Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I am so mad at food right now.

Gluten allergy confirmed.

I knew that it would be...I became suspicious a few weeks ago and began to do my own elimination tests. Remove gluten for a week, put it back in...and boom. Seriously feel like shit. I went and got the food panel testing done, and today was the day that all of my questions would be answered.

What I never would have an anticipated is that I am not only allergic to gluten, but a slew of other things. Ready for this list? It's hilarious!

Yeast (Brewers and bakers)
Green peas
Cows milk

Broccoli? Broccoli? Are you fucking kidding me? WHO IS ALLERGIC TO BROCCOLI!!???? And yeast? I mean, I guess if I'm allergic to gluten it kind of goes hand in hand.  And I shouldn't be at all surprised to find that I am allergic to these two things. Last night for dinner I made myself a very conservatively sized bowl of gluten free pasta, added in a small amount of broccoli and made a vegan alfredo sauce that was gluten free but not yeast free, as it contains nutritional yeast.  I woke up this morning with a completely puffy face, swollen eye lids, dark circles, and a stomach that looked about 4 months pregnant. Oh, big surprise. You're allergic to broccoli and yeast. In addition to being miserable from that, I'm pretty sure I'm experiencing a delayed allergic reaction to all the junk I ate at a wedding I went to over the weekend.

 Having a gluten allergy poses a large problem for someone that eats mostly vegetarian. All of the fake out meat products that I've been basically living on and rather enjoying for the past four year are totally off the table right now. And sure, tofu and beans have protein, but how much tofu and beans can I really eat? And while its true that I love to eat fish, too much fish will eventually make me feel really awful too.

So I'm at a bit of a loss right now. But I'm ready. Ready to lay myself bare and grieve my losses.

Oh bread. The most perfect of perfect foods. What is better than bread? Who doesn't love to eat bread? Never ever in the history of man kind has someone been 'all set' with that disgusting, awful bread stuff. Bread is good on its own as well as good covered in anything...never mind good, bread is great.  The ultimate comfort food.
  I woke up on Monday morning with quite possibly one of the most awful hangovers I've ever been subject to. And not only did I have to just deal with having this awful hangover, but I also had to get on a plane with this terrible hangover. I woke up in the morning was straight up useless...I kept on walking around my hotel room trying to figure out how I was going to get out of getting on a plane. I had completely failed to pack up my bags the night before and of course had shit strewn from one end of our hotel room to the other. There exists in this world only one thing to remedy a hangover so intense: A bagel. So I did it. A shitty, dry, flavorless Florida bagel. And it sucked. But at the time, that bagel kicked ass.

   Bread - I will miss you profoundly. I have enjoyed you with many a dip, hummus, oil and herb combination, sandwich stuffs and the like. I've enjoyed you in square form, crusty form, bagel form, fried form, and in every flavor under the sun. I remember once eating chocolate bread. You had chocolate chips in you. You were wonderful. I loved you once.  I will always love you. 

Coniferous Vegetables
  I had no idea that I would find myself allergic to this entire food group. But here I am, saying goodbye to some of my most favorite vegetables.

  Oh, broccoli. You have been the star of my curries. The champion of stir frys. The vegetable to which all other veggies have had to measure against. The panko bread crumb covered gem in the vegetable tempura platter. The brown sauce covered magic of the best chinese food dish ever conceived. But lets be honest, you make me feel like ass, and I sadly and with great regret will never ever eat you again. 

Woah woah woah. Peanuts are awesome and I am totally sad.  Never would have guessed peanuts...I thought that a peanut allergy automatically meant anaphylactic shock...but no. They can just make you feel like garbage.

  Good bye peanut butter. Good bye peanut sauce. Good bye peanuts on planes. Good bye honey roasted peanuts. Good bye so many things. So long. 

Green peas
I don't even know where to go with this one. So random.

Ok so I realized this weekend that I FUCKING LOVE THE SHIT out of frozen yogurt. Its one of those things that I totally haven't eaten in years as I've basically haven't had dairy for ever. I guess all I can say is that I'm glad that we at least were able to have our moment this weekend.

 Frozen yogurt - you were like that thing that I knew I shouldn't have had but felt so good doing it anyway. Our reunion/affair was brief, but it was awesome. If I could change anything, I would have smothered you in hot fudge and peanut butter sauce.  Lots and lots of peanut butter sauce. And I would have had much more of you. Lots and lots and lots. Goodbye fro-yo, it was good while it lasted. 

Pita chips
  Pita chips are like possibly my most favorite food. I could eat pita chips at any meal, any time of the day. I have totally woken up in the morning and eaten pita chips, not hung over or anything just really wanting pita chips. The whole grain ones were my favorite, but all of them suited my fancy.

  Pita chips, you are truly a sad one to say good bye to. We've had some great times together, you and I. You were my most favorite food friend to watch TV with. Our mutual love for hummus is unmatched. You were great with all kinds of dips and spreads. The perfect crunch to accompany any sandwich. You made coming home to a snack a thing of pure celebration. Pita chips, I shall mourn thee. 

Greek Yogurt

 You and I were just becoming like really, really good friends. And then you like spit in my face and betrayed me. Fuck you greek yogurt. Fuck. You. 

Dips and sauces of all sorts
You know whats really annoying about having a wheat energy? Generally everything. But what is most aggravating about it is that wheat is in FUCKING EVERYTHINNNGGGGG. And it hides, like a little shitty coward, in the best of foods that you would never think it would hide in. Like sauces, dips and dressings.
  This is basically how I knew that I likely had a wheat/gluten allergy to begin with. A couple of months ago when I decided to go mostly raw (raw all day from morning till dinner time), I felt alright but not awesome.  SO while I went mostly whole hog on the raw throughout the day thing, I typically used store bought, bottled dressings. Guess what those dressings where full of? MOTHER FUCKING STUPID ASS GLUTEN.

  Goodbye all of my favorite dressings. Goddess're...well Goddess like and I will totally miss you. That really awesome and expensive miso dressing from Whole foods...I'll miss your delicious ass as well.  All those awesome sauces that everything that is wonderful and good on this earth is covered in, you're all full of wheat, and I am totally, totally pissed at you. 

Veggie Burgers

  The one thing in this world that I could count on. And you're chock full of gluten and wheat. I used to go out to eat and pray to find you on a menu. mean nothing to me. 

Peanut Butter Cups
; (

Chicpea Cutlets

  GRrrrrrrr  you were like my most favorite vegan treat. So delicious and full of protein. I had so much pride in you, so much adoration for you. I used to make you, cover you in buffalo sauce, and brag to all my friends the awesomeness that you brought me in my vegan diet. I used to watch with pride as entire plates of you would be gobbled up by meat eaters at proud was I to have you represent my non meat eating ways. But now in the face of a gluten more chicpea cutlets. No more. 


 Hey vodka - you and I have had a confusing relationship. I experimented with you a whole lot in my early drinking career. I mixed you with all sorts of things, and occasionally now find myself in that very spot, tempting fate and hoping for the best. As of recently, I thought we had a pretty solid relationship. I finally figured out who we could be with one another, we have finally found our comfort zone. And then there you go, letting me down and making me feel like garbage, even if I didn't drink too much of you. I guess there are worse things. I hear there is a nice potato version of you. I guess we shall see.

Veggie Hot Dogs
There is just no way in hell I'm going to eat real hot dogs. I'm so mad about this one that I wont even consider writing up a silly italicized goodbye.

Beer deserves nothing short of an italicized goodbye....

Hello beer. 
I don't even know where to begin. Its like breaking up with someone that you've been with for so long that you've grown with them, changed with them, evolved in fact....
I feel like I've lost a good friend, a best friend in fact. I remember back in college when I was too socially anxious to make it into the studio or a were there to help me.  Honey Brown - you and me were soooooo good. I loved your sweet, caramel flavor and your smooth finish. Your drinkability was unmatched, and it was why you were my drink of choice. Dinner? Nah. I'll just have a six'er of Honey Brown.  
 Honey Brown remained my standard for a long time but I ventured into other beers. I have my favorites but I've always liked to mix it up.  The sheer variety of beer is perhaps its most intriguing quality, a beer for every occasion, feeling and mood. I've always enjoyed trying a new beer, something fancy, something obscure.  But be it a Sammy Smith Oatmeal Stout, or a corona light with a slice of lime...I've craved it. I've wanted it, and most importantly, I've savored it to the last drop. 
  So here I am, now knowing for certain that we are through. I love you, I desire you, but lets be real, you're making me feel like fucking shit. And while  I truly, really love beer.... I really really hate feeling like shit. So you and have to take a break. You're worse than a boyfriend that has treated me bad. You're every where I look no matter how far I run.   You've been an integral part of some of the most incredible experiences I've ever had...from Quilmes in Argentina, to Bitch Beer in Idaho, to the Breckenridge Beers of Colorado... to the sweet Honey Brown nectar that defined my youth, you've been there, and I have remembered you fondly. And as I have to look on and watch others enjoy you on a regular basis for the rest of my life, I will sit there, envious, desiring, and pretty much generally bullshit...for you are the true casualty of my food allergy realization. 


Tuesday, May 17, 2011


So...its been a while.  I'll be honest friends, life is catching up with me. My carefree, throw caution to the wind, hangin' every night of the week boozin habits are starting to wear me down. That or I have food allergies.

  I went to the doctor for the first time in over a year a half, and it was my first physical in probably over 3. I'm of the attitude and opinion that if you take care of yourself, then you probably don't need the doctor, however, that attitude is really only to mask my bigger issue with the medical community: I'm scared of it.

I'm the opposite of a hypochondriac. I'd rather think that absolutely nothing is wrong with me in the face of strange symptoms than to imagine that I have every ailment in the book. I can tell you right now I will never have cancer. Why? Cause I won't. So there.  And I've gone on ignoring certain underlying, health related problems for a while now, believing they would go away, truly hoping and willing that I would just get better soon enough, that it would just be a distant memory of 'oh...remember when I wasn't feeling that glad I got over that one...'

  But this week I did the big girl thing and finally went into see a doctor, I won't bore you or expose my very personal problems by telling you what my current issues are, just suffice it to say that I am under the impression that I have been the unlucky victim most recently seized by the gluten allergy phenomenon.  I could be completely wrong, but I know this much. Something that I am eating is making me feel like absolute shit. And I will get down to the bottom of it. I was tested yesterday for 96 different food allergies, results will be revealed in two weeks from yesterday.

  What's with everyone currently being allergic to gluten anyway? I work with two ladies that have gluten allergies. It was hardly even a part of my vocabulary until I started working at this place a mere 4 months ago.  And now all of the sudden its gluten free this, gluten free this shit contagious or something? Probably not.

 Being presented with even the mere potential of having a food allergy is a sad event.  The idea of having to say goodbye to certain foods is daunting, but I'm ready to do it if it will make me feel better. It was only 4 years ago that I ate my final turkey sandwich w/ mayo and said 'fuck this shit'. The only problem is that I'm probably allergic to things that are for more annoying and tricky to cut out.  And being allergic to something is far different from having a thoughtful reason to eliminate things from your diet.  Having an allergy is not a choice.

  I hope I'm getting ahead of myself...I have no definitive answers yet...just based in fact assumptions that  I will probably be gravely disappointed in finding out. What ever, fucking food.

: / 

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Day My Identity Kind of Got Stolen

Monday, Monday. I woke up this morning around 3am and my mind was a flutter. This happens to me every once in a while. I wake up in the middle of the night and begin perseverating on something absolutely ridiculous. Last night all I could think of was karaoke, and it kept me awake for hours.

It would be about three and a half hours before I'd fall asleep again. Three and a half hours spent thinking about karaoke? Are you serious? I'd say I probably thought about karaoke for an hour, the other two and half were spent thinking about why I had thought about karaoke for a solid hour, in the middle of the night at the beginning of the week.

And the thirst. Oh the thirst was unbearable last night. I got out of bed to pour myself three tall, beautiful and delicious glasses of pure Brita happiness into my good night cup. Sure, it felt great going down, but the getting up every hour to get more water only aggravated my sleepless condition even more. I also have this belief, which may be pure wives tale, that if you rub the sand from your eyes you rub the sleepies away. I rubbed the sleep away several times last night, and I know it kept me up.

Regardless, all I could think of was how much I wanted a karaoke machine. My life would be complete, if only I had a karaoke machine, and/or if I could just fall asleep and stop thinking about karaoke.  I tossed and turned, anxiety riddled and worried that I'd never fall asleep again, or own a karaoke machine.  There is nothing worse than not being able to fall asleep when you know that you need too. I had passed out so easily only a couple of hours before. My bed is really comfortable, my sheets very soft and my fans very loud and blustery, just as I like it. And yet sleep would not come for me. And what amazes me most about this scenario and the way it plays out every time is that I refuse against my better judgment to just get out of bed for a little while and try and do something else. Instead, I just lay there, listening to my heart beat and thinking the same whacked out thoughts over and over again. How will I ever afford a karaoke machine? If I owned a karaoke machine I'd make sure that I had all of the Dolly Parton discs I could find. If I had a karaoke machine, I'd probably have more friends.  Over and over and over again.

So I get out of bed at a quarter of 8, completely out of sorts and hop in the shower. I basically feel drunk and completely disoriented. I do my best to pull myself together but find myself getting back into bed after taking a shower. A quick 20 minute nap, that will do it.

So of course a quick 20 minute nap does absolutely nothing for me. I continue getting ready and decide that I will treat myself to some kind of breakfast that I don't prepare myself. I had no idea what this would be, but I knew that I would be leaving the house a little early to make sure I could find something.  I decide to check my Bank of America balance online before heading out of the house.


What? How the fuck did this happen? Did I order a really expensive and awesome karaoke machine in my sleep last night? Oh wait, impossible, because I DIDN'T SLEEP LAST NIGHT.

Obviously I begin to panic, I break out into a sweat, I start shaking, hyperventilating, assuming the most ridiculous things about how my account could have been so overdrawn. This was not what I needed this morning. What I thought I needed was a Kombucha drink from Whole Foods on my way to work. No, instead, I got the surprise of my life, and the threat of a stolen identity.

Who would want to steal my identity?  Did I annoy Adam to the point that this morning he said 'fuck it' and stole my check book, wrote himself a check for three grand and headed for the border? Damn it Adam! You know I don't have three thousand dollars!   I know that this is ridiculous, it only crossed my mind for about a fraction of a second, but it still crossed my mind. I don't even take my check book out of the house with me, so I knew that I hadn't lost it. Would my parents have stolen my check book when they were here this past weekend? Damn it parents! You know I don't have three thousand dollars!

So I call the bank and I'm basically hysterically crying, a tactic that I knew would get me all of my money back even if I was totally at fault for whatever had happened (seriously, when I fell asleep for an hour, did I get on my computer and order a karaoke machine?). The woman is very nice and helpful, and we're working to get this all straightened out, when I decide to click on the transaction and look further into this mess. The $3000 was taken out via check. I clicked on the check was a check written out by me to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for the taxes I owed, $141.

How the hell do you process a check for $141 for $3000? Seriously Commonwealth, what is going on here? Its not like $30.00 turned into $3000 because some schmo forgot to put in a decimal point, 141 and 3000 look nothing alike. They don't even kind of share any of the same numerals. The woman at BOA explained that the check was processed wrong, um....duh? What the fuck?  I just spent the last 30 minutes accusing all of my loved ones of stealing money from me and accusing myself of shopping in my sleep for expensive karaoke machine equipment? Not the best way to start a Monday, or a week for that matter.

So thanks Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Because it wasn't sucky enough sending you a check for $141, you had to scare the shit out of me by making me think that my entire life and identity was at the disposal of some unknown looney toon with my checkbook. What is scariest is that I assumed that looney toon to be myself. The did wake me up.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sweet Relief

Some days are better than others. Today was a great day, for instance.

  On May 26th of last year I had the rug yanked from underneath me by a former employer.  I had lost my job quite literally all of the sudden and had no idea what to do next.  For the first three hours I panicked. I was brought back down by my friends and quickly settled into the idea of not having a job but earning unemployment benefits all summer while essentially doing whatever the fuck I wanted within my means. Sure my means weren't great, but that doesn't matter when in the summer all that matters is sunshine, gardening, and drinking PBR. Life was good for a couple of months. Unpredictable and for the most part monetarily poor, but hell, it was a beautiful summer.

 But like a said, a couple of months is small when in comparison I ended up being unemployed for 7 months. And it would have gone on much longer, because I was basically unemployable.

 On paper, I looked like hell. On my resume I listed house painting for ten years, for a man who is clearly my father. I did decorative painting for one year, and in between all that is a slew of lame and unimpressive low skill jobs.  I had nothing to go on, and quite honestly, besides not wanting to be a house painter, no house painting contractor (who is a man) would in their right mind hire me. And I don't blame them. Women are a pain in the ass to have on a job site. And its not because we're not awesome, its because other men on job sites are retarded. I've explained this in previous posts, so I don't think I need to go into details. My old boss hired me because he had mental issues and needed to have someone to dominate because he was a pathetic dude, which I guess in his small mind meant having a woman around. Yep. Said it.  I say this not because I think woman are easy to dominate (cause we're not, and he learned that, which is probably why I got let go), but because he had a pattern of mostly hiring women, and when he did hire men, he had a very obvious boundary when it came to anyone else showing him up in even the smallest way. Men didn't last long with him.
 Anyway, I spent a long time trying to find a job. I applied to multiple places where my paint resume was completely not applicable, but I wrote very thoughtful cover letters that I thought conveyed my interest in what ever thing I was applying for in a meaningful way. 'fraid not my friends, cause I basically never landed interviews.
  And then a miracle happened, and it all started at jewelry night at a friends house. I won't bore you with the details, but it was as serendipitous as it gets. That ring led to a series of events that I never predicted. I wear that ring with intense pride, it's what I consider to be the catalyst that began my ascent towards employment-hood.

 So here I am, nearly 3 months later. Today I was finally offered the permanent position of Office Coordinator in the office that I have been temping at.  I work in a position that I would have never imagined having, in a place that I never thought I would be. And it sounds silly, because 'office coordinator' admittedly does not sound that awesome. And it especially does not sound that awesome for some one like me, an artist. But you know what? This job rocks! Guess what! Time for a list! I love lists!

5 reasons why working in an office is like totally the coolest.

#1. Regulated climate
  This is so key. And I never really knew it was something that I cared a lot about until I worked in an office. I'm used to either being way way way too cold or inordinately warm in all my work experiences. Last summer I worked for my dad for a little while in the duration of unemployment (I know thats terribly illegal, but he's my pops! I don't think that counts!), and it was so motherfucking hot out there, in that crazy ass June on Long Island heat. I was like melting into puddles of already melted humans, it was so gross. And the spiders, Oh the spiders! It was so unfair. Bugs everywhere. Pants sticking to thighs. Unrelenting humidity. It was like working in a jungle. Do you have any idea what it is like to work with oil primer when it is 90 degrees and the air is literally sopping wet? Its the biggest bullshit joke upon bullshit that bullshit has ever considered pulling a joke on. Awful.
  And I did finally break. I threw a hissy fit and decided I was going home far earlier in the afternoon than any one would have been allowed to go home, like three days in a row. What was he going to do? Fire me? I think I lasted a total of 4 days.  When I was younger, I was totally able to hang in there. Now? Nah.
  But in an office, its always roughly 70 degrees. Sometimes warmer, sometimes colder. But you know whats great? Cozy sweaters and light cardigans that are easy and manageable to take on a off, which leads me to my next point...

#2. Dresses are work appropriate.
   I have never ever ever in my entire life gone to work in a dress prior to this job, and I am not in any way exaggerating. Going to work in a dress is like going to work in pajamas, as far as I am concerned. It is so comfortable, non constricting and happy fun times that I can't even believe it is allowed.  You get to  talk to the other ladies about how nice their dresses are, and sometimes we all find each others prodding upon where said particularly awesome dress was bought. We all then divulge that we are going to leave work that day and immediately go and buy that dress, because it is so awesome. Some of us even try to consider ways to get out of work early so that they can go and buy that dress. Nothing is better than having your coworker say 'I like your dress.' Its like 'duh'. This shit is bananas.
  I come from a place where if I wore a dress to work, for one I'd get sent home to change. And two, I'd get sexually harassed and or assaulted. For sure.

#3. Comfy ass desk chair.
  This is both problematic and awesomematic. Problematic in that my ass is most certainly going to get larger. Awesomematic in that my feet don't kill at the end of the day and I get the comfort of sitting down. I don't think I ever clocked in any significant amount of time in my last job on a chair. And you know what? Sometimes sitting down in AWESOME.

#4. Lunch
  Lunch at my last job was great for only a short while and other wise sucked. For a small window I worked with a couple of great guys, and the best part of the day was sitting down and eating an awesome lunch. I even had one of those great guys on the vegan lunch bus for almost the entire duration of our working together. Those were the days. And then lunch turned into me trying to avoid spending time with a certain so and so, and never eating much at work. Truth is I couldn't really afford to eat lunch anyway.
  But now, lunch rocks. Like I've written about, I've had the comfort, affordability and straight up acceptance at work to not feel like a fuckin' freak for taking on a raw diet. And I even have people to indulge in it with.

     This is what happened when we decided to do smoothie Friday right after me and my coworker decided to take on the raw diet. In that back right corner is a Blendtec Blender. Probably the most awesome blender this world has ever known. The next Friday someone brought in juicer. It was as ridiculous and as awesome as it sounds.

  Simply, I would have never had anything like this happen at my previous job. When I was vegan, I could barely even tell people that I was for fear that I would literally get torn apart and questioned about everything I chose to eat. It was very annoying, kind of embarrassing and quite honestly extremely tiring and for the most part made me not want to eat at work. While I am admittedly no longer a vegan, I do still eat like one almost all of the time, and its just nice to be embraced and not made to feel like a freak for choosing to eat and be what I'm comfortable with. Which leads to my final point...

#5. I work with incredible people.  If I didn't get this job, I wouldn't be as sad and all shook up because I missed the opportunity of being an office manager at a cool company... I'd be upset for the loss of no longer being with the awesome people that I've had the opportunity of working along side of for the past three months. There is definitely something to be said about a good group dynamic at work. It's as important as the work that is happening individually when it comes to a group of collaborators.   When I first got the 'temp' position, I told my boss and director in my interview that I was willing to try it because 'In working with a dozen of really smart people, I have nothing to lose and only everything to gain." And it is the truth.  I might get yelled at by crazy ass people on the phone all day long(seriously, all day long) and have headache projects and a lot thrown on my plate at any given time, but I really do enjoy my job and I get to learn a lot along the way. I feel like this is my 'gimme' from the universe. The past ten months have been a long and unpredictable road.  It's nice to have at least a couple of ducks in a row for once.

Ultimately what I've learned from this is that sometimes you just have to accept something as a really good thing, even if you're not entirely sure what for yet. I finally feel for the first time in a long time that I have a grasp on life. And it just feels right.

So all in all, very happy. And I'm finally no longer stressed the hell out.

This is dedicated to all my peoples in the office. Thanks for keeping me!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Fancy Beer

I'm a classy lady. So classy in fact that I drink beer out of wine glasses.

  First of all, I'm very proud to say that my computer has officially moved back into my studio and out of the kitchen, where it has lived on the table for about the last two months.  This means that I might actually start getting work done again. I'll take it easy on myself about the fact that I have virtually painted nothing in the past two months due to having a new job, and also the fact that it's been winter and crummy and I haven't felt inspired, and I haven't had money to buy new materials, and...what else is a good excuse, oh its been really really cold in my studio room. I hate being cold. I can't paint in the cold.  So watch out people, because my art work is going to begin creeping its way onto the blog, as it should. 

  But back to the beer in the wine glass. 

   So I've been nearly three weeks strong on the mostly raw diet I set out to under take. My coworker and I have been excellent supports for one another, if I do say so myself, virtually feeding one another avocado, practically licking raw almond butter off of one another's hands and gushing over our newest dressing creations and incidental nut cheeses.  And we are feeling good and being all sorts of dorky about the fact that we are like so much better than everyone else because we have the will power to do a raw diet when most people can't. Shit did I type that out loud?
   I've been a juicing machine, I now own a dehydrator, I'm making nut milk, sprouting shit, eating salad like a mother fucker, kicked coffee and soda to the curb, and I am generally feeling quite pleased with myself.  But you know what I just can't shake? Drinky drinks. 

  I love alcoholic beverages. I hate to say it. I know I sound like such an alcoholic, sitting here, drinking beer out of a wine glass, exclaiming my love for alcohol, but DAMMIT. I just love it so. I don't even think I necessarily love getting drunk as much as I do just kicking back at the end of the night with a delicious chilled bev in hand. Something to sort of dull the headaches of the day. As soon as I poured that beer into my wine glass tonight, it was like a fun and spontaneous party had emerged within me. I felt delighted, inspired, calmed and soothed.  You're probably wondering why I really put it into a wine glass. That bottle of Stella Artois would have been sucked down so hard and so quickly in a bottled form that I wouldn't have even enjoyed it. And while a pint glass is appropriate, a wine glass is just more interesting to drink from. And I didn't have any wine.  

  The fact is that it was my full intent to not drink a drop of the stuff all week. I say this every Sunday night, as I sip on my last beer/glass of wine and say "See you Friday, friend." And I usually crash out by about 7pm on Monday. I made it all the way to Wednesday this week! This is nothing short of a miracle! A cause for celebrating in fact! Whats a celebration without imbibing? Water doesn't count!

  And what's more is the fact that Adam received a whopping 75 beers from his Aunt last week. Seventy five beers. Thats a lot of fuckin beer.  She had a surplus sitting in her spare fridge and needed to get rid of it, who better to give it to than the man that went dressed for Halloween as the most believable Bud Man the world has ever seen? Seriously, for a night, I was dating Bud Man. And it was totally ridiculous. 

  There he is in his natural habitat, 18 rack of bud in hand.  The best part is that the lady at the cash register did not even bat an eye lash at this absurdity. I, Dolly Parton, and my boyfriend, Bud Man. And we got no response. She was stone cold. 

  But I digress. Our fridge is one part beer, one part raw vegetables. A bit of a conundrum you see. The raw diet, and juicing specifically, asks a lot of fridge when it comes to space. Even before the beer, the fridge was basically over flowing with vegetation. You'd open the door and shit would literally topple out of the fridge. Now imagine this with 75 beers added to the mix.  It's quite possibly the greatest example of the divergence of our interests in health between my boy friend and I, he with his collection of beer, and I with my collection of vegetables. We're quite the pair, and we are currently making for quite the fridge. 

  So here I am, feeling NOTHING SHORT OF FORCED to drink beer on a Wednesday night. Out of wine glasses no less. Just so I can fit my precious vegetables into the fridge. What is a girl to do?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dear Coffee, I think we need to take a break.

It's not you, it's me.

In throwing myself into a raw diet, I've had to confront and deal with a very serious addiction. Coffee.  Going throughout my day without cooked foods, no biggie. Getting through the first twenty minutes of my day without coffee? Extremely difficult.
  But its not just the raw diet that is making me reconsider my relationship with the cup.  If I were to break down how much money I spent on coffee on a yearly basis, I'd probably feel kind of sick.  When I worked as a decorative painter, I made pathetic money and often didn't eat lunch while I was on the job as a reflection of my money situation. That being said, you best believe I picked myself up a Grande Soy Misto from Starbucks on my way to work every day. No matter what. Even though I had probably already had a cup of coffee from my own coffee pot at home.
  Besides the blow to my pocket book, I'm concerned about what it's actually doing to my insides. And because I am obviously a freak about what goes in and how it might affect me, it's time for me to do something thats long over due.

Dear Coffee,

    You're probably wondering why I haven't called in a few days.  Listen, I don't know how to say's just that, I've been doing a lot of thinking lately. A lot of thinking about us and our relationship, what we do for one another, how we spend our time together, and I just...See we've been together for a really long time. On and off in fact, for years.
  I remember when I was in high school and I would always come and pick you up at the  7/11. I'd fill you up with all sorts of deliciously flavored creamers.  Remember how we would mix it up? We had the 'Irish Creamer' and the 'Hazelnut'....oh and how could I forget the 'French Vanilla'?  Remember how I used to distinguish you from all my friends cups by sipping you out of one of those little stirring straws? I just wanted you to last....
  We would get together a couple times of day way back when. I'd pick you up before school. And then I'd come and grab you again after school. I have a lot of good memories of you from back in the day. You gave me a reason to get in my car and go do something. Any time of day, we'd go for a drive together, we'd run errands together.  I'd meet up with people, just to then meet up with you.  You gave me a life, coffee.
  Then I went to college and our relationship changed a little bit. I was so far away from the 7/11, so we moved onto Starbucks. Sometimes I'd even go get you in a cool funky coffee place, or from a street vendor. We were a little touch and go at times. That first year in NY, you know its funny, but coffee just wasn't as big a priority for me. I knew you were my crutch, and I was just trying to grow up. Be my own Hayley. I mean, if memory serves, we still spent a lot of time together. But it was an off year for sure.
  And then I moved to Providence. What a roller coaster, you and me. Remember my Sophomore year? When I had the one cup coffee mate and I made you all the time? It was just so easy, you were always available, I had no friends there so I was really bored and I needed you. Remember how we would stay up all night long? I don't even remember what we were doing, but gosh, we were doing it together.  Thank god I had you, coffee. I know, I'm sorry I have to do this. Its when I look back to those times that it becomes so hard to do this....
Anyway, we went on like that all throughout college. Senior year was a bit touch and go for us(all we had was a french press, you know how I feel about those things), until I realized that a really cute guy worked at the Coffee Exchange, and we were back on like we never were before. You gave me a reason to talk to cute guys, and I like really, really appreciated that.  I'd walk down and meet you at the coffee shop, and we'd read a book and you'd help me wash down my snack, and I'd people watch and you'd help me write papers, and it was really really great. Those were the days man.  We were in our prime, you and me. I thought we'd live like that forever.
   So here we are, a few years later and since then we've had our ons and our offs.  And listen I know you don't want to hear it and you always always fight me on it, but I really just need to take a break from you. A long one. Maybe we won't even get back together. I can't guarantee anything. No, please...stop it coffee. You know I want you. Shhhhh. Can't you see this is killing me? I love you too its just...just stop it. No seriously. Stop. Stop it. St. Stt..Sttt...Stttop...Stop it. Don't touch me. 


Monday, March 21, 2011

My Juicy Diet

I'm not shy about the fact that I tend to go for very extreme diet plans.  I've been all over the extreme diet spectrum. When I was 16 my entire family(minus my little brother who has an envious ability to shovel in Burger King and only Burger King and never gain a pound) went on the Atkins Diet. I lost a lot of weight, mostly because the diet was so weird that eventually I just stopped eating. When I realized again that I had free will, I quickly gained the weight back. Fast forward five years and I've turned into the nemesis of Dr. Atkins, a vegan. I did the militant vegan thing for a while, and have modified my diet since by adding in fish and the occasional dairy slip up. I still don't eat cheese. Cheese? Who even cares. 

  And in that time of militant veganhood I ventured into raw territory. I was never so nutty as the call myself a raw foodist, however, I did work in a high end raw vegan restaurant in the north end of Boston for a brief spell and most certainly ate an almost completely raw diet for a period of about 3 to 4 months. It amazes me that I ever stopped because I felt so good, light and happy. I was almost certain when I was in the midst of it, that I would never want to stop. That I had found my new way of being.  Working at the restaurant meant that I brought home all sorts of raw goodies that I neither had the time or equipment to make at home. Being a whole hog serious raw foodist requires some serious and expensive appliances. A high speed blender, juicer and a dehydrator are the essentials, and then you get into the fancy knives and food processors and mandolins and nut bags. When I worked at the raw food restaurant, our patrons would make jokes about how the food should be coming out quicker, its not like the chefs had to cook any thing! Were there even chefs back there?  And whether or not the food tasted good was so up to the individual. I for one loved most of the dishes, but thought that some of them tasted like straight up grass and dirt.  Other people might try everything on the menu and be totally grossed out.

But me, I like raw food.

  My coworker and I got on the subject of the raw food diet this past Friday and it got me thinking back to that time that I felt really good and really like what I was eating. After work on Friday I did the super markets run (I can never go to just one) and ended up picking up an insane amount of raw fruits and vegetables. I then went home and began to do my research, looking up why to do raw and juices to make. All of the sudden, I was hooked.

And then I realized that we have three juicers. Three? I have an old one of my mom's thats like enormous and scary looking and I had yet to use it, ever. And now I come to find out that my meat and potatoes boyfriend owns two juicers? It was like a sign. Juice, Hayley. Juice.
 So my juicing odyssey has begun! And my coworker and I have agreed to do raw up until dinner every day this week. I've gotten through day one. Next week, we might try going really extreme and doing whole days. We'll see how this week goes.

Here are my ups and downs to the raw vegan diet:

Down Side ----> Expensive.
This is obviously a down side to the raw vegan diet. At a time when it would be wise for me to not be spending so much freaking money on food, to be spending just a little more on food that just barely fills me seems a bit ludicrous. I'm hoping to balance this out by not drinking.

Not Sure Side-----> Not Drinking.
I can't decide if this is an up or a down side. Right now, its Monday night and I'd really like to celebrate this particular Monday night, like many of the Monday nights before it, with a glass of wine. Let it be said that I, and no one else, is making me feel obliged to not drink while doing this raw food stunt. I don't really care if wine is raw or not. I'm not going to go my whole life without it, but I figure, if you're going to do your body a solid, try to not drink while doing it. I hope my body is listening. I will probably crack tomorrow. If not sooner.

Down Side --------> The weather outside makes me want to eat crap.
This is a much easier diet to start in August than it is in March. It started snowing today. My salad followed by my green juice and my blood orange did not make me feel any better about the snow that was falling all over the place, reminding me that I'm cold, and that my food is cold, and that its totally not what I wanted to eat.

Up Side -------> My skin is kinda glowing
 No lie! My skin is more orangey than usual. Its probably because of the 40 carrots I had to juice to make one glass of carrot juice yesterday.

Down Side ------> My pee smells different.

Up Side ---------> My pee smells different.

Up Side ---------> I do not feel bad about eating a whole avocado all at once.
Did you know that an avocado has at least one million calories in it? Yeah for some reason I don't think that matters when you're on the raw diet.  So I'm gonna eat the heck out of avocados.

Up Side ---------> Juice is delicious
For serious. Juice is like really really yum yum. And yet, I've always felt bad about drinking juice out of those bottles that you buy at the store. They have sugar in them. This makes me sad. But when you're juicing your own juices, there is no sticker on the back of your bottle to tell you how many calories or sugars are in your juice, which means that there must be none.

Down Side ----------> Sometimes juice isn't delicious.
  I'm trying to get into green juices.  I'm slowly getting myself into a serious green juice. I don't know if I'm down with drinking something that straight up tastes like grass and leaves.  But I've been putting kale into my morning fruit smoothies, and it turns it green without making it taste very green. Does that count as a green smoothie? Probably not.

Down Side ------> Juicing takes forever
and ever and ever and ever. No lie. To make about 24 ounces of juice yesterday, I juiced 2 large cucumbers, a pound of carrots, most of a large carton of straw berries, 5 apples, and whole bag of spinach. And it took a long ass time.

Up Side ---------> Eating your meals through a straw is easy.
 Having a stressful day? Don't have time to sit down with a good old fork and knife and laboriously cut your tiny or large bites of something delicious and rewarding?  Don't let eating ruin your work productivity any more! Throw it in a blender and hit blend you time wasting fool! I don't even need to look at my food to eat it anymore. I just whistle it down the hatch while I write my emails and answer the phones.  Easiest way to eat your lunch ever. Get yourself a fun straw or something. Liquid lunch is sooo cool.  But I recommend it be raw foods. I have a feeling chicken parmesan is not going to do well in blended form.

Down Side --------> People will think you are a weirdo.
This needs zero explanation as I assume that most of you already thought I was big weirdo for even having a reason to write about the raw food diet, let alone put myself through one.

Down Side -------> Caffeine and sugar withdrawal
  I hit a point today where my caffeine withdrawal symptoms were so sucky that I could barely talk. This has nothing to do with the raw diet and all to do with the fact that I've become completely addicted to drinking coffee all day and every day. At least 3 cups a day, if not more. That can't be good for you, so I endured the pain of the massive searing all head encompassing throbbing that took over me this afternoon. I did take two advil. They were not raw. And I did not care.

Up Side -------> Raw diet will help you break bad habits
Like drinking coffee, a bottle of wine a day, chewing gum, and soda.

The Up Side....
When all is said and done, I will feel better for having done this. It's cleansing, healthy, and will ultimately help me break all the craptastic habits that have slowly been creeping back into my once immaculate diet. And I might lose a pound or two. Here's to hope!