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Eat: Not Your Sugar Mamas chocolate chip “be kookies.” With the slow but steady emergence of juice shops, salad bars, and vegetarian restaurants, New Orleans is, dare I say, strolling towards healthier culinary framework.

Self-procliamed Uptown “wellness boutique” Raw Republic (4528 Magazine), as its name suggests, offers a bevy of raw juice products, as well as an assortment of intense juice cleanse. The wellness boutique has rather adeptly realized that if folks are going to substitute their 500-calorie frappuccino with a bottle of raw juice, they’re not about to enjoy it with a colossal apple fritter. Subsequently, Raw Republic offers a selection of healthy baked goods in store. One such item is a healthy cookie from Martha’s Vineyard-based organic bakery/confectionary Not Your Sugar Mamas.

Though not exactly carrot and celery sticks, in the realm of baked goods, the cookies, or “be kookies” as Not Your Sugar Mamas refers to them, are about as healthy of an option as you’ll find. The cookies ($12 for an 8.5 oz. package of four) consist of a brief list of 7 ingredients, each of which is recorded with the item’s health benefits.

Meet: Arana Taqueria Y Cantina. Amidst NOLA’s recent influx of Latin food comes Arana Taqueria Y Cantina (3242), specializing in food from the Yucatan region of Mexico, in Byblos’ former space on Magazine. The menu includes authentic Yucatan dishes such as mole chicken, steak chilaquiles, and pulled pork tostadas, as well as a slew of tacos — from lengua (braised beef tongue) to ancho marinated duck to beer-battered fish.

And because taco specials need not be a deal exclusive to Tuesdays, the cantina also runs a happy hour Monday through Friday, from 3 – 7 PM, offering half-priced tacos ($2 – $2.50), sangria, margaritas, beer, and wines by the glass.

Drink: At the Stein’s/ District Donuts and Sliders happy hour. Stein’s Deli (2207 Magazine) and neighboring donut/slider eatery District have recently teamed up for a joint Thursday happy hour special. From 3 – 6 PM, Stein’s offers a trio of $1.50 beers: Abita Strawberry, All Day IPA, and NOLA Rebirth; District offers $2.50 cheeseburger sliders…because food-less sets of $1.50 beers is a dangerous game to play.

Wear: Crawfish-inspired Nikes. First came the crawfish, then came the crawfish brew and now…crawfish footwear.

Local skateboard shop Rukus, a participant in Nike’s “Support Your Local” program (a platform that enables independent board companies to produce and sell locally-inspired skate-wear under the Nike umbrella), will release crustacean-inspired “Dunk Low Crawfish” shoes. The flat bottom skate shoes’ design combines the aesthetic elements of a boil: the crawfish — maroon flecked red bands, corn — yellow interiors, and newspaper-lined tables — a newsprint panel behind the red Nike swoosh. The shoes will be sold exclusively at Rukus (locations in Baton Rogue, Mandeville, and Lafayette).

Say what?: Crawfish study may help regenerate neurons in humans. It’s been a big week for crawfish. Apparently the little buggers have value that extends beyond a culinary realm.

New Scientist recently reported that researchers at Wellsely College have been using crawfish — or “crayfish,” as the non-New Orleanian researchers and writer refer to them — in a study on neuron regeneration. Crawfish “can convert blood to neurons that resupply their eyestalks and smell circuits,” the article reports. And of equal importance, the regenerated neurons can be transferred from one crustacean to another. While there are certainly some critical differences between human and crawfish anatomy and physiology, researches say the study “could offer new therapeutic ways of doing the same with human cells.”


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