Sunday, September 27, 2015

#8 supplements = romcoms, drugs, sex, food and hot Italian men

#8 this week of the most boring list of 20 things to try for 2015 and in a very lame attempt at making it more fun I've decided to take a very lose interpretation of the word "supplements" and inappropriately refer to it as DRUGS! And a bunch of other words that are not nearly as offensive.

I mean who doesn't love drugs, right?! Even if the only reason you love drugs is because it gives you the opportunity to anally probe any cute guy coming back from Mexico (yes in this scenario you are a unethical boarder security guard and don't we all feel safer knowing that! Thank god I'm white otherwise they would have me shipped off to Syria already just in time for a nuclear air strike).

And on that tangent, I think it is time we all became aware that it is a full moon, and I have started my period today (yes that is a good thing and the world agrees, work colleagues especially, as they sigh a big sigh of relief of not having to deal with my OTT self for another month). And although I'm feeling a tad feisty and this blog is probably not going to make much sense to anyone, unless they are ADHD and/or are my good friend Paulo (who has taken off again and we have no idea where he is...again), I do promise it should be somewhat entertaining and absolutely completely inappropriate.

So #8 (can you believe I agreed to write 20 of these things?!) is: "take you supplements daily, or as directed by a health care professional."

I just want to be super clear here that I am not a health care professional but I do believe fully in taking drugs daily (aka taking your supplements daily). Why do I insist on using the two words interchangeably? And no, it's not because I'm duping you into reading a blog by naming it something sensational yet completely unrelated to the actual topic of the blog post (see: 74 sex acts involving chocolate), although I'm not opposed to that idea.

Well (dietary) supplements are defined as "a product intended for ingestion that contains a "dietary ingredient" intended to add further nutritional value to (supplement) the diet." (thank you FDA).

So, sometimes we need to add things (supplements) to life to enhance our life. Sometimes that thing we add (supplement) are drugs. That is all I'm saying. And you do what you need to do to make your life better, no judgement from me. As sometimes those things you add to enhance life are a new exercise routine (can we say running!!), or maybe it is hanging out with a new group of friends (yay book clubs!!) or maybe it is a new MAC palate to celebrate the beginning of Fall. The options are endless really.
Welcome to Fall bitches!!

Ok, I know what you are thinking, "Alright Andrea, I'm totally on board with taking drugs daily but why would I want to take dietary supplements isn't eating enough to get my daily required nutrients?!"

Maybe, if you are hoping only to not have scurvy but I'm talking about aiming for something a bit higher than getting enough nutrients to prevent your limbs falling off. So in short, the answer to your question is: No. I don't care how healthy you are (even me), you need supplements. It is nearly impossible for us to get all our daily nutrients from the food we eat. I know you are shocked, you McDonald's binge eating junkie but hear me out.

Unless you are eating the true Mediterranean diet, and no I don't mean you are drinking copious amounts of red wine and consuming fatty desserts through an IV you ill-informed hedonist. I mean, you live in a country along the Mediterranean basin (Italy!!) and it is the 1950s and you are eating a diet of local and seasonal fresh non-processed food and actually meet your daily exercise needs probably because your job involves more than you sitting on your ass all day (it likely involves you finding your food). So unless you found yourself a time machine and that is your awesome life OR my blog being posted somehow ripped through the time space continuum and I'm speaking to your 1950s sexy Italian self (which would be weird and probably a great premise for a romantic comedy starring a millennial version of Meg Ryan) you are not getting enough nutrients in your diet. Accept it. Have a multi-vitamin and help me cast my new romantic comedy!

Here are my picks for the time traveling foodie romantic comedy, Mediterranean Diet:

Our starring lady will be Clement Chabernaud, some model for Balmain, that no one has heard off (except all those people in the fashion industry, like Kanye West) but that no one will be able to forget once they see her act! I just feel she totally embodies that millennial Meg Ryan romantic comedy time traveling vibe we're going for here, don't you? (rhetorical question, don't answer).

Character name: Ida Magnolia






For the leading man, I went for a bit of a more well known dude, Ben Whishaw, to play the hot Italian stuck in the boring 1950s (I mean there is no Netflix!). And yes I realize he is British and known for playing the hipster version of Q in the latest James Bond films, but whatever, this is a movie about time traveling and finding your soulmate across the time space continuum! It isn't exactly reality based, so fuck off and get over it!

Character name: Bergamot Elm


Brief Synopsis for Mediterranean Diet (tag line: the only supplement you need is love):

Ida Magnolia (Clement Chabernaud) is a super stylish, witty, uber intelligent, foodie blogger who writes for some super posh dining out magazine in some nondescript bustling metropolis that never sleeps (read: NYC). Her life is full of fabulous friends, fashion and celebrity cameo appearances, it's perfect really except she can't find her soul mate. All Ida wants is a guy who enjoys eating and the quality of food he eats (oh and he has to workout and be a feminist), basically she just wants to be with someone healthy and who believes in universal human rights. Unfortunately life is too busy and exciting to actually eat good food let alone share time with someone who believes in human rights, so Ida spends many nights alone ordering take out from her favourite upscale vegan restaurant and marathoning awesome shows on Netflix with strong female leads like Scandal. 

Scandal's Olivia Pope has a hard time being with her soulmate too!
Then one night, while Ida is posting her latest blog before deadline, a cosmic event happens creating a power surge that causes the city to blackout. When the lights come back on Ida finds herself in 1950s Italy with really good food and really hot men. Introduce leading man Bergamot Elm (Ben Whishaw), a very attractive, human rights acknowledging barista, one of the first people Ida meets in this new old world she finds herself in. And yes, everyone speaks English in 1950s Italy!

Anyways, I haven't worked out all the details like for example, how the "cosmic" event causes a tear in the space time continuum but I'm pretty sure we can gloss over that small detail with lots of cool fashion and trendy music (I'm thinking some form of alternative folk indie country soundtrack!?).

The point is when Bergamot and Ida first meet they hate each other! I mean Ida is so specific about how she likes her espresso, she comes off a bit demanding and bitchy (shocking i know), after all she is telling Bergamot, the descendant of several generations of baristas how to make espresso properly. I mean Ida did have that brief stint at a Starbucks when she was in Uni getting her fine arts degree but she is really out of her depth on this one!

The point is, even though Ida comes off super pretentious and kind of a know it all, and really opinionated about a bunch a stuff she knows nothing about, she does love to eat food and drink espresso and talk at length about these two things that her passion is kind of infectious and she kind of comes off cute and adorable despite her mild tendency to be bitch. And through these lovely food and drink conversations, craziness will ensue (naturally) and then Ida and Bergamot fall in love and live happily ever after.

And I figure if we put lots of hot sex and food eating scenes maybe we can skirt past the whole major flaw in this plot line: how is Ida in 1950s Italy?! 

Anyways, although that movie idea pretty much makes zero sense, there will be some really cool outfits, a killer soundtrack, creative food ideas and inventive sex positions that it will all be worth it in the end and your life will feel a little bit more fuller after watching it.

Romantic comedies, like drugs, and dietary supplements are all we need sometimes to add some much needed fun to the days that may be a bit gloomy otherwise.

Make daily selfies your supplement!


Sunday, September 20, 2015

#7 eating processed food still makes me hate you, i'm sorry!

Like smoking, eating processed food is one of those things that makes you way more attractive if you never do it.

And that is my introduction sentence to this week's stellar blog post, which is #7 of 20 on the list of things to do:

Reduce your consumption of processed and packaged foods

For those of you who have had the pleasure of knowing me (you're welcome), know that I loathe processed foods almost as much as I loathe fruit yogurt with added sugar…Actually the two may be matched in terms of my highest level of hatred towards unhealthy food items.

Yes, we all know how I don’t consider fast food actual food and have a hard time not judging people who eat at fast food restaurants. What can I say, I’m working on being all loving and compassionate and shit and that’s kind of like a life long learning goal. So I’m sorry I’m not quite there yet in finding compassion in my heart for those who insist on filling their bodies with toxic crap.

***
However, I would like to note, I do have compassion for addicts, being one of those people who has a very compulsive personality, I understand fully the need to fill the void with something, whether that something is smoking, drinking, sex, running, food, shopping, etc., I get it. And if you are tuning in now and are really interested in all my thoughts on addiction, pain, self -growth etc., I will direct you to some earlier blog writings of mine and I will not be offended if you tangent off that way instead of reading the rest of this blog post, which let's face it, is kind of all over the place.

Blog posts always start in your mind...what the frack was that all about? - this post is just brilliant really, a lovely piece on my conceptualization of pain and addiction and the development of the best concept ever, The Andrea Triad: the most awesome heavenly high you will ever experience in your life and it's totally legal! True story!

5 Things my inside voice says out loud when you aren't listening - this post is really just poetry that graphically depicts what the void is.

Into the trenches this blog post goes - post is further musings on pain and addiction and how a good addiction (no such thing) is a poor substitution for love (that which fills the void) and I talk about the monkeys who were given fake monkey moms! Such a good post really, I almost insist you go and read it NOW!

***

This gives us a nice segue back to my original blog post on processed food...so my hatred really lies in the people who aren't addicts but the ones that just make poor food choices out of ignorance or laziness, I'm sorry, I do judge them and it is harsh and if they happen to have children and are passing this shit on to them, I kind of hate them even more. I don't want to hate them but I do. And as I said earlier in the post I'm working on replacing this hatred with compassion...

And just so we are super clear , I do place pizza in this list of unacceptable food items!

Pizza – yes it is gross that you order pizza and yes I do think less of you because you order pizza. The only pizza I will allow to be consumed is prima strada pizza. And that is only if you go there for dinner and make an event out of it. So yes, I will allow prima strada pizza to be consumed on special occasions, and yes getting to hang out with me is considered a special occasion.

And as I was just looking up the link for Prima Strada for you (see I'm helpful not just critical!) I noticed that they will be opening a new restaurant in the 900 block of Fort Street! Just one block away from my house! Now that is cause for celebration! It is almost like the good food gods have blessed me or the universe really doesn't want me to go outside the 5 block radius of my home. Which I totally support because I hate leaving my place. 

And speaking of cool stuff that doesn't require me to leave the actual block I live on, check out this super awesome item I found at one of 5 local antique stores on my block!

Cool find at my local antique store!
 Yes, it is a Turkish incense burner...I guess to burn incense in, I just think it looks super rad. 

Alright, so I now feel like enough has been written in this blog post to actually consider this a blog post, and although it may not be the most coherent of blog posts, I did give you some excellent links to my other posts that arguably are more coherent than this one...and I just told you about the new Prima Strada resturant opening! So really, this was a great blog post after all.

And your reward for making it through this week with me...a selfie :)

super adorable selfie - you're welcome!
 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

#6- the best question to ask when you order chicken

--> So this week is #6 of the list of things to do for 2015, and that is "have protein with every meal".
Why would you do this?

Simple really. Well actually it is simple if we assume that your meals mostly consist of high levels of carbohydrates and are practically devoid of the other two essential macronutrients your body needs in order to function (read: fat and protein). And that is an assumption that we can make because it is a well known fact that people generally eat too many carbohydrates.

But let's back up one second, carbohydrates are important they are what fuel our bodies and give us energy. True but the issue becomes that people generally eat more carbohydrates than they need to sustain their energy needs. Let's face it, many people only get exercise in the form of walking from their parked car to their desk at work. So if your energy needs are low and you are eating too many carbohydrates you will gain weight.

I think this guy needs to get out more!
So why more protein? Well protein helps the energy received from your food last longer in your body. Which basically means you will eat less, which means less calories, which means less weight gain. For example, studies have shown that people that have more protein for breakfast (instead of the usual high carbohydrate breakfasts we are accustomed to) are less likely to snack before lunch. So don't skip breakfast and eat your protein. Of course, if you eat more calories than you burn you will gain weight. Doesn't matter where those calories come from, whether it is carbohydrates, protein or fat.

For the majority of you sedentary folks I wouldn't so much add more protein to each meal but aim for the high protein breakfast and not skipping breakfast. That's the recommendation I would suggest for you. Because no doubt you are getting enough protein already...how much is enough? 0.8g/kg is generally recommended for your daily protein requirements. So that is approximately 50 grams of protein for a person who weighs 150 pounds. And you are probably one of those people who skips breakfast in a misguided effort to lose weight. Fun fact: skipping breakfast is the best way to gain weight, especially when you aren't active. Nothing makes the body store more fat than when it thinks it is starving (i.e, when you don't break the fast with breakfast!!).  And if you claim you aren't hungry then have a protein shake. May I recommend Vega One. 20g of protein and 50% of your daily nutrients all in one tasty low calorie beverage. No excuses people.

Someone has been eating too many growth hormones!!
For those of us who do workout regularly (and I don't mean those who walk from their car to their desk) you will need more protein than the 0.8g/kg. For me (who weighs 150 pounds) when I was training for half marathons I needed close to 100grams of protein a day. Now, since my mileage is down, i would put myself around 70-80g. But that is because I've added more strength building to my regime. Protein basically rebuilds and repairs your body. So it's kind of important.

You know what else is important? The source of your protein. Yes, not all protein is created equal. And no I'm not going to go on a vegan rant here, as I do believe some people do benefit from eating  animal meat, I just feel that most people could eat less meat and better sources of meat.

Hope none of those chickens are introverts!
For example, eating a chicken whose never seen the light of day, nor moved outside of its cage (read: factory farm chicken) and is pumped full of growth hormones is not as good a source of protein as say the chicken that is organic. The organic label generally requires that the chicken see the sunshine (at least once a day) and get to roam around outside the confines of its cage. Also, they are not full of antibiotics and growth hormones. Not that they don't get antibiotics if they are sick, but that's just it, that is only when they get drugs as opposed to being fed that as part of their well balanced diet.

Now you don't need to get all Portlandia about your protein source the next time you dine out (because that is a sure fire way to get a punch to the head) but do ask questions as to the quality. After all, you are what you put in your body. And no one wants to be a deformed chicken who can't walk because it has never left its cage. See video below for example of how to annoy your server.

So I have developed the best way to determine the source of your protein without causing your server to piss in your soup. Ask: Did the farmer know the chicken before s/he murdered it?

Sometimes you get a name. Like the last time I asked my server this question they told me the name of the chicken was Marbella.

And that gives you the lovely opportunity to say a little prayer of thanks to Marbella for so graciously allowing herself to be murdered so you could live. And then if you are ADHD like me, your mind will wander and make a connection to something ridiculous, like Marbella giving up her life is kind of like Jesus on the cross and really if you look at this moment in a certain light, it is kind of like you are eating Jesus.

Bon Appetite!

An educational video about the inhuman world of chicken farming can be found below:



And if you want to read a lovely post of mine where I propose a reality show based on eating fried chicken, read: Drive thus, dumps and trail running!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

#5 the sociologist makes an apple crumble

Alright everyone, #5 thing to try for 2015 is "choose a new food to try".

Honestly, I don't understand this recommendation. Why is trying something new all that important? Why can't I just be happy with what I have and why do I have to keep trying new things?! I mean if I have found a food I love (say kale for instance), why can't I just stick with that?! What's wrong with doing the same thing day after day?! Rules and routines are great and they make life so much easier because I don't have to keep searching for something new to do because some stupid list suggested it!
A new selfie!! Doesn't this count for anything!?!
Clearly I sit in the camp of consistency on this matter. And perhaps this recommendation is directed to boring people like me...so, I will be the bigger person here (for once), and compromise by forgoing my Andrea Logic by trying something new that involves food. And no it will not involve me venturing outside my home and interacting with other humans (well except at the grocery store). Instead it will involve me staying in and making something I have never made before. Apple crumble.

I will try making a dessert I have never made before. (Happy now, stupid list people?!)

So apple crumble it is! Why apple crumble...well, I bought a bag of apples and I need to use them up. Which is usually the case with me, I buy some food and then forget to eat the food despite my compulsive urge to not waste food. (See banana recipe for a reminder). So ridiculous this urge is, I sometimes punish myself by not eating if the food I was going to eat, went bad before I could eat it.  And YES i recognize that is fucked up.
That's a lot of apples! I would have had to starve myself for a week!
ALSO...I'm just craving a dessert that is comforting and has apples in it. Because...

Fall is upon us people!! FINALLY! Or at least I'm hoping it is, because it was too damn hot out there for me this summer that I rarely got the chance to run outside. So I'm looking forward to more running, outside in the cool crisp autumn air. And I'm also looking forward to eating Fall inspired foods. Like apple pies and turkey and gravy and potatoes...ok, I'm looking forward to thanksgiving apparently.

So in an Andrea attempt to marry these two urges (i.e., compulsive urge to starve myself and compulsive urge to eat a whole turkey - can we say eating disorder?! We sure as fuck can!), I will bake!

And who doesn't like baking?!  I will tell you who does love baking, all my friends, that's who! Because i always bake too much and then I can't eat it all and then I offload it onto them (this time my lovely friends visiting from Ottawa got to share in this culinary masterpiece).
Apparently I couldn't wait to take a photo before eating!
Apple crumble is way easy to make. So easy it was not really worth the 2 days of me thinking (read: obsessing) about it before actually doing it.

As all things Andrea, it started with some research (read: I consulted with Google God). I came up with many recipe options, so I narrowed it down to vegan and Paleo. I'm not normally someone who would try Paleo, on account of me eating mostly vegan food, but it does do a good job of avoiding the processed ingredients (like sugar!). So it is worth looking at just to get some ideas for sugar substitutes.

So after spending my Friday night researching (yes, I'm cool like that) I decided on a recipe.
Which was actually two because apparently apple crumble is a two stage process. First, there is the "crumble" and then the "filling".

This is what I came up with:

"Crumble" (aka. Granola) ingredients: rolled oats, chia seeds, honey, maple syrup, vanilla extract, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut oil, shredded coconut, cocoa nibs, dried tart cherries

Main recipe used http://chocolateandzucchini.com/recipes/breakfast/basic-granola-formula-recipe/
Makes a shit load of granola! So you could probably cut the recipe in half.
"Filling" ingredients: apples, orange mango juice, honey, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg

Main recipe used: http://pureandsimple.typepad.com/myblog/2013/01/apple-crumb-pie.html

A tip to save you time and still make you look like you are all gourmet and shit:

Don't peel the skin off the apples. First, when you take off the skin you loose some good sources of nutrients (without the skin you lose a significant amount of Vitamin C & A, Potassium and Fiber). And second, keeping food as close to the way it looked when picking it off the tree is called "rustic" and it is totally cool and if you throw that word around it makes you sound kind of pretentious and no one will question you! Third, in addition to the health and elitist benefits to keeping the skin on the apple, you also save a ridiculous amount of time by not removing it. And who doesn't like being efficient?! (weird people that's who)

So despite not peeling the skin off my apples it still took me a few hours to do all this. Mostly because I'm a perfectionist who needs to obsessively measure out ingredients and then pontificate about the process of baking and my identification with the feminine and then something about modes of production blah blah...yes, even the most seemingly simplest of acts (such as baking) are subjected to the critical gaze of the sociologist: an analysis so detailed, it can be almost physically painful to experience.

And this is why it is best if I bake alone. You're welcome.

So by Saturday I had obtained all my ingredients and in theory was ready to bake. But instead I watched some Scandal (love Olivia Pope!) and then got hungry and had to make dinner...

And then through some miraculous cliche of god, I baked the apple crumble. Yes, Saturday night I spent baking (and watching Scandal)...another example of my coolness.

And Sunday, I'm blogging about it, and finishing eating it. This time I'm trying it with coconut ice cream. And yes, it is vanilla!! Delicious.

So there you have it, my sociological interpretation of trying #5 - I tried baking something new.