Our idea of what constitutes "food" in American culture has become so skewed that it is almost unrecognizable. Our supermarkets are packed with products whose ingredients include unpronounceable chemicals, dyes, bacteria, and growth hormones. They are irradiated without our consent and contain GMOs.It's time to bring back FOOD. Pure unadulterated organic RAW food.This blog is a documentation of my continuing journey on a plant-based lifestyle.

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Raw Food Nerd 21

Don't worry, this survey is not an attempt to avoid writing a blog post due to a severe case of malaise and utter laziness (well, sort of.) I've been meaning to post this survey since I started this darn blog. I guess it would have been more pertinent back then, so that you could get to know me better [food wise], but it's here now! So, this is it, a sliver of me in a raw-oriented survey.

21 Questions

1. Favorite Raw Vegan milk? Most definitely Cashew Milk; it's so creamy and rich, I love it.

2. What are the top 3 recipes you are planning to make? Well, last night I made coconut yogurt which I have been meaning to make for like two weeks. I'm going to eat it over pineapple just like they make at Bonobo's in NYC. Sooo yummy. Also, Jicama 'Potato' Salad and Mini-Quiches. We shall see how they turn out.

3. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure? The first raw recipe I ever tried to make was Ani Phyo's Sun Burgers. All I had was an Oster blender, so I attempted to make the 'burger' meat in the blender. At the time I was unaware of flax seeds gelatinous nature when combined with water. So, in an effort to assist my blender I added water...and more water..and my flax got more and more gelatinous...The result was this goopety goop of flax seeds, veggies, and sunflower seeds. It was a disaster! And, I didn't have a dehydrator at the time so there was absolutely no way I could redeem myself. I wound up eating the slop stuffed inside red bell peppers for like two weeks. It tasted fine, but it was far from even being considered 'burger material.

4. How do you organize your recipes? For as much as a perfectionist as I am, my recipes have no organization whatsoever. They are literally stuffed in a drawer in my kitchen - written on napkins, stray pieces of paper, receipts...it's terrible. The best I have been able to do is get them all inside a folder, but since I am always adding to the pile the folder just keeps expanding and overflowing. Shame on me.

5. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal? I put all food scraps into a separate recycle bag or down the garbage disposal. I need to learn how to compost...we tried once and did it completely wrong...

6. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods...what would they be? Avocados, Cucumber, and Vitamineral Greens. I'm assuming that since this is an island I better have access to coconut water, pineapples, and bananas!

7. Fondest food memory from your childhood? Ah, le sigh, Great Meadows --my grandparents making me late night snacks served on fancy china of wheat thins with cream cheese and tea...  I swear, my childhood heart remains there. And I am nearly positive that when I pass on someday, my reincarnated soul will drift back to that place.

8. Favorite raw ice cream? Well, if I didn't have to think about price, then definitely Sarma's Cookies N'Cream Ice Cream, hands down. However, I really don't have $18 dollars to spend on a pint of ice cream, so, while not 'raw' Coconut Bliss is surely my ice cream of choice. I just wish their Mint Chocolate Chip didn't have evaporated cane juice because that would be my favourite...

9. Most loved kitchen appliance? It's a tie between the food processor and the Vitamix. I couldn't live without either...

10. Spice/herb you can't be without? The holy grail of herbs, cilantro.

11. Recipe (Cook) book you have owned for the longest time? Always been surrounded by lots of cookbooks. My favourite non-raw is tri-tie between Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking since you can actually sit down and read it like a book, Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles cookbook filled with classic French recipes from the restaurant, and I am hopelessly in love with all things Thomas Keller -- he's just so creative. As far as raw foods go, that one is easy, Ani Phyo and Alissa Cohen.

12. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly? Raspberry w/ the seeds. When we lived in Great Meadows we used to make our own homemade Raspberry Jam. It's still my favorite.

13. Favorite raw (vegan) recipe to serve to an omni-friend? My Chocolate Cheesecake with Walnut Crust. I made this for Kev's birthday like two years ago and my very skeptical future father-in-law all but stopped teasing us about food after he had some...and if I couldn't make anything I would enlist my future mother-in-law to make her coconut date balls. They are literally the BEST. I don't know how or what she does, but I've never had anything comparable.
14. Favorite meal to make? Oh, it's a sloppy mess of deliciousness that I would never serve to anyone else because they would probably gag at the sight of it. I mash avocado with lime and nutritional yeast and cumin and mix it into shredded zucchini and cilantro. It's to die for.

15. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking. Nuts galore, hemp protein powder, frozen organic strawberries.

16. Favorite grocery store? Westerly in NYC.

17. Food blog you read the most. Green and Crunchy. I really admire the way she feeds and raises her kids, truly inspiring blog.

18. What is one ingredient that you've become familiar with that you can't imagine you ever lived without? Oh, duh, Coconut Butter for sure. That stuff is like raw food crack.
19. Most coveted condiment? Whole grain mustard.

20. Best food smell? Sauteed garlic and onions or the smell of a health food store. It's so granola, I love it...like a mix of fresh veggies and fruits coupled with incense.

21. Best cooked food memory that you'd like to re-create raw? Ah, my absolute favourite and the only thing I miss to the core -- Everything bagels with cream cheese and butter. ::drools::

You didn't think I would just post a survey and then just leave you hanging without some serious raw food goodness did you? Geeze, I'm not that lazy this week. I've still been taking pictures...in fact, I have a back log. I made lots of food this week..Veggie Loafs w/ Raw/Vegan BBQ Sauce HELL-O!

Heirloom Tomato Basil Soup

Ok, ready for the ingredients? ....

Heirloom tomatoes, a dash of Himalayan sea salt, and a chiffonade of basil...THAT'S IT! Then I just popped it into the D. for maybe, two hours, and let all the natural flavors melt together. Amazing, sweet, savory, peppery - so simple, rustic, tasty.

Why so little ingredients you ask? I know what you're thinking, "I thought you were Italian!? Where's the garlic?!" 

Ah, but you see heirloom tomatoes are so amazing in and of themselves that tampering with them would almost be blasphemous! All they need is a wee bit of sea salt to round out their flavors and the pepper sweetness of basil to compliment.

Trust me, give it a try. You will not be disappointed.

 I'm very excited because my copy of If you have to cry, go outside; and other things your mother never told you by Kelly Cutrone is finally ready for pick up at the library! Right in time because I am nearly finished reading Breaking Dawn (to read something besides Twilight! Shocking! I've been reading these books for months now...it's going to be strange not reading about vampires and werewolves!)

Have a splendid weekend everyone!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Food Noise & Life Lessons

I'm a creature of habit and I thrive on consistency; I need schedules and boundaries to stick to. I've tried (and not tried) to be one of those laid back people who can just close their eyes and let the universe guide them, where ever - just because. And while I put a lot of trust in the universe, logic and reason typically dictate, and I feel wholly responsible for the direction my life takes. All of this was part of the reason why I came to California in the first place...I wanted to live the bohemian lifestyle...I wanted to just pick up and move and start a new life. A lot easier said than done. (After all, they always say if you can make it in NYC you can make it anywhere...well, I'd survived NYC and then some...living it up in CA seemed like it would be cake!)

Life lesson number one: Don't move to a new place unless you really know what you are getting into. i.e. never move without getting a 'real' job first...esp. to a place that requires that you have your own car...

Needless to say, when I left NYC I didn't know what I was really leaving behind...I was unaware of what I was really setting myself up for...

Consistency, schedules, boundaries...they left me high and dry the day we packed up the car and started the journey out here...

Perhaps this is why consistency in my diet is so darn important to me- why it makes me feel better to know what I'm going to be eating from one day to the next. This may be far too personal for a food blog, but I firmly believe that your emotional well begin effects how you view/enjoy your food. I know for sure that I channel a lot of my emotions and energy into my creations; I feel like I hyper-focus on food sometimes as a way to avoid what's really going on (i.e. how homesick I am, the guilt for leaving TT, the regret, etc.)

In any case, these past two weeks the very thought of a green smoothie made me want to gag. I felt extremely fatigued, nauseous, and generally worn out -- like I could have literally slept 24 hrs. straight. Naturally, I pushed on with my usual routine -- writing, making food for clients, going to bikram, gym, etc. I forced down the green smoothies because god forbid I break with routine and not have my daily green smoothie?! I told you, I am a creature of habit and habits are hard to break...not that drinking a green smoothie everyday is a bad habit..but, not listening to your body (or your gag reflex) is...

Life Lesson number two: Do not, under any circumstances, try and over-ride your bodies natural instincts...or else you might find yourself curled up in the fetal position of the bathroom floor at 3:00 A.M. simultaneously sweating bullets and breaking out in cold sweats.

Save for the nightmares of my hair falling out for fear of not getting enough greens, I've been on strict green smoothie hiatus. (Thank Buddha for Vitamineral Greens powder in lemon water...def. not as tasty as a Raw Food Nerd green smoothie, but it was good enough...since I plugged my nose and chugged, of course.)

Life, sans green smoothies, just doesn't feel the same, but I knew we wouldn't be broken up forever...we just needed some time apart. I did, however, start experimenting with a new smoothie, one that as of yesterday I have started to add my greens back into. And oh, yum yum yum! It's banana, ice, almond milk, cinnamon, carob, hemp protein fiber and then sometimes I add slippery elm, burdock, triphala, and licorice root. It's delicious! Not that I am surprised, but adding spinach to my little nightly concoction does not alter the taste one bit! Hallelujah! Green Smoothie train is back in biz!

Life Lesson number three: Forcing yourself to be something you aren't only leads to disaster, regret, and a whole lot of wasted time. i.e. My adventurous spirit (in life) can only take me so far.

In the kitchen, however, it is limitless...

A twist on boring old veggie burgers -- these were topped with cute, petite portobellos as buns and underneath was marinated mushrooms, apple wood smoked dulse, butter lettuce, and tomato. A much happier meal.

right in time for Earth Day too!

Yum nums, garlic-y Marinated Mushrooms.

These were Chocolate Walnut-Butter cups inspired by the wonderfully creative momma of dessert heaven, Averie...

It's true, a little "nooch" (nutritional yeast) goes a loooong way...

And so does a little Carrot Raisin Bread...

or Sweet Sesame Crackers...

Life Lesson number four: Fake it till you make it. i.e I'm going to give this all I have because failure just isn't an option. 

On that note, my Strawberry Milkshake recipe was published in Coconut Bliss's newsletter for this month! Check it out!!

Monday, April 19, 2010


 If 'snackafiable' were actually a real word, I would deem it worthy to describe the generous assortment of goodies that Kaia Foods sent me (heinously long ago) to review. [Thanks Heidi!] This girl does Cross Fit six days a week AND fuels herself with green smoothies! You know you've got a good company on your hands when the people who actually work there are raw foodists. So, pretty much, Kaia rocks all around!

My heart went a fluttering when I opened my package (I heart snail mail, for sure) and to my surprise there were two bags of granola, seasoned seeds, kale chips, and fruit leathers! I didn't even know Kaia made anything other than granola! Holy moly! If there is a such thing as yummy snack heaven, then I was surely there.

We're certified cereal addicts in the Raw Food Nerd household/kitchen so Kev and I dug into the Cocoa Bliss buckwheat granola first. We get seriously razzed and jazzed over cereal and granola; it's kind of sad actually. I mean, when we were in college we used to celebrate our anniversaries with over sized bowls of cereal-- often eating at least two boxes in one night. (what? moderation? yeah, right!) It's really hard to stop eating Puffins...

Since I consider myself an authority on cereal and granola (second only to Kev who can still down an entire box, on his own...in one night..lol), I can tell you, this stuff is splendidly delicious. If you love chocolate, than this is the granola for you. Kaia Foods does a great job of balancing the chocolaty yumminess and sweetness. When it comes to raw food, texture is paramount and I think that is what makes this granola outstanding. Don't get me wrong, I like when my granola gets nice and soft after it's been sitting in nut milk, but ultimately it's still got to maintain that crunch-factor! Am I right? Perhaps this is why I enjoy raw granola more than the traditional variety made with oats; buckwheat always retains it's crunchability. And I cant help but love how it turns my nut milk into chocolate milk...You'll be going back for fourths seconds no doubt!

These are ingredients we can feel good about putting into our bodies: buckwheat*, agave nectar*, raisins*, dried coconut*, cacao powder*, ground flax seed*, sunflower seeds*, pumpkin seeds*, walnuts*, natural vanilla extract, spices, and mineral salt. (*organic)

I'm not much of a nut/seed person anymore, but I make exceptions now and then for the sake of the blog...such a hard life I live, I know. Anyway, I didn't have to be prodded too much to shovel heaping handfuls of Kaia's Sprouted Sunflower Seeds. They sent me two flavours: Sweet Curry and Teriyaki.

You will notice, the bag of Sweet Curry Sunflower Seeds is missing so I just used a picture from Kaia's website. Yeah, Kev takes them to work and school to snack on and he snagged the bag before I could get a picture. We both LOVE the taste of these seeds.The Sweet Curry has a nice subtle sweetness to it that matches the natural heat of the curry. And yumm, I am obsessed with cumin so I can definitely pick up the notes of cumin in the curry.  And the Teriyaki, I cannot get enough of these. It has some heat, but it isn't over powering thanks to the agave and I love the undertones of ginger and garlic. Kev says they keep him full all day long. We both agree that these are out of this world as far as seasoned seeds go!

Oh, the Kale Chip, a much sought after treat for the raw foodist. These are perhaps the best kale chips that I have ever had. The only ones that compare (other than my own of course, ha ha) are the ones that Kev and I got at ChocolaTree in Sedona, AZ. However, those were Cheezy flavored so it's like apples and oranges in my book. These were BBQ Kale Chips which completely put them on a whole other level to begin with and then they had to go and taste EXACTLY like the BBQ potato chips I used to eat pre-raw and vegan. That's hard to do!  These are the ultimate snackafiable indulgence! I'm hooked...might give up making my own kale chips all together..lol


I have a soft spot for fruit leathers. They remind me of being a kid on the playground at snack time when I used to desperately (and often unsuccessfully) try and trade my orange for a Fruit-by-the-foot or a Fruit Rollup. Remember those!? Their chemically, dye-tastic and HFC syrup-laden nature was muchly sought after by school kids alike. Fortunately for all us fruit leather lovin' folk Kaia has found a way to not only replicate, but improve an old favourite with new and inventive flavors made from ALL fruit:

Apple Spice: Oh me gosh, takes like apple pie with a kick!
Lime Ginger: I've been on a lime kick lately so this was exceptionally appealing to me. A nice combination of tang (from the lime) and spice (from the ginger).
Vanilla Pear: Reminds me of a dried version of pureed pears. This one was my favourite. The vanilla hits you once you begin to chew; it was like a petite surprise for my taste buds. Ahh, pear. Ouu, vanilla. Yum.

Now if only they had peel out shapes and designs...maybe one day?

Kaia, which according to their website means 'body' in Sanskrit, is a company after my own heart. ::sigh:: All of their food, across the board, is mighty tasty -- not to mention ALL organic. Really, what's not to love?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Coconut Bliss Euphoria & Blended Life Class at the ENC

Right now, I should be starting finishing my taxes, filling client orders, and/or folding and putting away laundry, but I figure a blog update cannot be put off any longer; it's been all sorts of procrastination over here because I was preparing for my next raw food class at the ENC The Blended Life: The Art of Raw Soups and Smoothies plus weekly menu plans, and a whole bunch of other work-related stuffies.

The Blended Life,  if I do say so myself, was the best and most fun I have had teaching a class yet. The women, amazing! They were so wonderful! All so funny, attentive, smart, and generally lovely! They really made my job so easy! I got some great feedback and the general consensus was that they loved the food! Which for me, is always the most important considering all recipes are my own creations. It would be dreadfully embarrassing if they were awful!! Can you imagine...

This class was particularly important to me because it really resonated with how I eat normally. Usually, my raw food classes involve lots of nuts and seeds because that's what people want; they want that raw gourmet transition food-- which is totally fine. It's supposed to be that way in the beginning. Yet, it is a lot more fun for me when I can show people that sure, nuts and seeds are great for getting protein and helping you transition from SAD to raw, but it's really the water-rich, mineral-dense, instant nutrition of soups and smoothies that are going to make raw foods a lifestyle vs. a diet.

What was on the menu? Oh, wouldn't you like to know!
  • Tomato Basil Soup w/ Garlic Aioli
  • Dill-licious Cucumber Soup
  • Lucious Avocado Herb Soup
  • Corn Chowder w/ Fixins'
  • Cookies N'Cream Smoothie
  • Green Smoothie Magic
  • Strawberry Milkshake
  • Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge Shake
I told the ladies that the more greens you get into your diet the better. These soups and smoothies are overflowing with oodles of good, leafy greens. I was even able to show them how to sneak those greens into the Strawberry Shake by keeping the tops of the organic strawberries on! You can't even taste it!

Strawberry Shake (using Vanilla Coconut Bliss)

Green Smoothie Magic
This was def. one of their favs.!

The ladies toasting with the Cookies N'Cream Smoothie

And to top if all off, the fabulous people at Coconut Bliss (Thanks Vince and Kiley) hooked me up with a 'Bliss Kit' so they ladies were able to try a variety of Coconut Bliss Ice Cream flavors, take home coupons, as well as a booklet all about CB, and some stickers.

Diving in!

They went wild for the Bliss! Per usual, most cannot believe the simplicity of the ingredients and how creamy the ice cream is for being total diary free! We even discussed how the fact that it is low glycemic makes it perfectly suitable for diabetics, since one women was pre-diabetic, thus proving that you can still be healthy and indulge without guilt!

Look at those happy Coconut Bliss faces!

There was hardly any left, which is good for me, because I have a tendency to proudly devour an entire pint in one sitting...and what was left was eaten for dinner by Kev...

Those were my kind of ladies! There was not a lick of ice cream..or..soup...or smoothie to be found in that kitchen proving once again that raw food is not about deprivation, moderation, or restriction.

Dieting is the devil. Raw food is seriously, guilt-free indulgence with thousands of benefits. You do the math!

This week I've got Kaia food samples to review...mmm, so delicious. <--certified cereal/granola addict.
AND the very first, Raw Food Nerd GIVEAWAY from CSN Stores!!!!

Special Thanks:
Once again thank you to Coconut Bliss for donating the Bliss Kit. You guys rock!
And Lori for taking pictures and as always, sticking around to help clean up! Couldn't
do it without you!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

"Where do you work?" Oh..just my kitchen...

That's right, when you are self-employed raw food chef your kitchen is THE OFFICE. And last week, I spent an awful lot of time in "my office"; I've got Michael Scott aspirations for sure. Except, I actually get work done since I don't have any employees to drag to the boardroom for an impromtu distraction 'meeting' and I'd like to consider myself slightly more self-aware...

I also, finally, fingured out how to work my camera this past week...mm hmm, after 7 months...hey, I never claimed to be any sort of technical genius. Seriously though, I was pretty jazzed!  My food pictures will no longer suck!

Anyway, this weeks food got thumbs up all around. I know this is wildly cheesey, but no matter how long I've been doing this, when people like or love my food it sends zings to my heart. It's like a re-confirmation for following my heart.

Kevy McKeverson was partically enthused over my Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting. I went off Ani Phyo's Chocolate Raspberry Ganache Cake recipe sans the raspberries, but added my own twist. I mixed it up with brazil nuts and almonds instead of just walnuts. And I also added shredded coconut and probably wayyy more raw chocolate powder than her recipe called for. The carob powder that I added gave the cupcakes an awesome peanut buttery flavor, so says Kevin, mouth full of cupcake. The frosting in and of itself was a combination of avocado, coconut oil, agave, chocoate, and carob. I've been making chocolate covered strawberries for Kev to take for lunch with the leftovers. Store these in the fridge, the frosting and cupcake firm up quite nicely when kept cold; entirely, mouthwateringly, delectable.

Keeping with the theme of dessert first, I also made a Raspberry Cobbler. Cobblers are my favourite raw dessert to make because they are basically idiot-proof. Not that Kev is an idiot, but he's pretty challenged in the kitchen and I am 99% sure even he could make a perfect cobbler. It's really just whatever nuts or seeds you have on hand and fruit - you can even use thawed out frozen fruit! I like to pop my into the dehydrator overnight on a low temp. to let the flavors marry and oh, do they marry. The juices from the fruit slowly seep out and create a thick natural syrup, esp. with raspberries. So very scrumdillyuptious, you would not believe!



I also made No-Bake Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. As I mentioned in my last post, I gave them an extra protein punch by adding SunWarrior Vanilla Protein Powder to them. I've always felt more connected to the savory aspect of raw foods, something about the science of dessert making that has always intimidated me. Not to mention, making raw desserts can get pretty pricey! You know, with all that coconut oil and nuts and what not; there's just a lot more that can go awry! However, I think I've finally found my raw dessert groove! Hallelujah!

Now, on to the savories!

Before going raw I was known to sneak several vegan falefels from the hot foods bar at Whole Foods. Sorry, but if you've been to Whole Foods Union Square during lunch...or well at any time really...or even worse, Columbus Circle you know just how long those lines get! I couldn't help snacking! They were so good!

My raw version of this zesty Middle Eastern delight is wayy better for you than those still-fried vegan knock-offs. These are so light and fluffy and just busting with herby goodness!  And if you have leftover batter you can use it as a pate in a sandwich or turn it into a burger pattie! Mmm, mine are hella-packed with cilantro and cumin, two of my favourite herbs/spices. I stick these on a tray and dehydrate over night which creates a nice crust for the outside, while the inside is still slightly soft.

I made a homemade Cucumber Dill Tahini Sauce, Quoina Tabouleh, Lemon Parsley Flax Crackers (pictured below with my Sweet Sesame Crackers, and Garlic Zucchini Hummus to go with these for a Middle Eastern Platter.

I also made Sour Cream and Chives Dip for extra flax crackers...

And plain Sour Cream for my Mexi-Platter which included Red Cabbage Tacos stuffed with Taco Meat and Homemade Pico de Gallo.
While I love making raw gourmet, I've kind of moved beyond this transitionary period. I perfer a much more simple diet and I stick primarly to whole foods with much less of a focus on nuts/seeds for the bulk of my diet. I find I feel much better eating this way; there is much less transit time of food for digestion purposes, the nut-heavy stuff and I really don't jive anymore. I treat myself now and then, but most of my dinners look something like this. Essentially it is my version of Mexican Mac N'Cheese. I think it is one of the best things I have created and the best part is, it's SO simple. Takes me less than five minutes to make.

This is zucchini, shredded and mashed with avocado, lime juice, a dash of ACV and loaded with cilantro and cumin. I've been eating this every night for over a week now. I simplely cannot get enough of it, especially the cumin and cilantro. The mashed up avocado is what makes this really creamy like mac and cheese and the acid from the lime and ACV starts to break down the zucchini making it nice and soft.  This is really good with a dash of curry too...

I'm ending my night with this awesome Chai Spice Tea Blend concotion I found at my Co-op in Santa Monica:

I found this while persuing the asiles at the Co-op while waiting for Kevy to come back from the vegan restaurant where he was getting his lunch in SM last Saturday. I love Chai in all forms - cookies, tea, slathered on a boot fashioned to be a cookie??. I, shamefully, used to drink that boxed chai stuff like it was liquid gold. This blend is infinately times better. For one, it is green tea and not black so there is so residual caffeine after shock that leaves you up all night. Secondly, this is totally medicinal! If you can read the label, they've added reishi mushrooms, cordyceps, and maitake mushrooms!! All super healing for you body, great for energy, immune system, etc. And, it is sweetened with agave and honey! No refined sugar in this baby! And of course, it's full of Indian chai spice..what could be better?

I've been making homemade nut milk and adding 1 tablespoon of the Chai Tea Blend, 3 tablespoons of carob, and 3 tablespoons of Vivagave (1 of Original/ 2 Vanilla). I blend it up until it gets nice and toasty. It's so deliciously good and great to have when you are slightly hungry at night, but it is too late to eat anything...

They have two other blends, one is for energy and the other is for aphrodisicial purposes - all chai flavor, but with different medicinal blends.

The price? $6.50! 

I know, I was equally shocked. I was sure it would be at least $12-$15. I even double checked when we rang up the rest of our stuff.

It's insanely good.

Well, TGIF...or mmm, TGIS since it's offically Saturday as I wrap this baby up!

We're off to Santa Monica this weekend (again) with a trip to the Co-op for Chunks of Energy and Rainbow Acres-- who seriously only get better and better with each trip! We've discovered that they actually OPEN young thai's for you! No, like really open them, like hack the top off, no dinky little hole that barely fits your straw...does it get any better? Honestly???