巧媳婦養生餐 / Cute Mama Cooking

Moss Terrarium 在美國住久了, 也不再是小女孩時, 便會開始關心所謂調養身體還有考慮如果將來要生孩子在美國該怎麼坐月子的問題。在美國不像在台灣有很多的月子中心可以入住, 不用擔心餐點, 也有專人教授一些出院後照顧寶寶的技巧。這些對於住在國外又沒有家人在身邊的眾多媽媽們都是奢侈及夢想。雖然在美國西岸有越來越多的月子中心, 但在紐約及美東還是少的可憐。這幾年在紐約我發現有幾家專門做新鮮月子餐點的店家可以選擇, 這是一個非常大的進步, 因為很多媽媽們之前還是會經由網購從西岸訂購冷凍的月子餐。但新鮮餐點與冷凍餐點還是不同, 畢竟新鮮食材還是最好的 保有更多的養分, 對於媽媽及寶寶也更好。

After living in the states for many years, I stated paying more attention to caring for my health. The reason being I'm no longer a little girl, I've got to take responsibility in what I eat and how the food makes me feel. It is Chinese tradition that one of the most important time for a woman to care for her health is postpartum. For every Chinese girl, the month after giving birth is the golden time to mend the body, to rid of toxins, and to rebuild inner strength and qi for future endeavors. In Taiwan, postpartum care centers are big business, almost all my girl friends have gone to them after giving birth. In these postpartum care center, they prescribe you with special diets which follow the traditional Chinese medicine theory, they help you care for the baby and they also give you baby caring tips during the entire month. This sounds like absolute luxury and a dream for the women giving birth overseas. In the states, there are actually quite a few postpartum care center on the west coast, but there are only a few of them on the east coast. It is such a new thing that there really aren't too many options, if you're interested, please read this New York times article about it. I've noticed in the last couple of years that there have been more and more postpartum meal delivery services, this is good news. And if I ever consider having a baby, I would be able to choose from these services. I know many Chinese women order frozen meals from the west coast, but fresh and frozen are entirely different. Fresh meals will retain more nutrition from the ingredients and much better for the moms and babies.

Various Berries in the Woods

巧媳婦養生餐的Corinna在六月時從部落格和我聯絡, 問我對於月子餐有沒有興趣試用, 但畢竟我並沒有懷孕也沒有懷孕過的經驗, 所以我一開始是沒有答應的。但後來自己google發現原來除了月子餐之外, 巧媳婦還提供了生理期的調養餐, 我又回頭聯絡了Corinna並表示我想試用的意願, Corinna開心的答應並詳細的介紹了公司理念及餐點給我聽。 巧媳婦的起源如我之前敘述的一樣, 老闆娘也認為紐約真的很少有專門坐月子的服務, 加上她本身一直都喜歡研究養生及月子的部分, 因此經過考量決定創業來服務在紐約的準媽媽們。但女生的調養期不止月子, 所以因此除了月子餐, 老闆娘也設計了生理餐及小產(月子)餐。所有料理的調味都以古法的清淡為主, 讓食材真正的味道當主角, 材料也選擇當季及新鮮的。調味的清淡, 食材的高纖利水也都是為了不要造成五臟六腑的負擔並能讓身體有效排除身體累積的廢物及污血。

Corinna Wu from Cute Mama contacted me in June to see if I was interested in testing their postpartum meals. She read through my blog and knew that I had a huge interest in health-related cuisine so she thought I would be interested. I was not (am not) pregnant and have never been pregnant so I thought I was not a good target audience for their meals so I initially rejected the offer. But after googling a bit, I found out that Cute Mama actually offers something interesting, which is a 4-day diet for women on menstruation. If you follow the thoughts of Chinese medicine, through puberty, during menstrual cycles, postpartum and during menopause are all excellent periods of time for women to rejuvenate their bodies, from inside out. After learning about the menstrual diet, I contacted Corinna again to express my interest in the tasting. She happily replied and also gave me a thorough introduction of the company. The owner of Cute Mama, like me, felt like New York was lacking good postpartum care options. She is an enthusiast in health and have studied quite a bit about postpartum diets. After some thoughts and planning, she opened Cute Mama, with the goal of helping new moms in New York and deliver great postpartum meals. But because the opportunities for women's care does not stop at postpartum, she also designed menus for women going through menstrual cycles and also for women who've had miscarriages. All of the meals are prepared with the traditional thoughts in mind, with light seasoning, to let the main ingredients shine. She also carefully select seasonal and fresh ingredients. The light seasoning and fibrous nature of the meals also create less stress to your digestive systems, liver, gallbladder and kidney so they can properly rid of toxins during these special times.

From farmers market today

我今年自從開始吃全素後, 生理期的困擾幾乎都消失了, 但是我還是很好奇調養身體祛寒補氣該吃些什麼。在試用這個生理餐前, 我仔細的和Corinna解釋了我食用全素的想法, 也希望老闆娘能配合我不要使用蛋奶, 她們對我的挑剔要求都一一答應, 也約好在七月讓我使用這為期四天的餐點。除了試用巧媳婦的餐點好不好吃之外, 我也抱著測試自己既有知識的心想看看我平常對於保養身體該使用的食材是不是都還算了解, 看到這些食材時是不是可以認的出來。接下來介紹為期四天的餐點。

Ever since I've started eating vegan, most of my physical discomforts during menstruation have disappeared, but I was still curious if I was caring for myself properly in terms of the Chinese traditional way. Am I giving my body enough "yang" ingredients for it to stay in balance, am I giving my body enough produce that promotes better circulation to boost my "qi"? Before doing the tasting, I explained to Corinna about my vegan diet and thoughts, and I requested the menu to be redesigned into a vegan menu. Not only were they quick to understand my needs, they accommodated all my requests. We decided I would give the four-day diet a shot in July. Besides the main goal, which is to see if Cute Mama provides delicious meals, I also wanted to see if I would recognize the ingredients they use, and if I knew why they added these ingredients for me. It is my goal to know about eating well in both the western ways and the eastern ways. It's all about a balance to me. And now let's take a look at what I had during these four days.

第一天 / Day 1:

早餐有可口清淡的蓮藕粥, 蓮藕有活血的功效, 而且一早起床吃軟性食物對腸胃是非常好的。

Light and savory lotus root with rice porridge for breakfast, lotus root is famous for aiding blood circulation, an excellent vegetable to eat during menstrual cycle. Plus soft food is great for mornings because they are really easy on your digestive systems.

P7174636 養生蓮藕粥 / Lotus Root Porridge

午餐有三品, 份量算蠻大的, 尤其是湯品的部分, 所以我吃了一半, 另一半分給老公吃。其中非常喜歡三彩菠菜中的黑木耳, 還有補氣鍋中的黃芪。

There are three courses for lunch, the serving portion is quite large so I was only able to finish half and gave the other half to my husband. I especially loved the black wood ear mushroom with the spinach and the milk vetch root (a common type of chinese herbal medicine) in the soup, it boosts the Qi in your body.

P7174640 高纖牛蒡炒飯 / Fiberous Gobo Fried Rice

P7174635 三彩菠菜 / Tri-color Veggie with Spinach

P7174631 升提補氣鍋 / Energizing Stew

下午的點心也是粥品, 因為午餐份量不小所以只吃完了一半。

The snack for the afternoon is also a porridge, I was still quite full from lunch so I only finished half of it.

P7174638 蔬菜燕麥粥 / Vegetable Oat Porridge

飲品是我最喜歡的黑糖薑茶。

Drink of the day is my most favorite ginger tea with muscovado sugar, this drink helps aiding the female body with more yang energy.

P7174641 黑糖薑茶 / Ginger Tea with Muscovado Sugar

第二天 / Day 2:

早餐也是蓮藕粥, 但好吃沒得抱怨。

Lotus root porridge again for breakfast, still tasty, no complaints.

P7184645 養生蓮藕粥 / Lotus Root Porridge

今天的午餐還是只能吃下一半。 本來奶油我以為是葷的後來才知道是植物性奶油。今天的湯品料多但也還是清淡好喝。

I could still only finish half of the lunch items today. I had thought the buttery taste from the asparagus was from real butter then I found out it was from vegetable butter. Lots of ingredients in the soup today but it's still light and tasty.

P7184661 高纖牛蒡炒飯 / Fiberous Gobo Fried Rice

P7184660 奶油蘆筍 / Asparagus with Vegan Butter

P7184658 田園鮮蔬湯 / Garden Vegetable Soup

最喜歡的甜湯之一, 我自己也常煮來吃!

One of my most favorite snack that I would make myself as well, I love this thing!

P7184646 黑糖老薑地瓜湯 / Sweet Potato soup with Aged Ginger and Muscovado Sugar

飲品又有補氣的黃芪, 還有養血的桂圓, 好喝!

Drink of the day has the great milk vetch root and the equally amazing dried longan. (Dried longan increase blood circulation.)

P7184656 桂圓黃芪茶 / Milk Vetch Root Tea with Dried Longan

第三天 / Day 3:

有補血補氣的紅棗及核桃, 會讓氣色好起來的早餐。

Jujube and walnuts help with blood circulation and inner Qi, with good inner energy, your face would look brighter. It's one of the basic rules of Chinese nutritional theories.

P7194676 美膚核棗粥 / Walnut Jujube Beautifying Porridge

今天午餐的湯品有我最喜歡的蓮藕及玉米, 紅蘿蔔也一起增加了甜味。糙米飯也非常可口。

There are my favorites lotus root and corn in the soup for lunch, the carrots also add extra sweetness to the dish. Other than the soup, the brown rice dish was also very tasty.

P7194677 養顏糙米蔬菜飯 / Vegetable with Brown Rice

P7194679 香炒南瓜時蔬 / Stir-fried Seasonal Vegetable with Pumpkin

P7194680 蓮藕玉米湯 / Lotus Root with Corn Soup

黑芝麻是眾所皆知最有養分的種子之一, 再加上核桃, 會給你好精神。這道芝麻糊的粘稠度有點不一, 但食材的組合是好的。

Black sesame has been known as one of the most nutritious seeds, along with walnuts, they give you tremendous energy. The execution for this dish was not exactly how I imagined, but the ingredients are great for you.

P7194673 核桃芝麻糊 / Black Sesame and Walnut Porridge

清淡又好喝的飲品, 我愛菊花茶!

Light and delicious drink of the day, I love Chrysanthemum!

P7194670 菊花陳皮蜜茶 / Chrysanthemum with Aged Orange Peel Tea

第四天 / Day 4:

最後一天也是好氣色粥品。

Beautifying porridge on the last day as well.

P7194676 美膚核棗粥 / Walnut Jujube Beautifying Porridge

午餐的口味變得比較清淡, 份量還是很足夠, 絕對夠一個人吃。

Flavorings for lunch is becoming lighter at the end of this therapy course, but the portion is still very generous, definitely enough for one person.

P7194677 養顏糙米蔬菜飯 / Vegetable with Brown Rice

P7214701 枸杞高麗菜 / Cabbage with Goji Berries

P7214715 蘿蔔鮮菇湯 / Mushroom with Daikon Soup

也是我很喜歡的甜湯之一, 但這個點心竟然忘了拍照, 太開心一下就吃掉了。

The dried longan and lotus seed soup is also one of my favorites, but I actually forgot to take a photo of this one. I was probably way too excited and finished it before I even thought about it.

桂圓蓮子湯 / Dried Longan with Lotus Seed Soup

最後的飲品也是好喝的菊花茶。

Great ending with the delicious chrysanthemum tea.

P7194670 菊花陳皮蜜茶 / Chrysanthemum with Aged Orange Peel Tea

巧媳婦附贈 / Extras from Cute Mama:

這兩道湯品是讓我參考葷食者可用的餐點, 因為我們在吃素所以就分給朋友食用了。

The following two soup are extras for me to see what non-vegetarians could have in the meals. Since we're vegan, so we gave both of these away to friends.

P7214712 當歸排骨湯 / Pork Ribs Soup with Dang Gui

P7214705 雞湯 / Chicken Soup

吃完了四天的養生餐, 我覺得口味不錯, 食材也都新鮮, 每天有不同的補氣活血元素, 是絕對可以列入將來如果要坐月子的考慮店家。畢竟都是在紐約, 能每天收到新鮮的食物真的非常加分。另外價格也是合理的, 生理餐有優惠是$160, 四天能吃到這麼多東西其實真的不貴。對於月子餐有興趣的朋友, 30天是$2100, 一個星期是$560, 通常大家都是訂購30天的吧, 也比較划得來。另外小產後要養身的女生也可以考慮訂購餐點, 一個星期是$560, 兩個星期是$1100。如果有興趣的話直接跟Corinna聯絡吧, 至於這次的試吃, 我非常開心又多認識了一個有良心又有品質的公司, 也更仔細的了解要怎麼照顧自己!

After the four-day diet, I feel like the food is quite tasty, the ingredients are fresh, and there are different elements in the meals to boost my qi and help my blood circulation. It is definitely one of the contenders if I were to give birth in the future. The best thing is that Cute Mama is located in New York, being able to receive fresh meals everyday is such a plus. And the price is actually quite reasonable and very comparable to the other services. The four-day meal was $160, it's reasonable considering the amount the food you would get. For postpartum, the 30-day meal is $2100, the 7-day meal is $560. Also, for the women who are trying to mend after miscarriages,the 7-day meal is $560 and the 14-day meal is $1100. If you're interested, contact Corinna directly, she is extremely helpful and sweet. As for me, I'm just glad I tried the diet and got to know a great service!

巧媳婦台式月子養生餐 / Cute Mama Cooking Tel: (718) 697-1664

Corinna Wu Email: corinna50@hotmail.com

Facebook 粉絲頁/ Facebook Page