answering questions about organic products, and offering their services.  This event is free, and the demo includes a tasting.