Category Archives: Health

Real Food in NYC

Eating gluten-free, dairy-free and mostly paleo (always real food) in New York City is easy! Check out our favourite spots from our birthday trip/babymoon.Last June, the hubby and I spent an extra long weekend in New York City! It was my 30th Birthday (and his 36th) and I was 6 months pregnant, so not exactly up for a raging party – haha!

So as a combo birthday trip and baby-moon, we hopped on down to New York City for what was to be a wonderful vacation!

Some people are able to make modifications to their way of eating while on vacation, and while we can do that slightly, we more or less stick to what we know works best for us. That way we can feel our best and enjoy our trip to the fullest!

Usually we rent an AirBnB, VRBO or make sure to get a hotel with a kitchenette, and find a grocery store (ideally a Whole Foods) as soon as we get to town. And while we still did this, we modified it slightly because it’s NYC! A HUGE city with enough people to have restaurants to cater to every diet! So I did some research on restaurants that we could enjoy and picked an apartment located smack in the middle of all my amazing finds. 

I’ve had many questions about where to eat in NYC so I thought I would (finally) make an actual blog post out of it! Here are all of the places where we enjoyed delicious food:


Hu Kitchen

Real food in New York City! Gluten-free, paleo, sustainable, vegan deliciousness!

Gluten-free, Dairy-free Options, Quality Meat, No Vegetable Oils, Paleo, Vegetarian/Vegan Options

Hu Kitchen was my favourite place ever. It was pricey, but that’s what you get for high quality ingredients. As someone who is VERY sensitive to vegetable oils, being able to go out for a few different meals, and not worry about the subsequent inflammation (joint pain, ugh) was amazing. 


Real food in New York City! Gluten-free, paleo, sustainable, vegan deliciousness!



We enjoyed roast chicken, paleo meatloaf, lots of veggie sides (with cashew cheese!), Jackson’s Honest Potato Chips (purple heirloom potatoes cooked in coconut oil), fair-trade organic coffee with coconut milk and maple syrup (there were so many milk/sweetener options) and some yummy paleo desserts. The hubs had a carrot cake whoopee pie for breakfast on his birthday, and I enjoyed a paleo blueberry muffin!



Real food in New York City! Gluten-free, paleo, sustainable, vegan deliciousness!Springbone

Paleo/Vegan Soft Serve Ice Cream

Another real-food restaurant that serves Bone Broth and lots of gluten-free options. But we went for the 3-ingredient ice-cream.

Chocolate Avocado & Raspberry Banana.

All dairy free and no junk.

Enough said.



Real food in New York City! Gluten-free, paleo, sustainable, vegan deliciousness!Pokeworks

Wild, sustainable fish burritos

Poke works was a little takeout burrito joint, that basically resulted in giant, customizable hand rolls. Wild sustainable sushi-grade salmon, avocado, veggies, sea greens and rice wrapped in a large sheet of nori. We each grabbed a burrito and enjoyed them in Bryant Park before walking over to Times Square to see The Book of Mormon, which was hilarious (and incredibly offside). 


Keste Pizza

Real food in New York City! Gluten-free, paleo, sustainable, vegan deliciousness!

The best pizza I have had in my life.

Over 50 pizza options on the menu, 10 of which were gluten-free! Although a very strict no changes/substitutions rule, you are able to omit an ingredient. We had gluten-free pizzas that had mozzarella and sheep cheese, and omitted the mozzarella, because we don’t tolerate cow-dairy. They also had several gluten-free beer options! 

This tiny, authentically Italian (direct from Napoli!) pizzeria in Greenwich Village is one of the top 5 restaurants I’ve ever been to in my life. And I’m lucky enough to have been to some really nice ones, because my parents, specifically my Dad, plan all their trips around the top restaurants in that city. Guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree eh?

We went here for my birthday dinner and we literally didn’t speak the entire time except to say “oh my goodness” and “holy $h!t” over and over. We’ve since sent many people there, both gluten-free foodies like us, and eat-everything-foodies, and everyone has had an amazing experience. 


Whole Foods/Trader Joes

Real food in New York City! Gluten-free, paleo, sustainable, vegan deliciousness!
Whole Foods Haul: bacon, eggs, greens, coffee, coconut milk, goat yogurt, clean snacks (potato chips, fruit, applegate meat), cider and kombucha.


We rented an apartment right by NYU/Union Square, so we were a 10-15 minute walk from Hu Kitchen, Whole Foods, Springbone and Keste (priorities, amiright??). The first thing we did was stock up on groceries from Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s on 14th. Making breakfast is always how we do things, because it’s hard to find quality breakfast restaurants. Not to mention, when you just get bacon & eggs, it seems expensive for something you cane easily make at home! And to be honest, I love waking up and having coffee and breakfast in my pjs! Especially at 6 months pregnant when I was moving a little slower in the mornings.

We stocked up on bacon, eggs, mango kombucha (a major pregnancy craving, one of my only ones), mixed greens, bananas, sheep-milk yogurt, cold brew coffee which we warmed up in a small pot (so we didn’t have to fuss with grinding coffee, or not having a coffee maker), coconut milk, maple syrup, Jackson’s Honest chips and some clean cold cuts for snacks. 

Real food in New York City! Gluten-free, paleo, sustainable, vegan deliciousness!
Breakfast at “Home”: bacon, fried eggs cooked in the same pan, on greens, fruit and mango kombucha. Side of prenatal vitamins!

Needless to say, we ate well. Very well. It cost us a pretty penny, but not any more than eating out at every meal. In fact, it was probably less than most people spend on food in NYC! Regardless, quality food is always a priority for us. In lieu of buying me a fancy 30th birthday gift like shoes, jewellery or a purse, we enjoyed every bite of every piece of food, without thinking twice about the cost! 

Now, NYC is a unique place, because it is so big, with so many different types of people. So you can find restaurants to fit all diets from vegan to paleo, and all budgets from $2 street vendor meals to swanky high end joints. 

Real food in New York City! Gluten-free, paleo, sustainable, vegan deliciousness!
Dinner at “Home”: paleo/vegan caesar salad from Hu Kitchen, Jackson’s Honest Potato chips in Coconut Oil, Applegate Ham




But the approach we have travelled to places quite the opposite, and always find success. For example, we spent a week in Rocky Harbour Newfoundland for our honeymoon. Other than seafood, Rocky Harbour was practically a food desert, but we figured it out! Root veggies and broccoli rounded out our fresh seafood dinners every night, which we cooked on our BBQ at the little cottage we rented. It’s definitely possible to eat well, or eat in a way that will nourish your body within your limits, where ever you travel. It just takes a bit of planning. The longer you live this way, the easier it gets!


What tricks do you use for eating well on vacation? 


Favourite Foods at 10 Months

10 month foods - real food, babyled weaning and purees for our baby!

Two things before I get into the meat of this post:

1. If you’re interested, read the previous posts in this series first: First Foods, Favourite Foods at 6 Months , Favourite Foods at 7 Months, Favourite Foods at 8 Months and Favourite Foods at 9 Months.

2. This is a JUDGEMENT-FREE POST: Please note that this not how you *should* do things. This is just a window into how I did things, and I relied mostly on my instincts. Do what feels right mama. *Should precedes shame* so I strongly encourage you not to *should yourself*! Parenting is hard enough as it is. You’re doing great!! 


Favourite Foods at 10 Months

Not much has changed since my last post, other than we seem to have gotten into quite a routine around here! A big breakfast around 7:30-8am, lunch by 11:30am (after 12pm and she doesn’t eat, she just throws her food around), sometimes a snack after her nap around 3:30pm and dinner at 6-6:30pm! 

The only new things we have experienced this month are the following:

Big Pieces of Food

We are now into the typical babyled weaning approach with food. Baby H does not want things to be cut up into small pieces, so while there are still foods that we need to (like steak or pork chop), she now gets large pieces of food that she can hold and bite little pieces off as she sees fit – like a chunk of potato, a full 1/4 of an avocado, a whole strawberry or piece of peach. These are the foods that are on her plate these days, along with everything we were doing at 9 months.

Regarding the potential for choking, an interested thing started happening. She seemed to have figured out if something was too big or too hard, it was best to spit it out. We didn’t teach her that (not sure how one could), but I think because she had experienced various sizes and textures of food, she knew what she was comfortable with. Also, we started saying “that’s too big” and she would spit it out right away. Pretty cool to watch that happen.


We started her on goat dairy! I chose goat yogurt – because (a) she did not tolerate cow dairy through my milk (in the form of ghee, holy sensitive batman – just like her dad) and (b) fermented dairy is always easier to digest than non-fermented. The bacteria do some of the digesting for you!

Unfortunately I was unable to find organic goat yogurt, so I settled on standard goat yogurt. If she tolerated it (which she did), I planned to go ahead and make my own. Homemade yogurt is really easy with an Instant Pot, and since I don’t plan on making dairy a major part of our diets, occasional yogurt-making can definitely fit into my schedule. 

She also tried some sheep’s milk cheese, which she tolerated just fine, but wasn’t super excited about. I find it fascinating that so many kids are addicted to cheese, and she was kind of indifferent about it. But give her a strawberry, a green onion or some broccoli and she’s in heaven! 

A note on Grains…

Right now I plan on holding off grains until she has some teeth that she can grind them with. However, white rice is a way we get bone broth at least twice a week, so I might reconsider this if it takes a while to get those first molars in.

Favourite Foods at 9 Months

Two things before I get into the meat of this post:

1. If you’re interested, read the previous posts in this series first: First Foods, Favourite Foods at 6 Months , Favourite Foods at 7 Months and Favourite Foods at 8 Months.

2. This is a JUDGEMENT-FREE POST: Please note that this not how you *should* do things. This is just a window into how I did things, and I relied mostly on my instincts. Do what feels right mama. *Should precedes shame* so I strongly encourage you not to *should yourself*! Parenting is hard enough as it is. You’re doing great!! 


Favourite Foods at 9 Months

Food really started to become a thing around 9 months. Suddenly Baby H was really into it and eating a substantial quantity. So much so that it started pushing nursing sessions, which I was completely ok with because she still nursed a lot! Up until now food was more of a fun, experiential thing. Great for learning flavours, textures and pincer grip (as well as how to sit at the dinner table), but it didn’t have ever seem to fill her up. Then she hit 9 months and started eating!

Now, instead of her getting a bite of our meals, she started making an impact! For example, our favourite sausages come in a package of 4 at just over 1lb of meat. We used to cook 1 package, each have 1, and have 2 leftover for our lunches the next day. Now the kiddo can polish off half a sausage to herself some nights, putting a serious dent into our leftovers! Same thing with ground beef – I used to cook 1lb, now I have to cook 2lbs to make sure we have leftovers! 

Another thing that happened around this time was Baby H started realizing what was on our plates vs. hers. I was surprised at how quickly this happened. So gone are the days (already!) of us eating gluten-free pizza with goat cheese, and making her eat sardines – LOL. This was a really great lesson in setting an example though. Babies are incredibly aware of their surroundings, so if you want them to eat well, you need to as well.

Speaking of being aware, she also started to get a little choosy about what she wanted. Now, it didn’t mean she became “picky, although it could easily have been interpreted that way if we didn’t give her time and variety. What seemed to be happening was she wanted some control over what she ate. So we made sure to offer her 3-5 different foods (anything green was literally her fav) and allowed her to pick and choose during the meal. Interestingly, if she polished off all of her blueberries first (what’s with every baby and blueberries??) she often moved on to the other things on her plate once they were gone. Giving her control, within set limits, proved to be very effective at creating pleasant meals where she ate most of the food we gave her! And if she chose only to eat avocado and blueberries for a meal? We didn’t sweat it. There’s no forcing a kid to eat and those are damn healthy foods. She also always seemed to naturally balance out by eating 1.5 eggs the next morning or half a sausage at lunch the next day!

A Note about Dairy

I had planned on trying organic goat yogurt around this time, but unfortunately she had an eczema flare (secondary to me trying to reintroduce ghee into my diet) so I’m waiting until it resolves.

Grassfed butter and fermented, high-fat dairy absolutely can have a place in a baby/child’s diet, just be very aware for possible reactions. The last thing I want to do is scare anyone (because most people are already terrified about solids), but an immunogenic response to dairy is a major contributor to quality-of-life health issues in kids. Everything from ear infections and chronic dribbly noses; to eczema and diaper rash; from reflux and constipation or loose stools; to bedwetting and behavioural issues (in older kids). Many foods can be associated, but there’s something about dairy (followed closely by gluten) that just seems to exacerbate these common childhood health issues.


Go To Foods at 9 Months

At this point, the kiddo was eating the majority of what we were (still excluding white rice and salads). We follow a standard paleo diet, made into a template for our tolerances:

  • excluding nuts and seeds (I don’t tolerate them rightness)
  • including white rice and goat cheese (we tolerate both great! But haven’t introduced these to the kiddo yet)
  • the hubs tolerates nuts, legumes, organic corn and other GF grains (I don’t), so he snacks on those foods occasionally (but not the kiddo yet)

Mostly we’re a meat/fish, veggies, starchy veggies (occasionally rice or sweet potato noodles) and quality fat household.

Daily Nutrition

Things that we focus on getting into all of our diets weekly are:

  • fermented foods daily (kombucha and sauerkraut being the most common)
  • bone broth (although hard in the summer, we cook our rice in it and make instant pot/slow cooker meat in it)
  • fatty fish at least 3 meals per week (salmon en papillote or grilled once/week, sardines at least 2x per week)
  • other seafood (tuna, shrimp, oysters, mussels)
  • vegetables at every single meal
  • organ meats (I’m going to be honest, I’ve slipped on the liver consumption. When I realized this, I made a big batch of homemade burgers with ground heart in them – my favourite way to consume organ meats – but unfortunately I seasoned them with a delicious spice blend that contained sesame, which I seem to have developed a pretty intense immunogenic reaction to in this postpartum season of life. So the hubs and the kiddo are eating them, and I eat another can of sardines. Sardines contain the organs so at least I’m getting some there!)

Typical Breakfasts

  • green eggs (in a blender, blend a large handful of spinach and 6 eggs for the whole family, 3 eggs for just me and H, 4 for my husband and H) scrambled in avocado oil or bacon grease with avocado and blueberries
  • fried eggs, leftover sweet potatoes or white potatoes, cucumber or berries
  • smoothie – like my Green Mango Smoothie, but with exclusively collagen, no protein powder. My other favourite flavour combo right now is frozen raspberries, frozen mango, spinach, collagen, full-fat coconut milk and a splash of raspberry kombucha.
  • leftovers

Typical Lunches

  • almost always leftovers (in fact not having leftovers takes so much more work!)
  • sardines or much less frequently tuna, cucumber, berries, fried plantain (either sweet or green now)
  • smoothie (see above)

Typical Dinners

I’m obsessed with meal planning right now, which is something I’ve never done! But having to make a decision every day about dinner had become super stressful. So now I make a plan on Sunday for Monday-Thursday and we eat well, don’t waste food and still have the weekend to be flexible or play around with fun recipes. As a result, I have about 10-15 recipes that I rotate through, some of which show up every week.

  • taco salads with fried plantains
  • sausages, roast potatoes, broccoli & cauliflower (all on baking sheets, all in the oven for 45 minutes at 375) with sauerkraut and sautéed onions if I have time!
  • salmon en papillote, asparagus and rice (made with bone broth, Baby H gets berries instead of rice)
  • thai curry beef on sweet potato noodles (made with stewing beef)
  • pulled pork or chicken (onion, pork shoulder/chicken thighs and a clean BBQ sauce in a slow cooker all day) on shredded sautéed sweet potato, side salad
  • burgers, salads, sweet potato wedges
  • pork chops, potato salad (with a simple lemon dijon vinaigrette) and broccoli
  • grilled fish (trout, pickerel, snapper), salad, rice or potatoes
  • thai curry shrimp on rice or sweet potato noodles (no recipe, simply sautee desired veg, set aside. Quickly sauté shrimp seasoned with salt and pepper. Deglaze pan with bone broth & thai curry paste. Add veggies back in and some coconut milk. Serve over noodles or rice.


We’re not huge believers in snacks over here, mostly because it often means meals aren’t being designed properly, or you’re not actually hungry but bored! For kids, snacking often results in being picky at meals because they know they can have a snack later.

That being said, I’m breastfeeding still and doing Crossfit a few days/week, so I simply don’t have the space in my stomach to consume the 1000+ calories at every meal to hit my 3000-4000 calorie/day requirement, LOL. If I’m eating around the kiddo, I make sure it’s something she can also have. If it’s post-WOD on my way home from the gym, it’s a “clean” turkey sandwich, or if it’s during her nap, it’s almost always plantain chips. Snacks that we enjoy together are:

  • cucumber slices – her absolute favourite. In fact, I often give her a slice of cucumber if I need 10 minutes to get dinner ready and she just wants to be on my hip. I said I would never placate with food, but if I’ve learned 1 thing so far on this parenting journey, never say never…
  • frozen mango in her “popsicle” (aka, her Boon silicone teether), especially if she’s teething
  • smoothie (see above)
  • banana muffin (made without maple syrup)
  • blueberries, raspberries or grapes and a small glass of full-fat coconut milk
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