All posts tagged pennsylvania

A Taste of Philly

Published August 21, 2014 by Maryanne

SAM_5757Eastern State Penitentiary

The past couple days my husband and I spent some time relaxing and sight seeing in Philadelphia, PA. For our privacy, though we’ve taken hundreds of photos we decided not to share with the public, but rather select a few cool highlights. One was the Eastern State Penitentiary where Al Capone stayed. We spent over two hours on a guided tour that was absolutely awesome. Definitely worth checking out:

Of places we ate, the favorite  was Fare Restaurant ( — all organic, local and sustainable. The service was excellent. Even a waitress who wasn’t taking care of us kept looking toward our table and smiling. I asked for sweet potatoes in replacement of white and we weren’t even charged extra. And the food was just perfect! Definitely a place I’d love to go back to.

We stayed at a lovely hotel at a waterfront, with a pool and sauna. So in addition to sight seeing, relaxing was in the picture as well.

On the last day we checked out the Liberty Bell and where the Declaration of Independence was signed, as well as many gift shops. So much to explore and definitely worth going back. It was only my second time in Philly.

SAM_5832View from our room

INTERVIEW: Raw Food Author, Mary Jane Humes

Published November 11, 2012 by Maryanne

Raw Food Cook Book Author, Mary Jane Humes

Mary Jane Gives Us the Raw Deal

By Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

A few months ago I had the opportunity to proofread upcoming “Super Raw Cook Book” by Mary Jane Humes and Rhonda Dunlap. It was an honor to recently interview Mary Jane via telephone for my personal blog. Mary Jane is awesome! We think alike in that while we both are big fans of raw food, we are not vegans. We bonded over our love for raw milk and raw eggs. She even tried a raw egg recipe I gave her which she speaks of in this interview. Enjoy this truly down-to-earth talk with an expert who is living it!  

Mary Jane Humes is one of those lucky people who grew up in a healthy environment. She grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania in the 1970s. Her dad was a farmer and her mom was the type of person that had to have everything homemade. The health bible of their household was “Back to Eden” by Jethro Kloss. “Everybody’s who’s into healthy eating knows about it,” said Mary Jane.

And their family doctor was a chiropractor and a nutritionist who had his own health food store. She said, “In his waiting room, it was always packed. You’d always hear success stories. If people had a cold they’d go to this chiropractor. He did magical things.”

At a young age, Mary Jane was rebellious. “I wanted cupcakes, potato chips … that’s what my friends had,” she said. But that changed as she grew a little older.

“My mother had me when she was thirty-nine,” Mary Jane said. “When I got a little older, I realized my family was older. I wanted to keep them alive and well as long as I could. My mother used to get the catalogs from GNC. They were better way back then. I loved going through them. I begged her to order me Vitamin C when I was ten, twelve [years old].”

And to this day, Mary Jane’s mom is very well because of the years of taking care of herself. Mary Jane said, “When she was younger, she had a lot of stress. She told me she had bad acne. Back then the common thing, chocolate, caused acne. She was a very disciplined person. She’d make a bar of chocolate last a whole week. She had her vitamins. She’d take her vitamins every morning. She’d take unbleached flour … raw sugar. Very nutritionally minded … that’s how I grew up.”

Mary Jane took her mother’s healthy mindset with her throughout adulthood. It was always in the back of her mind. She went on to college and became a nurse, but the medical mindset just didn’t sit right with her. “I was so into natural ways of healing that I just felt to put drugs in people was not the right way. I’m not anti-drugs, but we are just far too dependent on drugs.”

With Mary Jane’s natural background she decided to start a raw food website two years ago:

“Food should be our first supplement, instead of living on junk food,” she said. “I learned so much about raw foods. I learned how to make green smoothies.”

Some of the positive benefits of raw foods, according to Mary Jane, were energy and weight loss. “I was never two hundred or three hundred pounds,” she said. “I’d say I lost thirty pounds. I hate scales. I go by the way my clothes feel.”

Mary Jane swears by her green smoothies. If she starts her morning with a green smoothie, she feels she can pass on candy, although she does allow herself to indulge. “That’s my little secret here,” she said.

But the raw food diet also comes with challenges. “Raw food is not convenient,” she said. “It’s easy to grab a burger and eat it. If I don’t have raw food prepared and ready, I’ll go for something out of a can. It’s prep work. Sometimes life gets in my way. I don’t want to make my own food.”

And traveling is tough too according to Mary Jane. “I’m not a diehard raw foodie,” she said. “If I’m traveling, I’m going to travel light as possible. I want to experience something I can’t get at home. Instead of a stupid t-shirt or mug, I want the food. That’s my souvenir.”

Unlike many raw foodists who are vegans, Mary Jane consumes dairy and eggs. “I’m weird that way,” she said. “Thanks to you, I’ve found great recipes with my eggs, with the raw orange juice.” And luckily for Mary Jane, raw milk is legal in Pennsylvania. She said, “I’m so blessed where I don’t have to sneak around to get it. I’ve always liked milk and thought milk was good for you until I realized the pasteurized was so bad.”

Because Mary Jane consumes raw dairy and raw eggs, she finds it easier to be a raw foodist and considers Carol Alt her favorite raw food guru. “She’s a non-vegan,” said Mary Jane. “That’s almost sacrilegious in the raw world.”

Mary Jane’s upcoming book, which she co-authored with Rhonda Dunlap, “Super Raw Cook Book” is a “work in progress” which she hopes to be published by Christmas in hard copy from Create Space on Amazon. Raw food author and advocate Paul Nison wrote the foreword.

Her future plans include marketing the book and spending more time on her website. Aside from Mary Jane’s raw journey her other interests include tending to her seven animals (three cats, two dogs and two bunnies) and being a Sunday school teacher.


Hershey and Carlisle, Pennsylvania Weekend Trip

Published June 24, 2012 by Maryanne

Me, at a 1970s computer

Car show, Hershey, Pa

Recreation of 1960s drive-ins, in car museum

1962 Manza GT Concept, 1963 – sibling of the Corvette


This weekend, my husband and I took a long weekend to Hershey, Pennsylvania to see the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum, which took you on a trip through time from the late 1800s with the carriages to mass production in the 1920s giving everyone a chance to own a car up to the 1970s where you could see a variety of antique cars and motorcycles.

The pictures here speak for themselves, but you can also Google the official website to see more, including videos.

I highly recommend going here for a visit. We spent over two hours in the museum, as well as the car show that was outside. Some of the trailers had other cool stuff like the 1970s computer I’m picture at in the photo above, and a ton of memorabilia from yesteryear.

Hershey, Pa.

Going to Hershey for the first time was very cool. In the heart of the town all the streets are painted chocolate brown. You can even smell the chocolate as you pass the factory! Streets had cutesy names like “Cocoa Avenue.” Street lamps were Hershey’s kisses, some wrapped in the silver foil, others unwrapped showcasing the milk chocolate in all its glory. It was simply adorable!

Health Food

I was also happy to re-visit a restaurant we went to a few years ago called The Green Room in Carlisle. It’s a healthy restaurant with raw and vegan choices and also has organic meats. I had a cold beet soup, pickled watermelon and carrot/ginger juice. For dessert, we shared an amazing mango/coconut/chia pudding! YUM! I honestly have to say I liked this food as much as I like Pure Food & Wine in NYC. When my birthday comes this year, I may want to go back to The Green Room to celebrate.

Carlisle has an amazing health food store called Appalachian Whole Foods. They have organic produce, as well as raw milk! But I waited until Sunday and got raw goat’s milk at The Healthy Grocer in Camp Hill, Pa. The Healthy Grocer was huge and similar to my favorite health food store in New Jersey — Dean’s. The Healthy Grocer had some homemade delights that I really enjoyed such as pickled organic hard boiled eggs and organic beet and apple salad. And we brought home some chocolate zucchini cookies — which are already GONE!

Other oddities

One of the amusing things we saw on this trip is a “Dog Wash.” It was in the back of a gas station. People who take their dogs on trips can take their dogs to wash them. It’s coin operated with a sink for dogs to sit in. What a clever idea! I’ve never seen them before.

Another odd thing was NICE PEOPLE! We couldn’t figure out if people were nice because they were on vacation, or just nice because they aren’t living in New Jersey or NYC. Everyone was smiling and cordial, holding doors open for you, saying “hello,” etc.

People talked to us in the hotel lobby, in the pool, at the car museum. Everywhere we went, people smiled at us and said a few words.

We went an entire LONG weekend without any bullshit from anyone. And that is so rare when you live in New Jersey or NYC.

When we left the hotel early this afternoon, my husband walked into the check out area, while I waited in the car. I saw a man pass him, say “hello” and held the door open for him. Then the same man saw me in the car and waved to me. I thought to myself, Wow, where does this super nice man come from?

I watched him get into his car and I looked at the license plate.

It said, “New York.”

It’s amazing, a change of scenery does wonders for everyone!