Lunch with Gena of Choosing Raw

by Valerie on January 22, 2011 · 7 comments

One of the highlights of this month was that I got to have lunch with Gena of Choosing Raw.  You have seen me link to Gena’s blog frequently, so you know how much I appreciate her thoughtful writing, delicious recipes and eloquent pieces on all aspects of living a healthy and compassionate life.  I am also really enjoying reading her posts as she transitions to becoming a medical student in the next couple of years.  Here is Gena with a picture of her salad at SweetGreen, which is one of the best places in Washington, DC to get a salad.


I love SweetGreen, and if I want a salad on the go, I usually go there, especially because they have become much more allergy-friendly in the last year.  Also, SweetGreen is pretty much the one salad place I have ever been to, whether in New York or Washington, where a serving of avocado is half of one, instead of 2 little slices.  Here is my salad incidentally:

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Black beans, red peppers, carrots, a delicious half avocado, lemon juice, and olive oil on a mix of romaine and spinach.

And here is Gena’s salad, which also included a romaine and mesclun greens, a half avocado, beets, butternut squash, white beans and carrots, peppers, olive oil and lemon juice:

genas salad

We were both really pleased with our salads.  And each other’s company as you can see from Gena’s recap of our lunch.  I had a wonderful time as well.  Lunch with Gena was both serious and hilarious.  We talked about so many things, including body image, holistic lifestyle practices and, of course, good food.  Even though it was our first time meeting, we seriously did not run out of things to talk about

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Gena also got the kale chips which seem scrumptious:

kale chips

I passed on them because of the Sriracha in the marinade. While I love spicy foods, Sriracha makes my mouth swell. Fortunately, I have many different kale chip recipes to choose from when I make them at home, including Gena’s latest version, Protein Packed Cheesy Hemp Kale Chips.  

And Gena, I had a wonderful time and here is to more salads indeed. I am so glad we can see more of each other now that you are in DC more often!  Thank you also for sending me the beautiful pictures you took – I was still in post-surgery recovery mode when meeting Gena so multi-tasking was not going to work that well.  Long-time City|Life|Eats readers may notice that this is actually a picture of me and Gena.  I decided with the New Year to be a bit less anonymous.  Of course, I was planning to post this recap sooner to when I saw Gena, namely a couple of weeks ago, but it is still January.  Finally, I brought Gena some gluten-free vegan chocolate chip cookies, a recipe from Elana’s Pantry, which I suggest you all try, as they are very good.  I made a few for me with cacao nibs instead of chocolate chips and loved them.

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All pictures by Gena except for my salad and the cookies. 

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ricki January 23, 2011 at 9:44 pm

I thought those photos looked familiar! 😉 I had the pleasure of lunching with Gena when I visited New York back in October. It sounds like you both had a wonderful time together. Here's to meeting blog friends in person–and great salads!


2 Gena January 24, 2011 at 1:35 am

I had such an amazing time, Valerie! And I was glad to be present as you made the choice to be more personal on your blog. I suspect it's not a choice you'll regret :)


3 Pure2raw twins January 24, 2011 at 2:20 am

Sounds like a great time!! Gena is one of our favorite blogs too!!


4 Lavanya January 24, 2011 at 7:25 pm

Hey Valerie! I was sure when I saw the picture on Gena's blog- that this was another blogger she met (because of your previous decision to be anonymous)..
I realized this was you only after seeing the picture on your
Lovely to see you on your blog..:)


5 Debi January 25, 2011 at 3:33 am

Valerie, those salads look delicious! So glad to put a face to the name now, too. Such a beautiful one, too!


6 January 25, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Your food looks delicious especially the cookies!


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