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Jun 30, 2013 - File Icon Rants/Ramblings, Whole 30   Comment Icon Comments Off on Elimination Diet – Crazy Or Fantastic?

Elimination Diet – Crazy Or Fantastic?

I feel like my general goal for starting this blog has kind of gone to the wayside. I started doing this with the intention of learning better ways to make things I love, and also to make them healthier.

I feel like I’ve gotten away from that and haven’t been actually making that effort to truly create a better life and better relationship with food. Right now my relationship with food rather sucks. I’ve had an up and down relationship with food. Sometimes I’m doing really good and treating my body right with good foods, and other times I’m going off the wall and eating anything and everything in front of me.

I’ve gotten away from my healthy lifestyle and I need to make that change. So what am I doing? Elimination Diet aka Whole 30.

I’ve looked into a lot of elimination diets and thought about doing them for quite a while, and they are mostly used to help figure out if there is a food causing whatever health problems you have (in my case skin problems of acne and psoriasis/eczema) but will all the things you have to get rid of its rather terrifying. I’ve told a few people that I’m doing this plan, and I’ve gotten two different responses: “Really!? Yay! Fantastic!” or “You’re doing WHAT? And why the heck are you doing that!?”


Luckily my husband is being very supportive of me and is willing to try eating what I make for this eating plan. I know it’s going to be difficult, mostly for the whole going out part. We love to go out to eat, and eat far too much of it actually, but it’s going to be so difficult to find places that I know will not use all the things that are on the “Not Allowed” list.

So what’s on this dreaded no-no list?

Soy and all soy products
All other grains (no rice, quinoa, oatmeal, ect)
Dairy (except clarified butter or ghee)
Added sugar or sweeteners of any kind
White potatoes
MSG or sulfites

Now what are you going to have for breakfast? No pancakes, toast, home fries, muffins, oatmeal, cereal…? I think this is what stumps most people, but as long as they take time to plan then it doesn’t actually seem all that bad, especially when you stop looking at what you can’t have and look at what you CAN have.

My dear friend Marcy is a nutritionist and she looked over the plan for me with two thumbs up.

So I’m doing it.

Starting tomorrow.


Jun 13, 2013 - File Icon Rants/Ramblings   Comment Icon Comments Off on A New Decade

A New Decade

Apple Spice Cupcake with Cinnamon Whipped Cream Frosting

Today is a big day for me. I hit a new decade in life.

Today I turn 30.

I am terrified of getting older, of having to actually be an adult. I know I can’t be a Toys R Us kid for the rest of my life, but 30? That’s huge.

Oh boy. Lets see how this goes.

Nov 26, 2010 - File Icon Rants/Ramblings   Comment Icon Comments Off on Leave Of Absence

Leave Of Absence

I’m sure everyone has noticed that I have fallen off the planet again.

With everything going on in life, its been one of the roughest years I can remember.

So with that said, I’m taking an official leave of absence from writing until the first of the year.

This doesn’t mean I haven’t stopped making and creating, but rather need a break from committing myself to anything.

I will be back after the first to show all that I’ve been working on.

Until then, be safe and enjoy yourselves.

Sep 26, 2010 - File Icon Rants/Ramblings, Tea   Comment Icon Comments Off on New Teas, Caffeine, And Rant

New Teas, Caffeine, And Rant

I need a vacation.

I know it almost feels like I’ve taken a vacation from writing but it’s more along the lines that I just haven’t had the energy to. I’ve spent all my time and energy concentrating on work, training people, working overtime, and working with the Husband at a Retro Gaming Expo. (I shudder to think of all the pictures/video of me running around the net right now)

(And no I’m not sharing links)

I haven’t spent much time with cooking lately, but there really hasn’t been any time/energy for it. I really miss my kitchen!

The only thing I’ve had time to do is drink tea. I know it somewhat seems lame, but sometimes that might be the only thing that gets me through the day.

I’ve started drinking caffeine again and I’m rather on the fence about whether or not I like drinking it. I really notice the effects of it, and some of them really aren’t all that great. Minor headaches, jitters, inability to sleep at night… Why is it we like drinking this stuff? I haven’t figured that part out yet.

After these past few weeks of really needing to have that extra kick in the pants, I started looking into caffeine and what types of tea have less. Tea seems a bit on the complex side…but maybe that’s why I like it.

Caffeine levels in tea vary in the way that they are processed and creating the “type” of tea. So here are the different levels of caffeine that I’ve found that each type of tea contains (roughly):

White Tea – 10mg
Green Tea – 20mg
Oolong Tea – 30mg
Black Tea – 40mg

I’ve never had Oolong, and my experience with white and green has been very minimal, but I do like black tea. I can’t stand it straight up but flavored I can handle. Green is not my favorite, too leafy. And white…I think I might have had it once? I can’t really remember.

So I took the plunge and decided to continue on in my effort of trying new things. I ordered a bunch of tea online!

I ordered from Adagio Tea, and they came very quickly (awesome). I ordered an Oolong sampler pack as well as some herbals and a white.

I really am slightly in love with the tins and the labels. I love the tiny tins, they make storing the tea very easy, especially since they stack very well. I also love that the basic instructions of the water temperature and how long to steep are right on the tin. Hopefully I won’t mess it up!

So here’s what I got:
Oolong (Almond, Peach, Vanilla, Grapefruit)
White (Peach)
Herbal (Berry Blast, Sour Apple)

I’m kind of iffy on the grapefruit Oolong, that just sounds a little odd, but it seems to have gotten pretty good reviews online so I’ll give it a shot.

The other great thing about sample sized tins? Only $2 each! That’s a pretty good deal on loose leaf tea. Adagio also have a frequent cups program so that you can earn points that turn into free money for tea. You also can earn the points by reviewing teas and sending gift cards to other people. I’m all about the free stuff.

I’m rather excited to try these new ones out soon and reporting back on what I got.

Sep 6, 2010 - File Icon Rants/Ramblings   Comment Icon Comments Off on The Caffeine Dilemma

The Caffeine Dilemma

Its been a long couple of weeks. I’ve been working a lot, took a trip that caused us to be in the car for literally 30 hours, and really haven’t had a whole lot of inspiration to start cooking. I think my kitchen is starting to feel a little neglected.

And now work is changing my schedule yet again, hopefully only temporary, so that means some really early morning. Like having to be at work at 5am to train someone early.

This is not something I like and really doesn’t put me in a good mood.

Plus getting up that early in the morning to be able to get to work and still be able to function means changing what time I get to sleep. Sleep has always been an issue for me but has gotten better once I stopped drinking caffeine and eating a lot of sugar. It also helped that my schedule was finally regulated at a consistent and not too terrible time.

But now that my schedule is changing yet again, I need to figure out how to cope with the early schedule. I know I can survive if I started drinking soda again, but that doesn’t make me feel so great. Plus it gives me heartburn. It really isn’t so great to have that happen while trying to concentrate at work.

I’ve also thought that maybe the caffeine is what has triggered the migraines that I used to suffer from. I would get terrible cluster migraines as well as regular migraines that would last days. But now I’m not sure if that really is the case. I’ve drank some soda and had a Chai Tea Latte from Starbucks recently without having any problems.

So I’ve been considering starting to drink caffeinated tea again instead of just herbal, at least just in the morning with this stupid schedule change.

I worry though, that the headaches will return and give me problems again. I’ve been doing so good over the past year without the crippling pain that I’m almost afraid to start drinking them again.

Sometimes I just don’t know what to do to help me get through the day and not give me pain.

I’m trying to move forward and not backward, dagnabit!

Aug 21, 2010 - File Icon Dinners With Friends, Drinks, Restaurant, Reviews, Tea   Comment Icon Comments Off on Chinese Garden and Tea House

Chinese Garden and Tea House

My new friend, Terri, decided to surprise me with an invite to head out with her and a friend to the Chinese Garden in Portland OR. I love surprise outings.

Because I’m a hermit and don’t do well with other people at times, I thought about not going. Then I also thought about my recent goals to meet more people and to try new things. So I went.

I have to say it was a glorious trip. Not only was the day beautiful, but the garden was really nice as well. It was quite a shocker to me that this little oasis existed in the middle of a bustling city, surrounded by tall office and apartment buildings. I took tons of pictures and got to know my new friends better over the beautiful landscape as well as a good few hours in the tea house.

I almost tried to convince them not to go in the tea house since I stopped drinking tea for the last few years due to caffeine inducing my killer migraines, but they wanted to go and I gave in.

I’m such a sucker for a pretty face.

I am really glad I went though. I thought I would be just sipping ice water until I found the selection of herbal teas. It’s almost like I forgot that herbal teas existed! How silly is that.

I went with hibiscus tea, Terri had tea flowers (as in the flowers that bloom on the tea plant) and her friend Kelly had black ginger peach tea. I didn’t try their teas but I was in heaven with the hibiscus. It was nice and strong, tangy and almost citrusy. Plus it was a beautiful red color. I love strong flavored teas.

We also ordered some snacks go to with them, some vegetable dumplings as well as a red bean cake.

Red bean cake? Really? To the uninformed, silly, sheltered American this sounded really odd and not too tasty.

I was proven wrong, yet again. If you’ve never had it, try it. It’s sweet, rich and almost has undertones of a fruity chocolate. It was baked in a really beautiful pastry crust and was really moist and delicious. It went beautifully with my dark red hibiscus tea.

The dumplings were pretty awesome also. I’m not really sure what was in them but they were pretty tasty.

We each got our own little teapots and little (and I mean LITTLE) cups for our teas, which I found just charming.

All in all it was a great day, meeting a new friend and growing closer to my other friend, plus the “reintroduction” to tea for me.

I highly suggest going there if you are in the area or plan to visit. It’s small but a wonderful experience. And don’t miss out on the tea house, it is quite lovely.

Aug 3, 2010 - File Icon Rants/Ramblings   Comment Icon Comments Off on New Directions in Life

New Directions in Life

Lately life has been really scattered for me. I’ve been very annoyed with the job, myself, my body, my relationships… Just everything seems to be annoying to me.

It could also be the hormones.

For so long I’ve been taking the “easy” path of just doing a job that I happen to be good at and not something I actually want to get up and do on a daily basis. Or eating foods out of convenience (fast food, pre-packaged foods) rather than spending the time to take a minute or two for myself to throw something together.

I mean really, how long does it actually take to throw together a quick dinner of an easy sandwich or something similar? Not long. It probably takes longer to get to a fast food place to get the food than it does to make it yourself.

Plus it doesn’t taste nearly as good as homemade and it generally makes me feel like crap.

So I need a change in my life.

I’ve wanted to try and go through life “unpackaged” with using as few foods that are prepackaged or processed as possible. I’ve gotten pretty close to it lately with all of the wonderful fresh fruits and vegetables that are now in season and boy are they delicious!

I like the idea of knowing exactly what it is that I’m eating and what I’m putting in my body, especially with all my interesting reactions to food (some allergies).

I know I’m eventually going to change my job into something else, but I have to find out whether or not the field I’m thinking about is even something I want to do every day. I’m not a person who likes change but I really need to change something.

I’ll get there eventually. Who knows, maybe I’ll become a professional blogger. Ha.

Jul 31, 2010 - File Icon Rants/Ramblings   Comment Icon Comments Off on Trying New Things – Cherries

Trying New Things – Cherries

As a child, I was a picky eater.

I can tell you right now that statement is an understatement. A huge, massive, epic understatement. And I know most kids go through stages when they wouldn’t eat things because… they’re kids and just don’t. But man, I was a pain in the ass.


I think I went through a phase where I wouldn’t eat spaghetti.

Then there was the phase where the only thing I would eat was spaghetti.

I’m still difficult. To me pasta is still a food group, but I’m trying to change. I’m working on expanding my food life to include all the things that never ate growing up (well, within reason and excluding allergy foods). Baby steps… Just baby steps.

Do you realize that I never had tried a cherry? A real fresh cherry. Never. It actually was to the point where I didn’t know there were different types of cherries, different flavors, or even that they had a big seed in the middle.

Sad yes?

For weeks I saw these stands on the side of the road selling cherries, and I finally got the nerve to have the husband stop the car so I could go buy some cherries.

I did it, I bought some cherries. Two types actually. A sweet, blush/yellow cherry and some dark red ones. I really couldn’t believe how delicious they are! The dark ones are deeper in flavor, have a small amount of bite to them while the blush/yellow ones are sweet and almost grape-like.

I easily went through the two small baskets quickly. I then decided to go back and get two larger baskets.

I ate all of them.

It took me about a week but i finished all but a few of them. I had them every day, a few for breakfast and then a big bowl of them with lunch. I didn’t do any cooking with them, I ate them all fresh. I think I am cherried out for a while.

It’s probably a good thing that the cherry stands are now gone, since I don’t want to burn out on them.

But oh boy, they are delicious.

Jul 5, 2010 - File Icon Dinners With Friends   Comment Icon Comments Off on Fireworks And Adoption

Fireworks And Adoption

I was invited to my coworkers place yesterday for a BBQ lunch. It was pretty awesome. She has mad skills in the kitchen and makes me feel like I can’t boil water.

But they do appreciate the baking aspect of my kitchen life.

I’ve known my coworker for about 3 months and at first I really didn’t like her. She got on my nerves and just really irritated the heck out of me. Then I realized what it was, why I felt so annoyed with this really nice woman.

She’s not who I want her to be. She’s not my Steph. The reason my new coworker arrived is because Steph abandoned me to follow a dream to teach in another country. Quit her job and just left us.

Oh the nerve.

I was sad, distraught, and just wanted my Steph back. After I realized that everything was fine. She wasn’t trying to be Steph, just taking over the position in our company.

Now her and her group of friends are adopting me. We’re a bunch of foodies and crafters so that’s pretty awesome. I’ve been looking for a group like this for a while, so if it all goes well then there will be many more pictures and fun times ahead.

After visiting with them for several hours yesterday, I left to go home to be with Husband and Pup. After growing up in Southern California, having fireworks be legal is something that I’m not used to. Well the ground ones, sparklers, flashers, things like that I’m used to.

Huge exploding mortars? Not so much. All it did was want to make each of us curl up somewhere safe and hide from the loud explosions shaking our home. How un-patriotic am I? It also doesn’t help that it seems like every other house in our neighborhood bought their own extravagant fireworks display, and they are all setting them off at the same time.

Things to come? Sharing the recipe for my coworkers awesome Cuban Chicken she made, and also, a Pavlova I made for the celebration. Awesomeness.

Jun 20, 2010 - File Icon Dinners With Friends, In The Kitchen   Comment Icon Comments Off on New Days, Good Times

New Days, Good Times

Even though I haven’t been active in writing, life has been very active both in and out of the kitchen. Between getting sick (what is my deal with always getting the evil-alien-death-flu?), cooking failures, marriage and the economy… Just trying to survive can be enough of a challenge without adding writing to it.

Life has mellowed out, I’m another year older, and things are…better. It could also just be the change of seasons that is getting to me. The first day of summer is tomorrow, and I love the changes.

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