Behind Closed Doors: Nicole Berrie


When we need a little light, a little inspiration for staying fit and beautifully fed, we head to Bonberi, one of our favorite sites for recipes and tips on staying well. Nicole Berrie, Bonberi's founder and editor, seems to have the lock on stylish healthy living. She dives deep while keeping it real and makes it look easy. Her recipes are simple and accessible but alive with vital nutrients, so naturally we couldn't wait to take a peek inside her growing family's fridge. For more on Nicole, head here. And join us later this month in our West Village store as Nicole and master colonic therapist, Gil Jacobs, breakdown the basics of Food Combining, Nicole's go-to method for staying healthy and fit. Come ready for radical change. RSVP here.

Forget the eyes. You could say the inside of a someone's fridge might be considered a window into their soul. At least, that would be the case for me. Sometimes it's a happy place, sometimes it's a scary place, and most times it’s a “strategically” messy place, so when CAP Beauty asked to take a peek inside I was simultaneously excited and terrified to bare my truth.

When it comes to my diet, I would say the guiding tenets are staying alkaline, plant-based and following a food combining lifestyle. That means tons of raw veggies and fruits, juices, smoothies and plenty of cooked vegetables and grains with the occasional raw or grass fed protein, prepared in a proper way for digestion. On most days, I juice and stay raw in the morning and during the day followed by salads and cooked meals, either starch or protein focused, in the evening or late afternoon. We have a two year old son so our fridge reflects his meals too and growing personal tastes, which I've come to realize are his own and my role is to gently guide him to make clean choices and when things are in my control, to provide the same foundation I give myself with room for fun!

Top Shelf: The home to all my fermented products, which I've come to depend on to incorporate probiotics into my regular diet (in addition to 3 probiotics, which I alternate between Renew Life, Metagenics and Dr. Ohira). This includes sauerkraut and pickles from The Pickle Guys on Essex Street. My colonic therapist and guru Gil Jacobs introduced me to them and they are the real deal. I wouldn't buy pickled things from anyone else. I usually have kimchi from my mom's Korean temple in New Jersey, they make the best. If not, I get vegan Mother-in-Law, which I find is the cleanest. I also get my miso from the Asian supermarket in K-town since they simply don't compare to the Western brands. Then there’s Dijon mustard, which I add to all my dressings and is key to the Bonberi Basic Vinaigrette. I also love Castelvatrano and Cerignola olives from Eataly. All these things are considered "neutral" on the food-combining spectrum so make amazing additions to salads and any old dish or snacking with raw veggies. I recently bought pickled Ume Plums, which I'm excited to test for a new salad dressing. As for nut butters my faves are Juice Press raw almond butter since they make it fresh and by batch and all natural peanut butter from Heermance Farm Purveyors, which I use for Asian peanut sauces.

Main Shelf: The amount of vegetables and fruit we buy is kind of obscene. We make green juice every morning so that means constantly restocking on lacinato kale, Fuji and green apples, fennel, romaine. celery and lemons. I use the same ingredients for my salads but sometimes the boxes of arugula and baby romaine are just easier. I'll use one box for one salad, so those go fast too. I love snacking on cucumbers. My favorite are Kirbys from the farmer's market or organic Persian, which are harder to find. I always have broccoli, cauliflower and zucchini on hand for our son's soups and dinners. Right now radishes are in season so we have a ton including the rare watermelon radish, which is just so pretty. And fresh herbs are life. Especially in the Bonberi kitchen. I always have one or all of the following: dill, cilantro and mint to add to salads, soups, curries and juices.

We always keep leftovers for our son’s dinners or for a quick lunch. Right now it’s red lentil daal, mixed veggies and grass-fed, local bone broth from Hudson and Charles. Currently soaking black beans in water, apple cider vinegar and Kombu seaweed to help break them down before cooking them. There are some homemade carrot zucchini raisin muffins on hand, which my son takes as a snack to school.The drinks game usually consists of water, the occasional Pelligrino, raw coconut water from Harmless Harvest and that's it. Oh and Guru Organic Energy drink, which is based from ginkgo biloba and sweetened with stevia. My husband is a DJ and works nights so getting him to switch from Red Bull to this was life changing. He orders it by the case. We also usually have a loaf of bread whether it's Alvarado St. Bakery's sprouted sourdough or another sourdough rye from Bread Alone, Le Pain Quotidien or Balthazar.

Not exactly from the health food shop but Rao’s marinara is our favorite thing. I could eat it out of the jar! (And do.) All whole ingredients and you don’t need a lot to add to gluten-free pastas, spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles.

Other than berries and half-cut lemons, my fruits are usually in the fruit bowl not in the fridge, where I always have spotted bananas, apples, Asian pears, tomatoes and avocados, plus tons of clementines and persimmons during the winter.

Drawer: I keep raw goat and sheep's cheese from the raw milk co-op Udder Milk in here when I'm craving a "protein" day. Udder Milk makes a raw sheep's cottage cheese that's insane. Other raw goat or sheep cheese I like is Alta Dena or Shiloh Farms. This means I won't have any grains or starch vegetables that day. I like to eat this on top of salads or with crudite or I'll melt it over sauteed veggies or zucchini noodles and marinara for a decadent dinner. I'll also keep my nut cheeses in here for non-protein days, Kite Hill chive "cream cheese" or Daiya mozzarella shreds. And fresh curry leaves and kaffir lime leaves from Kalustyans for soups, curries and stews. And we always have grass fed butter, which we use for cooking.

The "Condiment" Door: Arguably my favorite part of the fridge. Includes my homemade habanero hot sauce, which requires grilling the peppers so it's almost gone. Pickled jalapenos, chopped kalamata olives, capers and pepperocini peppers to add to salads and pastas. And my son's trifecta of vitamins for his daily smoothie: Floradix for iron, Healthforce probiotic powder and Udo's Omega oil. I can't live without vegan mayo, either Sir Kensington Fabanaise or soy free Veganaise. I also go through jars of Seed and Mill Tahini particularly for the Bonberi Universal Dressing. I love that they make it fresh and minimizes the chance of rancidity, which can happen easily with nuts and seeds, hence why I keep in the fridge.

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