Monday, August 31, 2009

Why you probably wouldn't hire me as your personal chef AND Drum roll please...

Kitchen Quirks. We all have them. Do we not? Although, I must say, mine are a little on the ‘contemporary UN-traditional’ side. Meaning, I never drive thru a fast-food window. Yes, I said never. Well, almost never (if there’s such a thing) if you don’t count the few times we’ve stopped at Chick-fil-a.

So, you must be thinking that I’m a gourmet chef then? Nope. You couldn’t be further from the truth. I do enjoy cooking a good gumbo and the like, but for the most part…

Most recipes are not cooked in my kitchen simply because I believe that over-cooking something to mush takes out most of the vitamins and enzymes we need. I love fresh food... a good 'saute' of veggies with red onion in coconut oil. See? I told you. I know you’re thinking it… Quirky. Weird. If you're not, you will.

For instance, the Deceptively Delicious cookbook is in my house, but I haven’t cooked one thing from it. Why? ‘Cook’ the veggies to mush, ‘puree’ the veggies to more mush, freeze them, and then ‘cook’ or ‘bake’ them in the recipe it calls for. What’s left of the poor thing? Oh, it has its good points too. A little bit of sneaky veggie is better than nothing, right? I mean, who wouldn't want broccoli in their brownie? See? Yummm...

A-Nator may remember going thru the drive-thru a few times when she was only a few years old, but that was before my serious commitment. Besides, with two small tots in tow, I was tired. Now that I think about it, the menu from the drive-thru was probably adding to the sluggish feeling. Nope, our idea of fast food these days is: Subway (veggie delight for me), Panera (love their Greek salad) or Smoothie King.

Don’t get me wrong. We still eat our ‘snacks’, but they are within the ‘kitchen quirk’ guidelines. Here's a few...

  • I avoid hydrogenated oil like the plague. I don’t want my heart to turn into a hockey puck… not to mention the other problems it causes. Yes, Crisco=Bad.
  • Nothing that is given a number is considered an ‘edible’ ingredient. Red Dye 40, Yellow 6, etc.
  • Sugar is seen as something that will lower the immune system for hours. This includes most fruit juice.
  • Only complex carbs.
  • No cooking on Teflon. Only stainless steel or ‘coated’ cast iron.
  • I try my best not to use the microwave. Did I just hear you gasp?
  • We bake oatmeal cookies on parchment paper, not directly on the aluminum pan.
  • I try to avoid aluminum foil touching my food while baking. If I need to wrap something, I wrap it in parchment paper first, then foil.
  • If my girls can’t pronounce the ingredient list, we try to stay away from it. That means “ethoxylated monoglycerides” are out.
  • I only heat coconut oil and grapeseed oil. Fragile oil (olive oil included) can turn hydrogenated when heated. (Mental note: Go easy on the coconut oil. It can cause nausea. Maybe I shouldn't cook with it AND flavor the food with so much of it? ;) I discovered that tip this weekend. Not. Fun.)
  • I am on a mission to find a peanut butter alternative. We normally use almond butter; however, all of those nuts are ‘roasted’. According to Dr. Oz, that means it’s hydrogenated. Ugh. Really?
  • I buy organic and gluten-free when possible.
  • Oh, and the sneaky ingredient they call “natural flavors/ingredients” really tans my hide. Which one of the sneaky 300 FDA allowable ingredients is that anyway??
  • There's probably more, but I'll spare you...

(why is blogger messing with my font??)

Okay, drum roll please….

It has been ONE entire MONTH since my last Chai Tea Latte (non-fat, 1 pump s/f hazelnut, extra-hot) from Starbucks!!!! If you’ve read my blog at all, you know that I call it ‘my one luxury’ or my ‘mommy sippy cup’. I knew it was insanity to pay Starbucks so much $$. Yet… somehow, I rationalized this lil’ cup of heaven in my mind. It was my happy place.

If you buy Starbucks, please don't be offended! I only call it insanity because l don't drink cow's milk, yet I paid Starbucks to flavor and warm it for me time and time again?? AND for the low, low price of an arm and a leg.

So why make a change now?

Well, I must confess a book that I’ve read that has given me the little jolt that I needed to get back on my journey…. And even crank it up a notch! I still can't believe I'm advertising that I read this book. I'll let you figure out the title on your own.

I didn’t quite know what to think of the book (or the mom reading it) when I first saw it at a soccer practice; however, the content is quite informing… if you can get past all of the colorful language.

What these two ladies have to say about dairy, its true contents and how they treat the animals was all I needed to be grossed out enough to avoid the temptation (aka Starbucks) that literally sits on every corner in our town. (Honestly, I had to skim over the part on animal treatment. Sad.)

Another drum roll please (Yes, there's more but an end is in sight)…

I’ve not only given up my ‘sippy cup’ due to the milk content, I’ve kept a vegan menu as well. Double Gasp!!! I’ve recently ordered some books to help with the menu since I’m not a fan of soy (that's a whole other topic). Honestly, this has been very good. Some physical symptoms I’ve had for years are improving. Oh, I’ll still buy organic eggs to make gluten free pancakes for the girls sometimes… and enjoy a whey protein shake with my rice milk... AND the occasional salmon dish. If I keep adding things here, I will not be accepted in the vegan community. The horror.

So NOW you’re thinking it. Weird. Quirky. I knew you would.

Now, don't go thinkin' my halo is on this straight all the time in the kitchen. I mean, a girls gotta have some Rice Dream Hazelnut Ice Cream! Pshhh... Let's keep it real. ;) Besides, I may have to request these authors give me their cell digits. As the cool weather rolls around, I may need a booster shot as to why I should drive by the ol' Starbucks instead of thru it!


  1. I wish I could have the will power to be Vegetarian again, but I still ate fish, eggs, cheese and milk. which is a Lacto-Ovo-Pesce Vegetarian...LOL try saying that three times ;)

  2. I had the same cookbook and ended up giving it away ... too much work with all that mashing of veggies for something my kids probably won't eat.

    I've been wanting to read that other book though, but thought my daughters would freak out over the title.

  3. I don't think you are weird! We are very similar in this way. Others (at church) think I'M weird! That's ok... we are healthier for it!

  4. Wow, you've given me a few things to think about. I love my Chai Tea.

  5. Wow, I'm intrigued...I thought I was doing good by using olive oil. Guess I've got lots to learn.

  6. Wow! I have learned a lot just from reading this post. I knew about the olive oil thing, and it made me so sad when I found out that I shouldn't cook with it. I started buying coconut oil, though, and really like it - I just wish it wasn't so expensive. But so worth it in the long run!
    I'm curious - do you still use Stevia?

    And I don't blame you about the salmon - who could give that up entirely?? ;)


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