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Friday, April 27, 2012

Brad's Raw Chips

Last weekend while shopping at Organic Avenue I picked up a bag of Brad's Raw Chips in the Hot Red Bell Pepper flavor. The little bag was pricey but luckily, 30% off. I had the crackers along with a bowl of cauliflower soup and a salad. I really liked the flavor and the spice. I shared the bag with a friend who said they tasted like dried soup mix before you add water. I could kind of taste this but in a good way. Last year I sampled some of Two Mom's In The Raw Garden Herb Crackers which I found to be too flaxy with all the unground flax seeds. Brad's chips offer a better balanced flavor and texture.

During a recent trip to Whole Foods I picked up a bag of the Indian-flavored Brad's Raw Chips. OMG! These were the most delicious chip. I'm a fan of spicy, funky flavors. For example, sour spicy lemon pickle doesn't scare me. I had to close the bag to keep from devouring it in one sitting. I ate the chips straight up but they would be great dipped in guacamole or hummus. According to Brad's website the chips are a meal in a bag. I will definitely be packing these next time I have travel. I find that most processed chips and foods congest me. However raw, whole foods chips and snacks seem not to bother me.

I'll be chowing down on some more this weekend. Happy weekend.

ps: I just saw the Space Shuttle fly by my window at work. Super cool.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Candle Cafe West

I really over did it Sunday night. My husband and I celebrated my one year free of antibiotics and steroids with dinner at Candle Cafe West. We each had two drinks at a nearby bar before dinner. By the time we hit the restaurant, he was starving and so was I. We began with the nachos. I had the seitan and tofu placed on the side. The chips were covered in slightly spicy beans, a tapioca cheese and guacamole. It was so filling that I probably could have called it quits right then. But not me.

Next the Paradise Casserole– layers of sweet potato, millet and black beans over fresh steamed greens. The sweet potatoes were infused with cinnamon. The scent was amazingly fragrant kind of like paradise. I ate the entire dish minus a few greens. My husband had the Grilled Seitan Burger. Messy but yummy. At this point I was definitely full. However that didn't stop me from sharing a slice of the vegan carrot cake with my husband. I had been having a few good sinus days so I felt like I could handle a little gluten. 

The cake didn't disappoint. I'm not sure if the icing is made from coconut but it tasted like classic cream cheese icing. On top of the icing was a carrot glaze swirl. Something you don't see on non-vegan versions. I can't recall the last time I had cake. Since going g-free and eating mainly whole foods, cake rarely comes my way. I tend to rely on a little organic dark chocolate or a raw truffle for a sweet fix. 

My body took the gluten in stride. I find that when I'm feeling well, I can get away with a small amount of certain offending foods as long as get right back to my vegan, g-free, food-sensitivity free diet. 

When we finished dinner we had a nice 15 block walk home in the rain. It was a good way to burn a calorie or two after such a filling meal. I can't wait to go again. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Happy Anniversary

I wasn't sure it was possible. To go one full year without oral antibiotics or steroids. This is coming from a girl who hadn't gone more than eight weeks before being represcribed drugs for endless sinus infections. Considering all the visits to the otolaryngologist I made over a ten year period, not once did the doctor suggest dietary changes or natural supplements to help give my immune system a boost and prevent future infections.

As of now, I have gone one full year without any of these drugs. The past year has taught me how much doctors and patients over use antibiotics and steroids. Through dietary changes, I've discovered that I can control a lot of my symptoms. Often, when I get sick it's my body telling me I fed it too much dark chocolate or too many fries. When I switch my diet, my symptoms diminish.

My actual anniversary of this event came and went three weeks ago. I've been too busy to mark the occasion. I also got hit with a cold, seasonal allergies and freelance work on top of my full time job.

So, this weekend I'm celebrating with dinner at the new Upper West Side Candle Cafe. Can't wait for a little down time with my husband and to properly toast the occasion. With a shot of echinacea of course.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Results Are In

Last Thursday I received the results from the ALCAT allergy test I took two weeks ago. I had been really excited to get the results. Not sure why. Well, I want answers. But it wasn't like the test was going to reveal amazingly great news. It was going to reveal and confirm food allergies and sensitivities for 200 foods.

According to the test I had no severe intolerances. Good news there.

For the rest of the list:
Banana (WTF?)
Barley (also on skin test)

Acorn Squash
Asparagus (also on skin test)
Black-eye Peas
Broccoli (also on skin test)
Butternut Squash
Carrot (ugh)
Chili pepper
Cocoa (WTF!!!)
Cow's milk
Egg white & yolk (also on IgE test)
Grape (guess this means raisins are out)
Rice (Life is truly unfair. What's a g-free girl to do?!!!)
Soybean (also on skin test)
White Potato (lovely)

That's some list, right? But that's not it.

According to my skin test I'm also sensitive to:
Sweet corn
String bean

Sick of reading? There's a few more. According to my IgE test I'm also sensitive to:

Feel sorry for me? I feel sorry for myself which isn't very empowering.

I got hit with a cold last Tuesday. The good news there is that the real yucky part came and went in four days. That's the shortest cold that's ever lived in my body. I must be doing something right and well something wrong to get sick. When I saw my doctor last Thursday he was concerned about my getting a cold, fearful of it turning into a full blown sinus infection. He asked if I was still taking echinacea and mycoferon. I admitted I had totally forgotten. Back on the regimen now. Eye droppers of elixirs are getting dumped into shots of water, which I'm downing with regularity.

My doctor suggested I avoid all the foods on my various lists for a week and then see if I'm feeling better.

Chocolate is impossible to avoid. Instead of avoiding my goal is to cut back. But eating 2 dark chocolate bars in three days hardly qualifies as a cut back. This morning at Trader Joe's I practiced absolute restraint by purchasing zero dark chocolate.

A feel a little like I'm in an eating conundrum. It's not fun in the conundrum even though the word has drum in it.

So this week I've made big batches of sweet potato and black bean soup with wild rice and curry quinoa. Just realized that I put dried chipotle pepper in the soup. Does this qualify as chili pepper under my sensitivity list?

Breakfast is a real head scratcher. Oatmeal and rice-based cereals are out. I tried to make smoothies without banana yesterday and today. They're just not as tasty.

Any ideas? What would Jesus do?