« Pumpkin Cheesecake | Main | Saying Goodbye to $100K »

My Way: Jenny Nelson


Read Profiles were once one of our most popular features on WLIR. I'm not quite sure why we stopped running them, but I'm glad they are back. This time though, we're calling them "My Way". My way profiles follow a featured WLIR reader through the course of a week - what they ate and how they rolled. We've always stressed the importance of creating your own dietary path and My Way is a celebration of just that.

Who better to kick us off this week than the person responsible for setting the My Way idea in motion, Miss Jenny Nelson.

Jenny Nelson is back in Maine after working in Berkeley for a few months. She's currently spending her time juggling metalsmithing, writing, traveling and trying to decide what coast to settle on and what exactly what to do with her days. Jenny's in love with raw food (for 3 years), yoga (since she was young), and the general adventure of every moment. We found out what a few days in her life look like, and we discovered that she readily admits to having an addiction to addictions.

My Way: Jenny Nelson

Tuesday September 31
I woke up and had my usual morning ritual of hot tea... I make it very specifically and could do it in my sleep- hot water, and then a splash of fresh squeezed lemon juice, vanilla stevia and a bit of room temperature reverse osmosis "tap" water (I never ever use bottled water), so it's the perfect temperature to drink all morning out of my beat up (and well-loved!) stainless steel travel mug. It's a bit of an addiction. I can't remember a morning in a really long time that hasn't included yerba mate in this fashion.

My mum and I headed to Portland early in the morning and spent the gorgeous fall day walking along cobblestone streets, in antique shops and art galleries.  We went to Morse's, surrounded by pumpkin fields where they make their own live sauerkraut and it's absolute perfection. We sampled some and stocked up on the last of their most recent batch, making plans to return in a few weeks for the next one. As we drove and wandered all day, we snacked on my dehydrated pepitas and raw cacao granola.

A late lunch of organic greens and a homemade raspberry vinaigrette with a glass of Chilean wine each... that made me tipsy because I hardly ever drink at all anymore... more walking, a evening of watching Elizabeth Gilbert speak and then a stop at Whole Foods to get snacks for the two hour drive home... grapes and fresh peas.

Wednesday October 1
A spoonful of raw honey before heading out for a morning hike, and then the same ritual of yerba mate (which I continue to drink throughout the morning), and an oatmeal blueberry cookie from One Lucky Duck that arrived via FedEx the day before, before dashing off to do errands, swing by a friend's house and then back home for sketching and metalsmithing.

I spent most of the day in the studio so I snacked throughout the afternoon on slices of local McIntosh apples and some raw almond butter... tiny handfuls of white mulberries and a few more Turkish figs from Matt Monarch's incredible store, The Raw Food World (I seem to be craving the magnesium and iron lately, I can't get enough of either one)... and some raw chocolate pieces that I had made last week.  I seem to always be "addicted" to something... and feel like I should probably be spending some time going inward and finding out what this means!

Dinner with some friends, I had green tea and a salad of local and organic greens, live sauerkraut and dulse (which I brought in my I'm Not A Plastic Bag tote). I love that most of my food comes from local farms, orchards and the ocean... I've even begun harvesting and sun-drying my own seaweed when I go hike or kayak on the coast.

I had some homemade kombucha and another raw oatmeal "cookie" before bed.

Thursday October 2
Woke up to a cold October rainstorm, got in an early workout on the treadmill and then had a few glasses of water with fresh lemon, followed by yerba mate in my mug - it's pretty much my constant companion throughout the morning.

Caught up on emails and some writing projects... mostly dealing with orders and checking in on my Etsy shop, munching throughout the morning on some of the One Luck Duck macaroons that the absolutely lovely Sarma and Emily enclosed in my recent order and more local apples with a tiny bit of raw almond butter.

As the weather gets colder I begin to eat nuts again and it helps balance out my blood sugar to have some raw almond butter (or unhulled sesame seeds and cinnamon) with dried fruit and apples.

I'm a bit of a fruit bat by nature, so I have to watch out that I don't become unbalanced and ungrounded, especially since I'm not really craving greens lately. I try to eat intuitively trust that cravings for certain fruits and vegetables and the amounts that I crave are my body's way of making sure I'm getting everything I need when I need it.

I notice that I drink way more green juice when I'm in the city, probably my body's way of cleansing from the concentrated toxicity... and I love how many juice bars and raw restaurants are appearing all over - it just makes it so easy!

I've decided if someone doesn't start one in Maine soon I might have to... so I take an hour or so while I'm sketching to jot down ideas and recipes, even dabbling in some business plan research... it's quite normal for me to have handfuls of projects and ideas going at once and this is where yoga and meditation are absolutely essential to balance me out.

For dinner, I grazed on carrots (the un-hybridized purple and yellow ones) and sungold tomatoes... I usually have a wine glass of homemade kombucha (started with a scoby from the lovely Jennifer!) before bed but lately I've been restless at night from crazy dreams so I took some Natural Calm instead and rubbed my temples with Badger Sleep Balm- the perfect and cozy end to a rainy Thursday.

Friday October 3
I'm staying with my parents for a bit while I work in the jewelry studio and decide where my next move will be, and while they're not completely raw, they adore everything I make so I whipped up a yummy protein shake for us to share- hemp seeds, local and artisanal raw buckwheat honey, spirulina, raw cacao, local kale, goji berries and acai powder (leftover from Cafe Gratitude in San Francisco) and after our various morning yoga sessions, walks and treadmill workouts, we convened at the long wooden table with our well-earned green drinks!

It was too cold to have the door open while working in the studio and the metal dust and torch fumes make me nervous if I can't have that airflow so I spent the morning reading, getting emails done and sketching, and of course drinking my yerba mate.

That night we had an Autumn Apple dinner party, where everything incorporated apples that we picked at the orchard down the road... and they even had unpasteurized cider that I mix with homemade kombucha- it feels so decadent in a champagne flute!

For everyone else I made apple-cranberry french toast with local syrup and warm apple compote, a spinach salad with apples, walnuts and goat cheese, apple slices with raw cheddar, grapes and fresh figs. I was too full from snacking on apples while baking all afternoon to eat anything for dinner but I couldn't resist a few spoonfuls of my yummy raw banana ice cream(flavored with apples and cinnamon) while everyone else had their dessert of apple and apricot jam tarts.

Saturday October 4
Started the crisp fall day with yoga and yerba mate with lemon and some dark chocolate stevia, a slice of manna bread with some raw almond butter and a cacao macaroon from oneluckyduck.  As the weather gets colder, I notice my eating habits change to heavier raw foods spread out during the day - my body's instinctual way of keeping as warm as possible.  For the past few weeks, I've been dreaming about the "grawnola" from Sal Anthony's new juice bar that I fell in love with the last time I was kicking around NY... and am waiting for them to someday make it available through the mail!

I spent the day in Portland, hanging out with a group of friends (which included the adorable one year old daughter of my best friend visiting from Jackson, Wyoming). We had lunch at Flatbread Company right on the working waterfront docks, where I had an organic green salad with seaweed and green tea.  I always go here when possible because they have an amazing salad and when you become raw, you also become a connoisseur of where the best salads are!  While we watched the seagulls, lobster boats and ferries come and go, I munched on another treat from Sarma but for the most part was completely distracted by friends and running around with a little one to eat very much. There's also something energizing about the autumn air that takes away some of the mindless snacking that I fall into with too much computer work.

A handful of dried mulberries before bed... much too late... but delicious nonetheless!

Sunday October 5
More yerba mate, a cacao macaroon and a teaspoon of raw honey... before heading out for a hike.

The afternoon was full of the Sunday Times, lots of hot tea to stay warm, breathtakingly fall leaves stretching out to the sparkling blue ocean and a container of raw tiramisu that I adapted from the Cafe Gratitude recipe (I Am Adored). It was the perfect thing to dig into with a cute boy curious about raw food, and finished up later by a group of friends gathered to watch our bundled up shadows stretch into Vrksasana (Tree Pose) as the sun set over a cold October mountaintop.