Monday, January 30, 2012

Elimination Diet

Recently, Dr. Oz had a segment on the Anti-Allergy Diet.

This might sound weird to most people, especially if you've never had an allergy. The funny thing is, I have recently been going through an Anti-Allergy food change of my own. I'm pretty sure Dr. Oz is stalking me... Silly Dr. Oz, all you have to do is call and I'll invite you in for a cup of tea!

And in the most recent Harper's Bazaar Gwyneth Paltrow talks about her diet and lifestyle. One thing she mentions is how she often gets to a point where she starts to feel run down and irritable and she goes on a couple week detox. Gwyneth, please call Dr. Oz, and we'll all get together! Seriously, these people are reading my mind right now!

I've had weird food/GI issues for as long as I remember. My parents were told it was probably dairy, but back in the 80's there weren't a lot of choices for non-dairy food choices, so I always just made do. I also have keratosis, which pretty much just means I'm all sorts of atopic, so I'm pretty much doomed.

I decided that 2012 was the year I would finally do something about this, it has been going on for a while.... So I've been doing a complete elimination diet. I was pretty sure before I started what I was allergic to, but I thought I would try to rule out everything that might be causing me problems.

I did the elimination diet for 3 weeks. I started with 10 days of just fruits and veggies, brown rice, quinoa, and limited legumes. I pretty much felt almost awesome! Then I added in meats (chicken, fish, etc) and felt really awesome! I was seriously considering just doing the Paleo Diet at that point in the project. After 10 more days of adding the meats to the original foods, I started adding back in other items in 3 day increments. Started with cacao (I'm not my best without chocolate), followed by soy, tea, eggs, sugar, wheat, dairy, and so on.

I will admit, I didn't get too far. Soy gave me minor indigestion, eggs made me irritable, sugar was fine, but don't get me started on the dairy! Crap, huh?

To solve some of my problems that were somewhat complicated by me getting sick, I went back to the starting foods plus meat for a little while. I don't think I'm completely out of the running for returning to a normal diet, but I do believe I will be more careful what I put in my mouth for a while.

If you're interested in doing your own Elimination Diet, it would most definitely be worth your time. I will warn you this is not a weight loss diet, so unless you're having GI symptoms from an intolerance or eating a lot of crap food, you probably won't lose weight.

Speaking of intolerance, there is some discrepancy to the definitions of allergy vs intolerance.
An actual food allergy means if you eat or are exposed to the food you will develop hives, severe GI symptoms, and overall anaphylaxis. Think peanut allergy reaction.
An intolerance means minor GI symptoms in relation to eating said food product. This can be diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, GERD, cramps, etc. Think IBS.

Men Who Primp

Today, I am sick. I have been committed to my couch since 10:30 this morning, only getting up to use the bathroom. I'll admit, I do feel better than yesterday.... Yesterday was just...ugh! Not only was I developing a URI (upper respiratory tract infection), I had some form of GI bug, and i was feeling the beginnings of a migraine. Thus, when my orientation at 8am ended very shortly thereafter, it was easy to see that a Project Runway marathon with frequent naps interspersed was in order.

All that being said, I did have something to write about today. I have, unfortunately for you, mustered up enough energy between the hacking and post-migraine eyes to type this out. Yay!

Today on Today (haha!) Jenna Bush Hager addressed the common conundrum of men who primp.

If I were to be more specific, her piece is really about the metrosexual male and what it means not only for our culture but the industry in general. I thought it was really interesting as I am a big advocate for men dressing well.

Don't get me wrong, I don't mean suits and tuxedos for everyday wear, but I do mean choosing appropriate clothes for your body type and dressing up just slightly from what the occasion calls for.
How can you not think this guy looks great?

Though I do not have an S.O. that needs dressing up, I often find myself perusing websites like The Sartorialist and TheBerry's 'Stuff I Wish My Boyfriend Would Wear' thinking to myself, "Wow! I would love to find a straight guy who dresses like this!"

I do believe that getting a guy to 'dress-up' can stem from early influences, which is why I encourage all you moms/future-moms to dress up your boys. I know, I know, they're just going to get it dirty, but if you can get your little guy to put on a sweater vest with his jeans, you are doing him a favor! Truly!
Hello!!!! Adorable!!!

I love when I see little boys all dressed up. And I know the mom's out there work hard to make their boys look good. If you need inspiration or a place to buy or just want to 'ooh' and 'ahh', look at The Little Gentleman's Closet on Etsy

I understand that this may be quite difficult if your S.O. is the couch-surfing, holey-sweatpants-rocking, t-shirt-from-highschool-wearing type. But, I do believe with a little encouragement, every man could be persuaded to dress this way. In fact, if you shop with him and find dress clothes that are also comfortable (meaning they fit him well and are made of fabric that will breathe and move with him), your job will be much simpler.

My utmost thanks to all who heed my plea! I encourage all the male readers I don't have to continue to dress up. Find clothes that fit you well and make you feel good. Don't feel weird dressing up slightly more than the occasion calls for. And have fun with it! Hats and scarves are wonderful accessories!

Friday, January 27, 2012

My thoughts on Paula Deen

A lot of people have had a lot to say about Paula Deen recently.
They have said a lot of not very nice things about her and the business she has built. I'm sure you've read or heard many of them, so there's really no need for me to go into any detail.

I'm not a fan of that. I understand why people would think it is ridiculous, the woman has an empire founded solely on sugar and butter (mmmmm.....butter......). And it is a very very delicious empire, if I do say so. Thus, a lot of people think she deserves what she 'got'.

I'll let you in on a little secret, I'm not one of them.

Don't get me wrong, those fabulous recipes of hers are in no way healthy, albeit delicious, and no woman in a kitchen cooking all that amazingness could resist tasting it all these years. So, yes, the doctor in me recognizes that she got herself into this mess.

But, Paula Deen has never told anyone to use her recipes on a daily basis. If anything, she promotes moderation, which is really the only way to live. And she has openly recognized that she has not lived the best lifestyle possible and attributes her Diabetes to exactly that.

Also, Paula Deen was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes at age 60. I couldn't tell you how many patients I have diagnosed with the same disease at significantly younger ages! Most of them before the age of 40. And a large portion of people over the age of 60 who don't have a cooking dynasty suffer from Diabetes, so what's the big deal about her having it? She's not alone and she is definitely not the minority. Come on, Venus Williams has Sjogren's Syndrome, which is very rare.

I think the thing that really peeves me about this is Anthony Bourdain's commentary on the subject. He called Paula Deen "the most dangerous woman in America" because of her recipes and her lifestyle. As if he's one to talk. Have you ever watched his show? Yes, his food choices are healthier, but he drinks like a fish!

I digress.

I really like Paula Deen. From what I know of her, she's made a lot of good out of a poor deal of cards. And she has such a positive and enjoyable outlook on life! One of my favorite quotes from her was when she was on Oprah:

O: What do you say to your health conscious fans?
PD: AHAHAHAHA! I'm not a doctor!

Anywho, I think we should all lay off "The Lady" and give her some mad props for the delicious recipes that make our mouths water and remind our current pant size that this is only temporary. On that note, here is my favorite Paula Deen recipe!

Sweet Potato Bread Pudding

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 13 by 9-inch baking dish.

In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups milk, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 1/2 cups sweet potato puree, 2 tsp vanilla, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp nutmeg. Cook over medium-high heat, just until the mixture begins to boil. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk 6 egg yolks until smooth and combined. Using a ladle, pour 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture in a slow, steady stream into the yolks, whisking constantly. Add another 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture and whisk to combine. Pour the egg mixture into the milk mixture. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until it’s thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 3 to 5 minutes. Strain the custard and reserve.

Cover the bottom of the baking dish with 1 layer of bread slices. Pour about 1/4 of the custard mixture over the bread. Repeat with remaining bread (total of 2 loaves) and custard, ending with custard. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

Sprinkle the bread pudding with the pecan crumble (below). Bake until the crumble mixture is golden and the custard is bubbly, about 45 minutes. Serve warm.

Pecan Crumble:

In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup flour, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 stick butter, 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup chopped pecans, and mix with a hand mixer on low speed, until well combined.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

How to Pinterest?

My current obsession : Pinterest.

Where have you been all my life?????

I don't know what my life was without you! I was so lost! There was no organization! There was no way to keep track of all those fun things I like without taking up valuable space on my hard drive!

It has become my life. I have no time for anything else!

If you have not signed up for Pinterest and you have other things to do during your day, please do not do it! Stay far far far away! Please, for the love of your family, your budget, your waistline, RUN AWAY!!!

Are you still there?

Have I lost you to Pinterest yet?


Well, for those of you who are new to Pinterest or have absolutely no idea of what I'm talking about, below are some tips and tidbits about Pinterest that might help you figure the crazy thing out.
  • Pinterest is an online pin board. This means, when you find things you like online (a blog, a recipe, a hilarious pic) you can save it on your Pinterest board.
  • You have several pin boards on Pinterest. You can label them to keep track of your pins. I have boards for recipes, pics, crafts, shoes, you know, the usual.
  • When I want to go back to something I've pinned (let's say a recipe), I just go to my boards, select the recipe board, it brings up all my recipe pins. Then I click on the one I wanted and the link connects me to the original recipe online.
  • You don't have to just 'pin' things that other people have already pinned
  • I often find a lot of things online that I 'pin' to Pinterest.
  • I also have pinned a lot of things other people have already pinned.
  • There's a lot of pinning going on....
  • You can also "like" things. This is kind of similar to a Facebook "like"
  • This is not really a social site.
  • Note: if you 'pin' something, people are likely to also 'pin' it, and Pinterest will send you an e-mail notifying you of the "re-pin". If you 'pin' something totally awesome, say a Lego Storm Trooper baking muffins, it might get 're-pinned' several times.
  • I get an unnatural satisfaction from people "re-pinning" something I've pinned.
  • In fact, I find so much fun in it that I purposely spend hours and hours of my day searching the internet for awesomeness just so I can 'pin' it.
  • I need help.
  • I need an intervention.
  • I should be medicated......
Enough about me. Moving on.

Sometimes I actually make the things I pin on Pinterest.

Currently, I'm knitting a cabled cowl. Here's my progress thus far:
I also made this cute baby hat:
I made these leggings from an old sweater:

And this skirt from another old sweater:

These Butterbeer Cupcakes were AMAZING!!! Make them for any party you're going to and you'll be the belle of the ball. Don't take the leftovers home with you. That would be waistline suicide!

Melted Snowman cookies Chocolate Chip Grinch Cookies

"Drink Break" aprons for my siblings. It's a family joke thing.

These AWESOME fleece headbands!

In other news, have you heard of The Berry? I spend much of my day here and find a significant amount of my 'pins' here. Yep, and now you're never coming back because you'll be wasting all your time on The Berry and Pinterest.

Say goodbye to your families. And your books. And your wallet because you'll be spending so much money at the store...

My Favorite Building in Detroit

I have only lived in Detroit for a year and a half, but I've made my way around the city.

I have spent ample time downtown doing some work with my church. I love the buildings down there! There's so much history, and the architecture is superb!

I have driven around the historic neighborhoods and seen all the epic houses from the heyday of Henry Ford and his contemporaries. Did you know there's a Frank Lloyd Wright house in Detroit? It's made 100% from glass and cement. It's beautiful!

But none compare to the Michigan Central Station.

It's just stunning!

As you drive north into the city of Detroit, it is one of the first buildings you see. It is huge and definitely makes an impression.

Back in the day, this building was state of the art!

It was designed by the Warren & Wetmore and Reed & Stem firms who also designed New York City's Grand Central Terminal. It cost $15 million to build!

The last train left the station on January 6, 1988, and the station was permanently closed.

Now it sits in ruin.

It is used from time to time for movies, music videos, and tv shows.

Some of these pictures make me cry. I imagine all the beauty this building used to behold. And seeing the way it is being treated now/has been treated is so sad.

Although, I have to admit, some of the graffiti is pretty interesting.
It adds a sort of "Detroit Charm"....

And this last pic is just awesome!

If you want to learn more, go to:

"Ruins are the visible symbols and landmarks of our societies and their changes ... the volatile result of the change of eras and the fall of empires. This fragility leads us to watch them one very last time: to be dismayed, or to admire, it makes us wonder about the permanence of things."

Also, if you haven't watched the Eminem video "Beautiful", please do so now.