Everyone knows Mayim Bialik from either Blossom or The Big Bang Theory. Fewer people know that this L.A. native also holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience, has two youngsters, and is currently touring the country behind her new parenting book, Beyond the Sling. Bialik holds down a vegan kosher household, and while it adds an “extra level of vigilance” to her diet, she relaxes a bit when it comes to dining out. “I don’t only eat at kosher or vegan restaurants,” she says. “I like to visit vegan restaurants to show my support, but I eat everywhere.” That includes “veganizing” Gordon Ramsay at the London in New York, finding decent Thai food in every city she lands in, and indulging in the occasional square(s) of dark chocolate. Savor all of this and more, as Bialik travels betwixt her hometown, Chicago, and New York in this week’s L.A. Diet.
Wednesday, February 29
Nightline was at the house filming for seven hours. They got here early; we started hair and makeup around nine o’clock. And we kept on with the interview all day. I had a cold, so I didn’t eat a normal breakfast. We treat the kids first, of course. And then I had an avocado and apple during the morning filming.
When we broke for lunch, I had vegan turkey on sprouted grain bread for lunch, with Vegenaise. For dinner, we ordered in because we had such a crazy day at the house. There’s a Chinese place, our standard in the Valley, Kung Pao China Bistro. I had veggie mu-shu without egg, an order of pan-fried vegetable dumplings, and a little bit of Kung Pao tofu. We usually don’t do desserts in general.
Thursday, March 1
This was the day before I left for Chicago, so it was a busy day. I was finishing packing for the trip, and running a lot of errands. I had Chinese leftovers for breakfast. For lunch, I had a vegan pita pizza, which we make ourselves using Daiya cheese with some sauce.
For dinner, we ordered in again. We normally don’t order in that much, but we didn’t want anything in the fridge since we’d all be gone. My parents came over for dinner; another reason we ordered in. This time we went to a Thai Vegan restaurant called Vegan Plate. I had a “cowboy burger,” I think it’s a seitan burger, a couple fries, and vegan Thai iced.
Friday, March 2
I was going to Chicago for Texas Instruments, and had a 6 a.m. flight, so I ate on the plane. Because I’m vegan, most airplane food is out, so I had a half a bagel and some melon. I don’t drink coffee, but because I’m getting over this cold, I had some herbal tea. It was too early to reasonably drink alcohol.
I went straight to the hotel for the TI gig, and ordered room service, and ate while they did my hair and makeup. I ordered a pizza, no cheese topped with artichokes, onions, and olives. And a green salad. I ate part of it for lunch, and then finished it when I had a dinner break.
I was there for a teacher convention, being unveiled as a new spokesperson for Texas Instruments. I never left the Hyatt, making appearances all day. I did get to meet the guy who invented the TI81, the first calculator I owned as a high school student, which was great. They had a reception that night, and had the hotel do a whole vegan spread. There were tiny little steamed dumplings tied closed with a little scallion piece, like little purses. Tofu strips with barbecue sauce. Little bruschettas. And they had a raw vegetable crudite, I had some jicama and bell pepper. I had a martini and five squares of dark chocolate with sea salt.
Saturday, March 3
I was running around the hotel doing more appearances for TI. We handed out calculators to two inner city schools and I sat in on a teacher training seminar. That day I just had a banana and a grilled vegetable wrap, and then I was off to New York that night. Oh, and I had more chocolate squares.
When I got to New York, I had an three-and-a-half-hour, awesome Italian dinner at Basso 56 with a friend. It was recommended by the concierge at the London Hotel, where I was staying. They didn’t have any vegan pasta, so I basically ordered every vegan appetizer. I had a spinach-and-beet salad with vinaigrette, a steamed artichoke with minted breadcrumbs, and a raw artichoke arugula salad with a lemon vinaigrette. And a ton of table bread, and the olives that were soaking in olive oil on the table. Plus, three glasses of wine. It was really great. I went back to the London and had vegan sorbet, chocolate mandarin, and cassis with a pot of tea.
Sunday, March 4
I had the day to myself before my husband and kids arrived, so I went to visit a friend in Flatbush and had some tea. And then I went to Angelica’s Kitchen, a great vegan place in the Village. Because I still wasn’t feeling well, I had the kombu broth and a vegetable juice with ginger. I also had these potato fritters (a portion of the money went to support agriculture), and a piece of cornbread.
Later, I ate at Gordon Ramsay in the hotel. My husband joked that if Gordon Ramsay knew I veganized all of his food he probably wouldn’t want me eating there. But I had a pizza with no cheese, some fried artichokes with no sauce, and a bloody Mary.
Then my husband and boys arrived and we went out for Thai food at a place called Chai Thai Kitchen, right around the corner from the hotel, a really small place. I had pad Thai tofu and a peanut dumpling, which I found really sweet. I wasn’t sure about it.
Monday, March 5
The book tour started that day, so I was up early getting hair and makeup done by 7 a.m. I didn’t eat until after my first appearance at CNN. I ate at Le Pain Quotidien because they have some great vegan options. I had vegan chili, yep, at 10 a.m., with vegan sour cream and a side of quinoa tabouli. Then we had a ton of phone interviews scheduled for the day, but my voice was weak so we cancelled them. I rested, and then went to Gordon Ramsay and ate fried artichokes again, with fries and a Coke.
Later, more interviews, and then I took a dinner break while getting made up for my evening talk at the Manhattan JCC. In the hotel room with the boys, I had a few fried artichokes again and a slice of cheeseless pizza. After the JCC talk, I had vegan blondies that my friends Jenna and Samantha made for me and brought to the JCC. Then I had some popcorn at the hotel and went to bed.