Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring Cleansing Day 3

Ughhh woke up this morning so tired again. To be expected I guess. I felt way more energized after having a grapefruit sprinkled with cinnamom (soooo good!)

Work today flew by. Anna and I had a ton to work on, plus I got to watch Biggest Loser during my downtime. I'm so hooked on that show. I drank a bunch of water and tea all morning, so when lunchtime came around I actually wasn't starving. And after my apple, carrots, snap peas and mango slices I was actually pretty full! This detox is so weird...I didn't think I'd make it this far without feeling like death. I did have a stomachache last night, I at least I know its working!

I had vegetable broth, half a papaya (which wasn't nearly as good as I was expecting) and a chard, spinach, cucumber and strawberry salad for dinner, plus some detox tea. I was stuffed, which shocks me. The upside is I was able to walk on the treadmill for a half hour without feeling tired. But I still feel really full. Strange...

I'm halfway through the detox, and I can't believe I've done so well! I'm hopefully going to be feeling like a new person by next week, I'm so sick of feeling crappy!

Wish me luck, and Live Free!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring Cleansing Days 1&2

So, as promised, I'm writing about my detoxing experience this week. Let me explain a little bit about where I'm coming from.

I first read about detoxing in "Skinny Bitch" and I was automatically intrigued. You can do a water fast, a juice fast, or a raw fruits and veggies fast. Starting out, I didn't want to go too extreme, so I started researching raw fasts. Basically, you only eat organic, uncooked fruits and vegetables for a period of time. I decided to match my detox up with Holy Week (the week leading up to Easter), because detoxing is supposed to be a mind clearing and spiritual experience. My physical reason for doing it is that I need to flush my system out and rid myself of all the junk I've put into my body that I'm allergic to.

I started the detox yesterday with grapefruit for breakfast. I thought I'd be absolutely starving a short time later, but I actually wasn't! That grapefruit actually held me over longer than cereal does! All morning I had plenty of energy, I was so surprised because I'd read the first days of the detox are rough. For lunch, I had carrots, snap peas, an apple, and strawberries. Again, I had energy all afternoon, though it did start waning towards the end of my work day. For dinner, I had a cup of vegetable broth, a pear, a bunch of broccoli, blueberries and sliced cucumber. I also drank some detox tea after dinner to help the process along. I was definitely tired by that point, I'm sure as a combination from my weekend in San Francisco and the new eating pattern.

This morning I meant to get up early and work out, but I woke up with no energy so I skipped it, probably for the best. I had cantaloupe and strawberries for breakfast. I was definitely tired all day at work today. Luckily, I never really got the headaches that I'd been reading about. For lunch I had an apple, carrots and snap peas again. Its amazing how filling fruits and vegetables are! I never even realized that before, probably because I've never eaten enough fruits and vegetables. I started to get a bloated stomachache around dinner time, so I know the detoxing is finally starting. I'm so happy to be getting rid of those toxins! For dinner, I had a pear, a red bell pepper, and broccoli, and I even treated myself to "dessert": cantaloupe chunks, strawberries and grapes. Wow that sounds lame hahaha.

Overall though I feel pretty good about what I'm doing. I thought I'd be starving all the time, but I'm actually realizing that fruits and vegetables can totally fill you up, and I actually find myself eating less. I'm excited to see how this will affect me once I start eating real food again! I'm hoping it will noticeably lessen my food allergy symptoms. We'll see though.

Stay tuned, and Live Free!

Sweet Potato Fries and Bean Dip

So I've started my raw food detox, which I'll be writing about later, but I made these recipes last week and I promised my twitter followers I'd share them!

I love sweet potatoes. I thought when I went potato-free that I'd never eat a french fry again and I was so sad. But then I realized I like sweet potatoes bet
ter than potatoes, so I'd probably prefer sweet potato fries to regular fries as well! Unfortunately, I've always been a bit challenged when it comes to cooking potatoes. I don't know why, I could just never get it quite right. A fe
w weeks ago, I drove to San Diego to visit my aunt and her family, and lo and behold, she was cooking sweet potato fries for dinner! So I watched closely while she cooked and memorized the steps so I could do the same.

When I tried the recipe at home, they turned out great!

Sweet Potato Fries

1 large sweet potato
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
Salt to taste
Oregano to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Peel the sweet potato and cut into slices. Then, toss the slices in a large bowl with the olive oil and add the seasonings. When I made these, I actually used a Bulgarian seasoning that is my roommates, but I can't even read the label since none of it was in English! But if you are feeling adventurous, the package looks like this:

(sorry its sideways...havent learned how to fix that yet)

Once the fries are ready, put them in the oven for 30 minutes. At the 15 minute mark, take them out and flip the fries over so they get crispy on both sides. Then, enjoy!

I ate the fries with this bean dip that I made, but it was a little heavy. I'm just not able to eat a whole lot of condiments, so if you can, be creative with what you dip them in!

This bean dip I actually got from an episode of "Ruby" on the Style network. Funny story, I was actually watching a rough cut of the episode for a project I was doing at work, and heard this recipe and jotted it down in my notebook. Last week, I was looking back through my notebook and found the recipe and decided to make it!

Cantenelli Bean Dip

1 can Bush Cantenelli (white kidney) beans
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. lemon juice
Salt to taste
Other spices (thyme, oregano) to taste

I played around with this one a bit as well. I loooove oregano so I put it in everything, feel free to substitute other spices you like. Preparation is easy. Rinse the beans, then put all the ingredients into a blender or food processor. Refrigerate for a while after preparing, it tastes so much fresher cold. Serve with rice crackers, Terra chips, or veggies!

As I mentioned before, I started my detox yesterday, so I'll be posting again later tonight! Thanks for reading!

Live Free.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Ten Things (and blogs!) That Make Me Happy

So I've seen this award thing on a few people's blogs, and I think its such a cool idea. I'm not sure how it works...seems like everyone who's done it has gotten the award from someone else. I may not have gotten an award, but I love the concept and life would be boring if we always followed the rules! Basically, you post ten things that make you happy, then post ten blogs you love! So here goes:

1. Jerseys
Jerseys are by far my favorite article
of clothing. I don't know what started this for me. I mean, I've always liked sports, but its not like I watch ESPN constant
ly or even know how my own teams are doing sometimes. (except the Cougars, I always keep track of them). I love football jerseys the most, and I have 4 currently, followed by basketball; I'm pretty sure I ha
ve like 7 of those. And my one lone soccer jersey. They are just so comfortable and I may be completely wrong, but I think they look great on! Plus, I think its something that
makes me a little quirky, people are usually surprised when they see a girl who flaunts jerseys like its her job. So I guess I like that too :)

2. Family and Friends
My best friends and Kappa sisters Kelli, Kaylee and Steph

My aunt, mom and sister Ally
With dad on dad's weekend!

I couldn't live without these people. They are not only my support system, but they are the people who bring me the most joy. I'm a very social person by nature, so I need strong connections with people. I love them all because they love me, and because of that they aren't easy on me. Every single one of them tells me like it is, which I always appreciate. They are my motivation for the things I do, because I hope to make each one of them so proud!

3. Dressing Up My Dogs

Nothing puts a bigger smile on my face than dressing up my dogs in ridiculous things. I decorate them for every holiday. I make them wear sunglasses and my mom's reading glasses. I put all sorts of hats on them. I put t-shirts on them. I'm pretty sure one of them has worn Uggs for a brief moment. There is just truly nothing funnier than dressed up dogs.

4. Carefree summer days

Summer in Vancouver is one of my favorite things. The last few summers, I've been lucky enough to not work full time, and because of that, I get to be pretty spontaneous with my days. Ultimate frisbee/touch football on the beach, being barefoot, driving with the sunroof open or riding in the back of someone's truck, playing catch at the park, riding my bmx bike with someone on the pegs, only driving if its too far to walk, laying in the sun, slip and sliding, bonfires. There is just nothing like the summer to make you feel like a kid again. It truly brings out the best in me.

5. Football

Whether I'm watching it or playing it, football is my favorite sport. There's just something about it that makes me so giddy with excitement. I never miss a home game at school, and I jump at the chance to play touch football, whether it's at Reaney Park in the rain, or on the beach in the middle of the summer. It gets my endorphins and competitive spirit flowing like no other sport can.

6. Greece

The girls and I out to dinner in Skiathos
Classic Greek restaurant
Beautiful view of Skaithos's Old Harbour
Agios Konstantinos, Greece
The group out in Skiathos

I love traveling of any kind to any destination, it is what makes life interesting. But of all the places I've been, I've never been happier than when I spend a summer abroad in Greece. Their lifestyle intrigued me. They are all about living in the moment and having fun over anything else. Talking to the locals opened my eyes to a truly beautiful way of life that I strive to emulate as much as possible every day. Paired with the delicious food and mind-blowing scenery, it makes Greece the place I'd most like to live.

7. Acting Gangster

I know this seems like a weird one, but what can I say, I'm weird. I don't know why I love dressing/acting gangster sometimes, its just so much fun! Maybe its because I'm just about the farthest from gangster with my suburban upbringing, but hey, whose really paying attention to details?

8. Themed parties

I don't just love dressing gangster every once in a while, I also love getting dressed up for any theme. I have so much fun getting outfits ready for these types of things, its ridiculous. It may be a college thing, but I feel like it's something I'll never grow out of.

9. Amusement Parks

Speaking of feeling like a kid again, I literally get giddy about amusement parks. I can't believe I used to be the girl who was terrified to ride Space Mountain at age 9. Now, Space Mountain (above) is one of my favorite rides of all times. I especially like rides that go upside down or drop hundreds of feet. Adrenaline rushes are the best!

10. Kickboxing

I'm still fairly new to this, but it is my absolute favorite way to work out. It makes me feel so strong and powerful, and I actually look forward to doing it. I hope to train more diligently someday, I'd love to actually learn how to box, in case I ever need to put someone in a headlock or something ;)

Ten Blogs I Love

1. Beauty in the Imperfections - this is my friend Anna's blog. We work together at E! and she is easily my closest friend here in L.A. She's an aspiring musician with a passion for creating change through pop culture. Her blog is so fun to read, and she always has something meaningful to say!

2. My Own Sweet Thyme - Lisa is a friend of my moms. My mom suggested I check out her blog before I start my own. I'm so glad I did! She is an avid cook who has so many great recipes. Her blog has been an inspiration to me through this whole process. Not to mention she's been so helpful when I have questions.

3. Seed Kitchen - Seed is a restaurant in Venice, CA that serves macrobiotic, vegan cuisine. Eric, the owner, opened the restaurant after curing his wife Sanae's cancer with a macrobiotic diet. I find their story so interesting and motivating. I've attended a meet up with Sanae, and she is truly so great. She really loves life, and her change in diet has truly changed her life. The blog, the restaurant, and their cookbooks are definitely worth checking out!

4. Simply Sugar and Gluten Free - Not only are her recipes amazing, but I find Amy's story so motivational and inspiring. She's got lots of great baked goods that are guilt free, which I love! We both share sensitivities to sugar and gluten, and its always nice to know other people out there who are going through the same things I am!

5. Affairs of Living - Kim's recipes are awesome. They are so creative, not to mention delicious! She has a passion for cooking and devotes so much time to it. I wish I could be more like her! She has found ways around her allergies, and through doing so, has helped me find ways around mine. Hers is one of my favorite blogs to read!

6. Gluten Free Portland Oregon - I love this blog for obvious reasons, it helps me find gluten free restaurants, products and classes in Portland, which is just minutes from my hometown. Portland is such a great city, with so many diverse people who are all so friendly and down to earth, its no wonder the city has such a great blog!

7. Gluten Free Frenzy - I just recently discovered this blog, but I love it! It is centered around gluten free giveaways and interviews with gluten free bloggers. Who doesn't love giveaways? And I find the interviews so extremely helpful for my own blog. Basically, it was love at first sight!!

8. Diet, Dessert and Dogs - I love love love Ricki's blog because we share a few things in common, namely, our diet and love for dogs! Reading her blog is so fun because she's a great writer, has great recipes, and is always posting pictures of her adorable pups! What could be better?

9. Triumph Dining Gluten Free Blog - Another great GF blog. It's not just recipes, but reviews of all that is gluten free. It is such a truly informative blog, I've learned a lot from reading it! It's a must see if your gluten free!

10. Grant Butler - Ok, so this isn't exactly a blog, but it definitely deserves recognition! Grant Butler is a writer for FoodDay in the Oregonian (our Portland newspaper). He went vegan for a month, writing about it in the Oregonian, and now he's staying vegan! He's got such a cool job, and he's an inspiration to my future career!

Wow that took a lot of time! Hope you guys enjoy reading it as much as I did! Thanks for reading! And, as always, Live Free!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Six Products I'm Loving Right Now

Sorry I haven't written in a while! I've been too insanely busy to try any new recipes and too broke to try any new restaurants so ergo, no new posts. But I came up with this idea this morning, so hopefully you all can stay interested.

For those of us with food allergies, we know its tough to find products we can trust. And while anything not made with our own two hands is never completely trustworthy, these products have never caused problems for me.

1. MaraNatha Organic Raw Almond Butter

For some strange reason, I've been having a hell of a time finding almond butter at the grocery store. Ralphs, the primary grocer in L.A. only carries almond butter that has added sugar in it, so clearly, I don't buy it. I noticed that even the Whole Foods I regularly visit doesn't carry the almond butter I used to eat (which usually contained added salt), so I picked up this stuff, hoping it would do the trick. Turns out, I like it better than anything else I've tried. The best part is, it tastes amazing and the only ingredient is organic almonds! yummmm....

2. Trader Joe's Mediterranean Hummus


This hummus is seriously incredible. My mom got it for us for the first time last summer and I've been hooked ever since. I don't know exactly what makes it so good, between the roasted garlic you can taste or the delicious decoration on top, but it blows every other hummus I've tried out of the water. The only thing is, I tend to finish the whole thing in less than a week, so I'm always going back for more.

3. Endangered Species Dark Chocolate with Raspberry


I've been searching all over for a chocolate that magically contained no dairy and no sugar. My friends laugh in my face when I tell them that's what I'm looking for, but now I finally get to say "I told you so". Endangered species dark chocolate is made with cocoa (in fact, the cocoa percentage is clearly marked on the front of the label), soy, and in this case, unsweetened dried raspberry pieces. The best part, though, is that if you buy this chocolate (and it is not cheap, let me tell you) they donate 10% of the proceeds to help support species, habitat, and humanity. And you all know how much I love animals. Needless to say, I'm a big fan of this situation.

4. Rice Expressions Organic Brown Rice


These are the epitome of easy allergy free eating (provided you aren't allergic to rice). They are located in the frozen foods section, most likely at Whole Foods. Each box contains 3 portioned packets of frozen rice that you pop in the microwave for 3 minutes and voila, you have rice. I always add different stuff to it, like my mushroom rice recipe below, or edamame (which I had for dinner last night). It's perfect if you don't have time to cook or are simply just lazy when it comes to cooking, like me.

5. Terra Chips

Since I can't eat potato or tortilla chips anymore, I assumed chips were just out for me for good. Thankfully, these little puppies exist. They are a baked blend of a number of root veggies including sweet potatoes, beets, and taro. They are incredible but beware, they are also extremely addicting. It's truly impossible to have just one. They honestly make me question why I ever ate potato chips in the first place.

6. Lara Bars
These bars make my life. I can't eat any other energy or granola bar, not to mention that most of them taste like crushed up vitamin supplements anyways. Whoever invented these is a genius. There are a bunch of different flavors, and the only ingredients are nuts, dates and sometimes coconut and fruit juice, depending on the flavor. My personal favorite is Lemon Bar, because, I kid you not, it tastes like an actual lemon bar. They are the perfect mid afternoon or post-workout snack.

Those are just a few products I swear by at the moment. There are plenty more, but I'm currently cleaning out my kitchen to go raw for Holy Week/spring detoxing (I'll be documenting that feat on my blog starting next week), so I can't think of any more off the top of my head.

Hope you all are having a wonderful day!

Live Free

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pizza Fusion

Finally, I can eat restaurant pizza again.

I've had a few guy friends in town for the Pac-10 tournament. This hasn't been easy on me, seeing as they are always hungry and always wanting to eat the foods that tempt me most. After Thursday's games, they were all craving pizza, which was once my favorite food. Luckily, I'd heard of a pizza place called Pizza Fusion, on Sunset Blvd. that serves organic pizza with gluten free and vegan options.

The gluten free crust costs extra, but it's worth it. I got a personal "Very Vegan" pizza with GF crust. It had soy cheese and mushrooms on top. It was seriously amazing. Unfortunately, they don't make a non-tomato sauce, so I had them use olive oil instead.

My only beef with Pizza Fusion is that their GF crust is not vegan, it has eggs. That is the only ingredient in the whole pizza I couldn't eat. But you have to indulge every once in a while. I plan on contacting the restaurant and requesting a crust that is GF and also vegan. For some reason, its hard to come by baked products that are both GF and vegan.

Pizza Fusion also had GF beer and brownies, so you've got a complete meal! Plus, the sauce and many of the toppings are vegan, so there are plenty of options. The only non-GF toppings are BBQ sauce and sausage, so steer clear of those and your golden!

To find locations and more info, visit

Monday, March 8, 2010

Props to Sprinkles, Food, Inc. and Jamie Oliver.

What a day, I need to rant.

First of all, Anna and I made a trip to Sprinkles Cupcakes in Beverly Hills today. It was great to get away from the office for an hour. Of course, seeing as I'm avoiding wheat, eggs, dairy AND sugar, I didn't expect to be eating cupcakes today. BUT, I do commend Sprinkles on having a gluten-free cupcake and a vegan cupcake. I asked if they can make a cupcake that is both gluten-free AND vegan and they told me they've had an overwhelming amount of requests for such a cupcake, so it could definitely happen soon. Way to go Sprinkles! Now find a way to sweeten them without sugar and I'm yours forever.

#1 show premiere I'm most excited for this spring: Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. I read his mission and watched some previews, and let me just say: WOW. I love what this guy is trying to do and I sincerely hope he succeeds. He is basically trying to revamp the way America eats, starting with the unhealthiest city in the nation (somewhere in North Carolina). He's already met so much resistance, but I can't wait to see him change people's minds. It sickens me that people are so set in their ways that they are willing to turn a blind eye to what they are eating. Its easier, cheaper and more convenient for them to eat crap, and then they wonder why diabetes and childhood obesity are so prominent. OPEN YOUR EYES PEOPLE! The answer is staring you right in the face! Be proactive about it! Anyways, I'm just glad someone is doing something on national television. I'll be watching every step of the way, you can count on it.

Lastly, I watched "Food, Inc." today. Very eye opening. Very anxiety-inducing. But most definitely a movie you have to see. Thankfully, they pushed arguements that I already believe in, eat locally and organically, stay away from GMOs, stuff like that. What really irked me is that GMO corporations have prevented the government from passing laws requiring products to be labeled if they contain GMOs. This lady was like "we dont want to freak people out when they dont have all the facts". Idiot. The fact is, eating stuff that doesn't occur naturally isn't and will never be good for us. Our bodies weren't made to digest that junk. This is the reason people like me have allergies. Did you know gluten is derived from corn? Scientists have manipulated corn to create so many different things, plus its fed to the animals we eat. No WONDER corn allergies are popping up everywhere! We are literally on corn overload! Gross! Basically here's my big point: I have allergies. I eat the way I do because of them. But more than that, I'm starting to eat this way because it makes sense. Think about it. Why eat something you can't pronounce? How can that be good for you? Eating healthy is simple: Don't be stupid, use your head. We can't blindly follow the government or anything. They are trying to help us but they can't do everything. We have to rely on ourselves to eat what is good for us. We have to be the change. No one is going to do it for us. And it starts with only purchasing food that is healthy. Because if we all by that, companies will see the revenue it is generating, and hopefully only sell those foods. Baby steps, people. Be smart, thats all it takes.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Super Easy Mushroom Rice

So, as I've mentioned, I'm not much of a cook. I don't have the time or resources to create gourmet meals in the kitchen. In fact, most college students, as well as working women, don't have time to cook intricate creations either. That is my audience. Those are the people I'm trying to help. I've been developing easy ways to make quick, gluten-free, allergy-free meals that are still enjoyable. Other people have it easy, they can cook top ramen, TV dinners, and mac and cheese if they are pressed for time. Not us. I believe we are blessed because of it. It doesn't have to be hard for us.

This is one of my favorite quick dinners to make. I had to run to work Thursday night, and I knew I didn't have much time to cook. This recipe left me beyond satisfied. For the rice, I recommend cooking a bunch of brown rice and refrigerating it for future use. But if you don't even have time for that, I recommend frozen/microwavable brown rice. Try Annie Chun's or Trader Joe's. Trader Joe's is my personal favorite. They have frozen rice that comes in individually portioned packets, and they only take about 3-4 minutes of microwave heating.

Mushroom Rice
3/4 c. rice, or individual packet of frozen rice
1/2 c. mushrooms, more or less depending on preference
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. thyme

For you protein lovers, cubed chicken or tofu can also be added to this recipe. I didn't use either because I simply didn't have the time to cook it. It really depends what you are in the mood for, but no worries, it's plenty filling without chicken or tofu.

Cook the rice as directed on the package. In the meantime, saute the mushrooms in the olive oil over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes. Mix the rice and mushrooms in a bowl with the oregano and thyme. And viola, you have a delicious meal in minutes! Enjoy!!

My Vegan Take on Scrambled Eggs

I miss eggs. Scrambled, Fried, Omelettes. They are so easy to make to get a protein-packed breakfast. Since I can't eat eggs, I usually eat oatmeal or some kind of smoothie for breakfast. But every once in a while, I crave something savory in the morning. Luckily, I found a recipe that allowed me to do this. I decided to twist it around a bit to make it my own. I've eaten this for the past two days for breakfast because I ran out of oatmeal at my place, and I'm hooked. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Tofu Scramble

1 lb. Extra Firm Tofu, cubed
1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
1 Red Onion, chopped
1 c. Mushrooms
1 Zucchini, sliced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 tsp. olive oil
Red Chili Pepper Flakes

Start by cooking the onions in the olive oil over medium low heat for about 3 minutes or until they start getting transparent. Add the garlic and the red bell peppers and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Then add the mushrooms and zucchini, and finally, the tofu. Cook until heated through. Add chili pepper flakes and salt to your liking. If you want it more savory, add more salt. If your looking for a spicy kick, add more chili pepper flakes. Best served hot, but tastes great reheated!!

Serves 3-4. Like I said, it is still great reheated, so even if you are cooking for one, I recommend making the full recipe.

This recipe is so good for you thanks to all the vegetables you are getting, and still provides plenty of protein to get you through the day. What's not to love?