A Fresh Dille

real food.

Posted in ENTERTAINMENT, FOOD, VEGAN by clairedille on November 12, 2010

This summer, I was helping a friend on a film that was filming mostly nights for two weeks. It was right in the middle of two projects, and before I knew it, I had a cold. It was summer and yes, I had a cold. Filming all nights for more than a few days never leaves you feeling good. I told a friend/coworker and she said, “you need to start eating real food.” The funny thing is that I was. I ate oats per usual most days with healthy fats and fruit. Lunches and snacks of salads, sandwiches, nuts, dried, and fresh fruit were considered not “real food” in her mind. This confused me. She told me I was living the “LA mentality of eating” and that hurt. Usually, I try to laugh off people’s claims that plant-based diets are unhealthy, but she was a friend. Not wanting to get all defensive, I told her why I eat the way I do and that normally, I feel great. I said that my cold was bound to happen from being overworked and decided that it wasn’t worth discussing further. She still continued to try to feed me the craft service food consisting of licorice (and other candy), cookies, granola bars full of hydrogenated fats, and chips.

I am not the kind of person who forces others to eat the way I do, so I was shocked that she was trying to make me eat foods that make me feel worse. It was hard and I was hurt, but I’ve learned since to just be quiet. I wasn’t attacked, but more upset by her non-understanding. In the past I have felt attacked andΒ I’ve talked about it before. It is hardest when it is from those we love and other times, it isn’t worth discussing.

So when the day started yesterday, I was craving some “real food.”

After the delicious bowl of buckwheat I had at Body in Santa Fe, I was determined to find some. Remembering that I had seen the kaia brand before on Whole Foods shelves, I stopped by the night before with luck. They had two choices of buckwheat granola, the Dates & Spices, and Raisin Cinnamon. Supposedly, they also have a Cocoa Bliss, but I couldn’t find it.

In the morning, I poured a bowl of the Dates & Spices that I topped with coconut milk, banana, raspberries, and almond butter that Lynn gave me (how did she know I was without my favorite nut butter!?).

I wasn’t as confident it would keep me as full as my typical morning steel-cut oats, but it did. I didn’t love the date chunks because they were a little too big and hard, but I still adore the buckwheat. Next time, I may try another flavor.

A few hours later I met up with a best friend I went to high school with who moved out to LA almost a year ago. Although she is not a veggie, she was intrigued by the restaurant I brought up, Real Food Daily, especially since it was across the street from where we were shopping. The menu was a little confusing at first, but I had fun describing cashew cheese, vegan sour cream, and tempeh to her. Leading by example that vegan food is delicious is really the way to do it. Ironically, she had a tastier meal than I.

I ordered the RFD burger, described as a tempeh vegetable patty with sautΓ©ed onions, lettuce, tomato on a rustic roll. It came with a side salad and I requested cashew cheese on the burger. There were much more creative things on the menu, but like good italian restaurants, where the bread has to be good for it to be a quality restaurant, I feel vegetarian places should have a great veggie burger. Unfortunately, this burger left much to be desired. It was not my kind of burger. My friend tried half and she said it resembled raw meat because of the red color. Of course I didn’t let the color throw me off, but it was the texture that I wasn’t a fan of. I prefer a firmer veggie patty and this was just a little to soft for my liking. The side salad had a ginger dressing with maybe tahini. It was tasty.

My friend Erin had the Spicy BLT wrap with tempeh bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and spicy vegenaise in a spinach wrap. I had a bite and much preferred her lunch. After having a vegan BLT the day before, I went a different way, but hers was pretty tasty with the spicy dressing. It would have been even better on sliced bread, a little heartier maybe. The best part was that she thoroughly enjoyed it.

Now I feel bad writing this after not loving the veggie burger, but the cookie was not the best either. These are better. The cookie was a gluten free vegan chocolate chip cookie. Maybe it was the gluten free flour or not enough fat, but the cookie was much too cakey for my ideal cookie. I like a chewy crispy chocolate chip cookie and this just wasn’t it.

Of course we still ate our halves and were left satisfied with some sweetness to finish off our lunch.

The experience outside the restaurant afterwards left a much worse taste in my mouth. As a new yorker, I am used to homeless men and women, but was not expecting someone to spit towards me while reaching for my friends purse, causing me to run into ongoing traffic. We left dry and safe, but it was a little too much reality for me yesterday. We were both in a little bit of shock from the situation.

That didn’t stop us from seeing the movie 127 hours, which was much more intense. I should have known this from the start when I heard it was directed by Danny Boyle of 28 days later and Slumdog Millionaire fame. The true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston getting caught under a boulder while climbing alone was a reality I could never imagine and James Franco did a flawless job portraying the horror. He brought the movie along alone and I was squirming in my seat the entire performance. Yes, that isn’t your typical good movie scenario, but I was emotionally affected in a good way. I definitely recommend seeing this heart-wrenching story and amazing acting.

Afterwards, I rushed over to meet V for a late dinner of sweet potato fries, pita and hummus, and salad. It was really just a way for us to relax at a bar near the studio he is filming by missing rush hour. I am already having a real hard time with it. LA needs a real subway system ASAP.

Other things:

– Do you give up on a restaurant after a not-so-great dining experience? Do you give it another shot? I am definitely still intrigued by Real Food Daily. I just might not have made the best menu choices and overall enjoyed the atmosphere. Next time I will try the Santa Monica restaurant since we dined in the West Hollywood one yesterday.

– Have you seen any good films recently? I know that the good ones usually come out in the next few months, but I haven’t been too interested in seeing many of those out now.

– Do you feel like you get criticized because of the way you choose to eat? How do you handle it? I’ve since told my friend more about why I eat the way I do and she really has adjusted her words and thoughts. I know it is hard to get everyone to understand that you eat for not only your health, but also for your mind, environmental beliefs, etc., but sometimes it is worth it to discuss.

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15 Responses

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  1. healthyexposures said, on November 12, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    I’m used to getting poked fun at for how I eat, too – sounds like an awkward situation your fried put you in this summer :\ It’s interesting how different cities eat differently.
    And sounds like you had some rough experiences today, too! Being spit at would certainly make me quite uneasy, too :X I hope this weeked goes a bit smoother for you!

  2. Teri [a foodie stays fit] said, on November 12, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    oooh, now that I’ve looked up 127 hours, I want to see it! I knew about the movie, but didn’t know the title! I’ve heard the movie is incredible but pretty unnerving.

  3. lynn @ the actor's diet said, on November 12, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    glad you put the almond butter to good use! i have never been a huge fan of RFD. but maybe i’ve just ordered the wrong thing too.

  4. Eliza said, on November 13, 2010 at 3:49 am

    what a great post…And such a coincidence for me, i was at some new health food store in my area yesterday and i saw all the flavors on that Kaia granola, i was so intrigued, i want to go back and get it :)… although it was a bit pricey now that i know(from you, who i trust) πŸ˜‰ that it is good i am going to get that! πŸ™‚
    anyway, it is so hard when people judge how you eat/your diet…It’s hard not to take offense but whenever i am criticized for being a vegetarian, or eating “too healthy” i just brush it off becasue i know that the way i eat is right for me, yet it gets tricky with anorexia…but i can totally empathize with your experience with your friend.
    I actually saw Convicted yesterday, SUCH a great movie! Loved it! πŸ™‚

    All your food looks TDF, and your photos are amazing as always!
    happy weekend,
    xx
    eliza

  5. Natalie said, on November 13, 2010 at 6:57 am

    wow i can totally relate to you regarding the frustration of feeling attacked because of what i like to eat / what i eat that makes me feel good. especially because im in florence right now, living with a host family who eats an entirely OPPOSITE diet than what i’m used to, it’s hard for me to refuse food without seeming rude or ungrateful… but at the same time when ive tried to just eat what they give me ive had stomach problems and just feel really yucky and lethargic afterwards. but i think our bodies are totally worth it and in the end WE know what’s best for our own bodies… so i hope youre not feeling discouraged!

    the cacao bliss flavor of kaia granola is DEF the best. ive tried all 3 flavors, and id have to say the dates one is my least favorite – becuase youre right, the date chunks are all huge and hard!! not yummy

  6. Anna said, on November 13, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Ahhh, we just saw the preview for 127 hours– I really want to see it! It looks very intense!

    I usually give a restaurant one more try after a bad experience, but two bad meals is my limit.

  7. edenseats said, on November 13, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    James Franco is my husband, but he doesn’t know it yet.
    We need to book a Real Food Daily date. I love it and I’m a carnivore!

  8. Sonya said, on November 14, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Nice post. I had a similar response from well meaning friends and family recently when I had a run of bad luck with illnesses, which they all put down to not eating enough meat and dairy!! They seemed to forget that usually I am the picture of good health – shiny hair, clear skin and heaps of energy!!! It can be difficult when you feel you need to defend yourself but I just smile and thank them for their concern πŸ™‚

  9. Pure2raw twins said, on November 14, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    It is hard sometimes with friends and family who just do not understand food or how some foods make us feel. I still have that battle from time to time, but I try to not let it get to me and just lead by example πŸ™‚

    Depending on the restaurant if I will give it a second trial πŸ˜‰ Most of the time I do, haha

  10. Emma said, on November 15, 2010 at 11:50 am

    I love seeing Erin in the post! ahh, fame.

    Have you ever seen the ‘Moms in the Raw’ brand. The Kaia Foods reminds me of them. They are local to the Boulder food scene and I think they are big now, you can find small snack bags in Starbucks, but awesome stuff.

    Bummer on the lunch and crazy bum man…

  11. sarahnotsoplainandtall said, on November 15, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    I know exactly how you feel…when I was in high school friends were always making comments about the way I ate, just because I wasn’t downing pizza and ice cream for lunch. Just remember to stick to your guns…you are doing what is best for your body

  12. Jessica (jesslikesithot) said, on November 17, 2010 at 11:17 am

    If you make it to Hollywood/Beverly Hills…you must try Cabbage Patch! My older brothers all live and work in LA, so getting to visit them every so often is always such a treat! We always hit up the best veg restaurants, too! I remember having a good experience with Real Food Daily, but it was in SAnta Monica and it was several years ago. My taste buds have since matured πŸ˜‰

    But anyway, Cabbage Patch was delicious! We shared a plate of their sweet potato wedges (so flavorful and perfectly textured with a spicy kick!), and both ordered the falafel plate. The wraps, sandwiches, everything…looked amazing though!

    And honestly, some people are just flat out ignorant at this age, or at least…uneducated about what’s truly healthy and what isn’t! I have friends who eat so horribly and wake up with a cold or runny nose almost on a weekly basis, and it’s just so silly! Plus, girls tend to focus more on calories if they’re trying to be “healthy”, which can all be so misguided!

    Just know that there are people who understand your ways and as time goes on more will too! πŸ™‚ Jealous of your LA dining!! Enjoy it!!

  13. lindsey said, on December 11, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    somehow during a vegan recipe google search, i happened across your blog.

    do try the living wrap the next time you visit real food daily. it’s fantastic.

    cheers!

  14. Kelsey said, on January 24, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    THATS A MASSIVE COOKIE!!! even the cookie monster would think so!!
    i cant believe i missed this post. ive seen that granola by Kaia and was curious how it would taste. i love the idea of mixing it with a squeeze pack of almond butter. Kaia’s kale chips are pretty good. i had their sea salt flavor which was yummy πŸ˜›

    hope you’re doing well lovie ❀

    xoxo

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