life: super powers not included

Category — Healthy Eating

In Which I Grocery Shop For You

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The consensus seems to be that you all would prefer I pushed you out of a plane instead of dumping you in an ocean full of sharks. Good to know.

I obviously share your aversion to giant creatures who have the ability to bite you in half. Yes, there’s a risk of death by splatter when you sky dive, but A. there’s only a possible chance the chute won’t work while sharks definitely find humans tasty, and B. it’s beyond fun. It’s actually one of the most fun things I’ve ever done.

Anyhow, I wanted to leave you with two products you should definitely try.

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Glutino gluten-free pretzels. I’m probably having a no-duh moment but it took me this long to find them, so I thought that, in the event you eat gluten free and have not found these, I wanted to enlighten you.

These pretzels taste like pretzels. Crazy, I know. But it’s always nice to find gluten-free products that taste like the ones with wheat.

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Next, for everyone else might I suggest some dried green mango slices? So, The Man picked these up at Trader Joe’s but didn’t realize they have sugar. I accidentally tried one before I realized that, of course. Here’s what I can tell you from my brief moment of bliss.

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They are tart.

They are sweet.

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They are the perfect snack. Or meal. I won’t judge.

They are addictive.

That is all.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend. What are your plans?

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May 27, 2011   11 Comments

The Everything-Free Diet: How It Looks

When I embarked on this new diet, I had a hard time getting into a pattern of eating. I mostly ate quesadillas because, really, what else do you eat when you can’t eat anything? The longer I’ve been on the diet, the easier it is to come up with new meal ideas. So I thought I’d spend today and tomorrow photographing my food for you.

This is how someone eats on a gluten-free, sugar-free vegan diet (that allows goat cheese). Note: I may have gotten better at this, but I’m nowhere near someone who can A. cook well and B. stand for a long period of time in order to cook.

DSC_0065Grits with diced red pepper, goat cheddar, and green pepper sauce.

Ah, breakfast. This was a bit different for me, and really a result of us having nothing else in the house. The Man was home in the morning, so he was able to make something for me that took a bit of time.

DSC_0083Farm-fresh strawberries

When The Man went to the grocery store in the afternoon, he came home with strawberries from a local farm. I had more than a handful of these. It was like an explosion of sweetness in my mouth. I’m pretty sure we’ll need to restock later this week.

Photo on 2011-05-23 at 19Me forgetting to take a photo of lunch.

So about my idea of photographing every meal… Yeah, I forgot about lunch. Rookie mistake. How about I describe it to you instead? Start with a plate. Add a bunch of sprouts to the center. Fill the rest of the plate with chopped cucumber. Top it all off with one tomato, sliced thin. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Can’t you just see it now? Er, if you can’t, just pretend. I ate the salad with some gluten-free pretzels and a guava kombucha. GUAVA KOMBUCHA! Sorry, I had to shout that. I’ve been waiting for my Whole Foods to carry it and yesterday was that day. In case you’re wondering, it’s worth the wait.

DSC_0095Greek salad with cucumber, tomato, green pepper, kalamata olives, and goat cheddar in an olive oil and red wine vinegar dressing.*

The Man worked late last night so we didn’t get to prepare dinner until around 10. (I burned earlier in the night, so I wasn’t motivated to make my dinner earlier.) Which meant I didn’t want anything complicated. Plus, I love Greek salads. True, this was a slight variation on my favorite—I prefer sheep or goat’s milk feta, but I was out so goat cheddar it was—but it was still good.

You better believe I followed this up with a large quantity of strawberries.

And that’s it, guys. I did want to make one last note: I realize this doesn’t add up to a ton of calories. And, truthfully, most days this is about the amount I eat. But before you start comparing yourself, remember how few calories I’m expending.

On a good day, I’m walking to and from the bathroom, kitchen, and living room. Each of you out there gets more exercise than me when you walk into work or grocery shop or walk to your car and back, so naturally you’ll need way more calories to get by. If I could be more active, I’d definitely eat more calories.

Kapiche?

How about a random question today? If you had to choose between going sky diving and swimming with the sharks (literally, not in the mafia sense of the phrase), which would you pick?

*Ah, night photos, how you look so terrible.

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May 25, 2011   17 Comments

Picky Eaters

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Welcome back. I hope you guys all had a great weekend. I spent Sunday with my two nephews and niece, which was all sorts of fun.

So I’m sitting there on the couch, basically one of the two places you’ll ever find me in the apartment (hint: the other’s the bed). The fan’s blasting, and I have my feet up. My 5-year-old nephew sits down next to me and stretches out so his feet are up on the pillow with mine. He turns to me and says, “This is nice. Relaxing. I never get to relax anymore.”

I died.

I just died again, typing that. Parents, how do you not self-combust with such adorable kidisms around you nonstop?

Speaking of kids…

In an effort to help parents, I thought I’d explain how to handle a picky eater. No, I don’t have kids. But I was a crazy picky eater when I was little. True, I still have a few food quirks (I won’t eat onions or garlic, for instance*) but on a whole I eat 70 percent more of different foods than I did as a kid.

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My point is that picky kids might don’t necessarily equal picky adults. If anything, picky kids equal somewhat-less-picky adults. And, truthfully, I’m a work in progress. Five years ago I hated avocados (it was a texture thing), but now I eat them in pretty much every meal.

Will I ever try bone marrow or sheep brains or pate? Probably not. But that’s okay. The point isn’t to be the most adventurous eater out there. It’s to eat a diet that’s well-balanced enough for you to get all of the nutrients you need. Technically living without ever eating truffles is still living. For serious.

There are two ways to deal with picky eaters. 1. Feed your kid whatever you eat so they get used to a variety of tastes. That’s the easy way.

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2. If you already have a picky eater on your hands, number 1’s not going to work. Unless you want to clean your floors with asparagus spears. Here’s what you do: Nothing.

Maybe this flies in the face of every parenting book—I did warn you that I don’t have kids—but being a picky eater isn’t like, oh I don’t know, not eating at all. Find some nutritious foods your kid will eat and make sure he or she eats them.

They’ll come around on their own. I promise. Tastes change as we age. It does for people who love everything and it does for picky eaters.**

Another thing, take that picky eater to the store, and ask them what they want. Yes, there’s a good chance you’ll leave with five boxes of mac ’n’ cheese, but they may discover something new. For me, it was fruit. As much as I hated trying new foods, I was on a mission to try every exotic fruit out there. So whenever we went to the grocery store, my mom bought me some. Focus on the healthy things your kid will eat.

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And, if all else fails, pay them off. I ate calamari for $20 and have loved it ever since.

Are you a picky eater? What’s one thing you’ll never, ever eat?

*I get a bad stomachache when I eat these. (And now garlic also makes me flare.) I thought it was just me, my mother, and my sister, but I recently read that onions and garlic share a compound called allicin. Some people online say they’re allergic or intolerant to the compound, and I’m starting to think that may be behind the pains I get after accidentally eating some.

**I know people who are Andrew Zimmern clones but hate tomatoes or lima beans or some other food I love. We all have foods we don’t like. It’s a matter of taste. So go easy on a kid who swears five ways till Tuesday that he’ll never, ever, not in a million years eat onions. Maybe his taste will change or maybe he’ll be 29 and still picking the onions out of his salsa.

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May 23, 2011   36 Comments

Chipotle Hummus Kale Chips

Kale chips

The first time The Man and I tried to make kale chips we ended up with crinkly kale that disintegrated when you picked it up.

(Note to wannabe kale chip chefs: Longer and hotter isn’t better.)

They were, um, OK. If you like kale dust.

Trial number two was much, much better. I was going to sprinkle some nutritional yeast over the kale because people all over these interwebs are saying it tastes like cheesy goodness.

Chipotle hummus

And then Trader Joe’s happened. More specifically, their chipotle hummus. They say ambrosia is nectar of the gods, but I’m pretty sure that’s a myth. Because this, spicy chipotle hummus, is more worthy of the title.

So I decided to make chipotle hummus kale chips. Are you ready for this?

Olive oil and hummus

Mix the hummus with olive oil to thin it out. You want it to coat the kale and get into all of its little nooks.

Chipotle hummus and oil

Mix well. You can use spoons or tongs, but you may as well prepare to get your hands dirty. It tastes better when fully coated.

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Spread on a baking sheet and sprinkle sea salt over the kale. Bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool before baking.

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I’ll admit, they don’t look great. But I promise they taste amazing—crunchy, salty, and spicy. And when you’re on the Everything-Free Diet, flavorful snacks like this are pretty much the best think, like, ever.

Have you ever make kale chips? How do you like them best?

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May 16, 2011   18 Comments

Dating Your Food

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Lust
You’re minding your own business, slowly counting down the minutes until the clock hits 5 when it happens. A craving. And not just any craving. You want it more than oxygen. There’s a bag of carrots waiting for you in the kitchen, but… You feed the lust by searching for images of the food online, as if the pixels on the screen can fill the void in your heart. And stomach.

Flirting
You’re not ready to commit—yet—so you test the waters. Maybe you go to the convenience store around the corner from work and just look at the candy bars dressed up so pretty. You pick one up, test out a few more. Or maybe you head to Starbucks, casting sideways glances at the glass case. The more you try to resist, the more you want it.

Jealousy
It’s not the right time, for you or for the food. You were about to believe that when the hot blonde chick with a waist the size of Barbie chirps her order for the very thing you’ve been lusting over for at least 30 minutes. How could she? That pastry and you were meant to be together, not the first floozy who threw herself at it. And now you know without a doubt that you must give in.

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Ecstasy
How could you have imagined a life without this food and all of its sugary/fatty/salty goodness? Everything is perfect now. If someone stuck you with a pin you probably wouldn’t know because your mind is somewhere between layers of Red Velvet cake and cheesecake frosting and nothing can hurt you now. There’s a good chance all of your problems will be solved by the time you’re done licking the cupcake wrapper.

Regret
Why did I do that? Everyone’s staring at me. Oh my gosh, I’m that girl who makes out with her foot in public. How did I not notice all of the looks—or the piece of paper with “get a room” scrolled across it that someone lay on the table? Why did you do this to me? Expletive! You knew my resolve was weak and I was having a bad hair day and YOU TEASED ME ANYWAY AND NOW LOOK WHAT YOU’VE DONE. WE’RE OVER.

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Pleading
I know I left you in the fridge with a stinky baloney sandwich and someone’s leftover Indian takeout while I cheated on you with something so rich and decadent all the girls want it. It was meaningless. You’re my true love. I NEED YOU TO LOVE ME AGAIN SO WE CAN GO HOME AND I CAN EAT A GIANT SALAD AND ALL WILL BE RIGHT WITH THE WORLD AGAIN. ALSO, YOU LOOK ESPECIALLY RIPE TODAY.

Make up
You will never do that again. You will make all of the healthy foods feel loved and cherished every time you open the fridge. You will dream about them at work and nothing else. And if you’re hungry you’ll eat them and enjoy it more than you enjoyed the Food That Shall Not Be Named. It was a fling, you tell yourself. A stupid, childish thing. But you’re smarter now. You know better.

Eat me.source

Temptation
Oh, hi.

Hey guys, I’m also guest posting today on MizFit’s blog. If you want to head over there and read my post on dealing with exercise injuries or illnesses, I would smile so big my cheeks hurt.

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May 11, 2011   14 Comments

On a Roll

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So it’s not exactly the exciting asparagus, pineapple, and cucumber roll that I showed you yesterday, but last night’s dinner was good nonetheless.

Enter sushi.

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Avocado and cucumber

Because avocado makes everything better.

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Carrot and squash

The occurrence of anything but cucumber, avocado, and asparagus on a sushi menu is as rare as Halley’s Comet. I had to get it.

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Asparagus

Because the place didn’t do asparagus and pickled radish for whatever insane reason. (I’m trying out new sushi places around us.)

Studies have shown sushi tastes 1.34 bajillion times better when preceded by miso soup. Unfortunately for me, this place didn’t offer miso to go. It’s a shame, but at least the sushi was good.

Of course, I’m not sure any place will compare to my first sushi experience. The vegetarian sushi list was crazy long. I remember the rolls I got perfectly: apple, sweet potato, and carrot (the perfect amount of sweet to go with the salty-spicy wasabi soy sauce) and cucumber, red pepper, carrot and avocado.

Which is why I need to learn how to roll my own sushi. Is it possible to lack this basic life skill? Will I fail miserably and hate myself for not ordering out?

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You probably can’t tell, but I liked it.

I dished on my favorite sushi, like, ever. What’s yours?

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May 3, 2011   20 Comments

Recipe Ideas

As you know, I’m on this everything-free diet, which means I’m on the lookout for new recipes (that do no involve tofu because, um, ick.) I thought I’d share some of my picks from last week. Not all are gluten-free and vegan. For some, I’d skip the cheese or go with goat’s milk. For others I’d use a gluten-free grain.

Here we go…

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Creamy avocado, arugula, broccoli soup from Honest Fare

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Twice-baked potatoes from The Kitchen Sink

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Husband’s healing stew from Oh She Glows

Cauliflower-quinoa salad

Warm salad of roast cauliflower and quinoa from Stone Soup

GF biscuits

Gluten-free savory baking powder biscuits from I Heart Wellness

seasonal spring sushi asparagus pineappleAsparagus, pineapple, and cucumber sushi from Peas & Crayons

lentil bolognese

Lentil bolognese from Prevention RD

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Artichoke and white bean dip from Food, Fitness, FreshAir

What are you cooking this week? (Yeah, sandwiches and cereal count.)

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May 2, 2011   21 Comments

It’s About The Bread

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Let’s talk about gluten-free bread.

There are some terrible, terrible gluten-free breads. If you’re curious, try rice bread. And then take a piece of sandpaper to your tongue to remove the taste.

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There are some good breads, though I’ve only found one: Udi’s.

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Generic wheat bread > the best gluten-free bread.

If this is wheat bread:

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This is gluten-free bread:

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Which is to say it’s dry. Like, 12 Saltines in your mouth dry.

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Homemade gluten-free bread may look really good, but be warned: It takes effort. One that you—if you were, say, a certain girl with a certain superpowerless blog—might not want to waste.

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Never try to eat a sandwich on untoasted or ungrilled gluten-free bread. You will end up with a sandwich salad.

Toasted and grilled bread don’t crumble to pieces at the sight of a hand.

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Grilled gluten-free bread’s actually pretty good.

Especially when topped with goat cheddar and mozzarella, tomatoes and avocado—and then grilled.

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You might crave a few slices of rustic wheat bread.

Even so, you’ll be satisfied.

And that’s all that matters.

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April 29, 2011   19 Comments

From the Garden

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Well I’m swamped. Every time I look at the clock I’m amazed at how late is. Like yesterday, when I was working on contacting a million people, typing up notes, and sending follow-up emails. I looked at the clock, figuring it was probably noon and I should eat lunch. Only it was 4 p.m.

And then there are the past three nights. Each night, The Man and I have been sitting on the couch either working or blogging or watching TV, and we notice that it’s midnight.

I don’t know where those hours go. I suspect they’re slipping through my wardrobe and getting stuck in Narnia. Or somewhere like that…

Fantasy landssource

Anyhow, I haven’t been commenting on blogs much, but know that I’m reading. In some instances, reading your blogs has reminded me that it’s 8 p.m. and I should have dinner. I guess I owe you thanks.

So there’s that.

In other news, The Man and I are planning to create a container garden on our balcony. We get partial sunlight in the morning, but in the afternoon and evening it’s as sunny as the beach. Minus the sand. And the waves. And the view of the ocean instead of office buildings. Whatever.

I’m pretty sure our balcony garden will look like this in no time:

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Naturally, I will be beautiful and laze in the sun wearing nothing but a tunic and ankle boots.

Or, yanno, this:

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We’re planting basil because last year our little plant sprouted into a tree. It was sort of a mutant. I’m thinking we’ll also do parsley, cilantro, and mint—and maybe strawberries.

In the past I’ve planted dill, mint, and rosemary. Dill and I got along great for a while. But in the end, it didn’t work out. Because Dill died.

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If we grow strawberries, I can guarantee I’ll eat them every day until winter. Of course, that presumes that they’ll actually grow. This thumb is pasty white, not green.

Here’s my question: Has anyone else grown food on their balcony or railing or in the house? What fruits, veggies, or herbs should I try to grow?

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April 27, 2011   24 Comments

In Which I Start to Like Granola

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Let me preface this entire post by telling you I’m not a granola person. I don’t buy it regularly. I never topped my oatmeal with it or ate it straight from the bag.

I think my dislike stems from a bad experience with super sweet granola. You know the kind that has as much sugar as a brownie but doesn’t taste as good? Yeah, that.

So I would never have bought Love Grown Foods’ granola at the store. Thankfully, they were kind enough to send* me a sampler package, which really works out for them since I’ll be stocking up. Here’s why…

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1. The granola is made with gluten-free oats and has a very short ingredients list. (Bonus: You can pronounce all of the words.)

2. They also don’t have any refined sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, or trans fats.

3. It’s not too hard. Maybe it’s because I spend the night clenching and grinding my teeth, but hard chunks of granola make my jaw tired. Lame, I know. These were crunchy but not TMJ-inducing hard.

LGF

4. So I didn’t try this flavor. See, we were in the car and The Man was about to keel over from hunger, which would have been unfortunate considering he was driving. Still, we had to make it through D.C. before 4 p.m. (Anyone who lives in the area knows why.) Instead of stopping, I gave him a few packs of granola. And this was one of them.

He seemed to like the flavor, though I’m not sure he could taste anything in the 2.7 seconds it took him to devour the granola.

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5. The Man went crazy over the Raisin Almond Crunch. Not that I didn’t like it, but I’m not really a fan of foods with raisins—though I’d bet this would be good (and Raisin Bran–like) with milk.

Also, there’s coconut. C’est tout.

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6. Cocoa Goodness. Do I really need to say more?

7. I’ve mentioned how my So Restrictive It Better Work Diet (SRIBWD for short) bans sugar. I broke that rule with this granola. It’s made with agave nectar and honey, and I figured that if I were going to cheat, it might as well be with honey and agave instead of, say, an entire molten chocolate cake.

Here’s the thing: When I’m flaring like crazy, I can’t stand up without being in complete agony. Since The Man works during the day, and since I like to eat at least once a day, I need something I can grab fast. You know, for those times when my stomach eats itself and I transform into a cranky version of myself.

The granola was perfect for that, even if it did break the SRIBWD. I kept a bag beside me and if I was starving but flaring, I’d have some granola. I’m thinking of buying more for that purpose. (And, um, maybe because I like it.)

8. You can make this:

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Did I make it? Of course not. I found this photo after The Man and I had polished off every bag.

Are you a fan of granola? What’s your favorite kind? Also, anyone interested in a Love Grown Foods granola giveaway?

*I know what you’re thinking: She’s just giving this a good review because they sent it to her for free. I’d be thinking the same thing if this were your blog. I don’t do many reviews of products I receive for free for this very reason. Know this: My reviews are 100 percent honest.

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April 26, 2011   22 Comments

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