Wednesday, August 31, 2011

7 Facts About me



Yesterday the marvelous Meredith tagged me with the Blissful Blogger Award. (If you have not stopped by her blog, you are seriously missing out!) `





It TOTALLY made my day! The rules of the “game” are that I must share 7 facts about me! Without further ado, here goes:


1)      My favorite hobby on earth is people watching and/or eavesdropping. I have an older sister, and my love of “overhearing” conversation began at a very young age. I loved “spying” on her. (Sorry, Hannah!) My people watching is a skill. It is thrilling to contemplate a stranger's identity, just like a character in a book.




In college at William and Mary, I loved sitting on a bench in Williamsburg and watching all of the tourists. It was AWESOME. There is such a random mixture of people of any and all demographics. The matching outfit families were my favorite.The way that people talk and relate is so incredibly interesting.




I also adore people watching and ESPECIALLY eavesdropping when I travel. The airport and on airplanes are perfect opportunities. I even witnessed a pilot and a flight attendant checking in to the airport hotel. There giggling conversation was disgustingly AWESOME. I could not believe what I was hearing and seeing! 



2)      I was a rower in both high school and in college. 


 Princeton wanted me to be in their lightweight crew. The weekend living like a Princetonian rower left me with one pivotal plan: GET OUT. I knew I wanted to row in college, but I also wanted to have a life outside rowing. In my time rowing for W&M I was able to occupy several roles: Primarily I  stroked or was bow seat with light-weight 8 boats.   I also was a coxswain for the men’s crew. Basically I steered the boat and screamed at boys--not a bad gig! :) It was a very COLD job!


3)      I LOVE playgrounds and jungle gyms. I try to play on them whenever I see one. I love the idea of swinging and going down SLIDES! Don't even get me started on the see-saw! When was the last time you did that?




4)      After every race I run, I have to call my mom (Mumsie) to tell her I am alive.



Mumsie fully respects and affirms my physical pursuits, but she also worries sick about each and every one. After every race I have a ton of pictures of me, looking exhausted, on the phone with Mumsie. Lately, we have found that being VERY vague about the distance of each race is a better way to go!

5)      I played the harp in college. I played the piano for 12 years and liked it, but did not love it! The harp was amazing. I enjoyed every lesson. My mom was a concert harpist in college and we own one of her harps. However, she NEVER played for us. She was too bashful! Anyways, I loved playing the harp and would love to take more lessons!



6)      I love entering baking contests!I entered the Emmaus Pumpkin Bake-Off last October. I took this challenge to heart. My kitchen was covered in nothing but pumpkin. My two entries were mini-pumpkin whoopie-pies, and cinnamon frosted pumpkin pop-tarts. I came out with a 2nd place ribbon--it was all in the pop-tart.  I fully plan on participating in this years Emmaus Pumpkin Bake-Off.

7) The final fact about me is one that I try never to draw any attention to, as it often spurs many follow-up questions: I do not drink any alcohol--no beer, no wine--nada! I have tried to like the taste of it, but my revulsion remains. 

This is how I celebrated turning 21: I ordered a Shirley Temple with NINE cherries! It was delicious!

Chase and I wanted to do something to help me remember my 26th birthday so I ordered this fruity drink, where the alcohol was supposed to be basically "undetectable." HOLY SMOKES. It was AWFUL. I literally may have ingested teaspoon by the end of the night. It just tasted SO bad.

I always worry that I am the super odd girl that doesn't drink. Sometimes I am tempted to just order any beer on the menu and just stare at it--just so that friends don't feel like I am  "judging" them. Recently, I have become more comfortable in explaining that I have a genuine aversion to alcohol but have no problem if others wish to imbibe. 

Has anyone else had a problem like this? Is there something all of your friends like to do, that simply is not your cup of tea? How do your negotiate this situation?

Now, I must Tag 7 other bloggies! These are seven blogs that I have been Love-Love-Loving!

3) Katie @ KatieDid
4) Lindsey @ Stink and Hincks
5) Samantha @ Hooked on Healthy
6) Cait @ Cait's Plate

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Kale Chips


I first heard about Kale chips from reading KathEats. It took me several months to work up the courage to try out these faux “potato chips.” The first time I tried them I HATED them! However, I tried them again and the second time was the charm! I have been addicted to Kale chips for the past four months. They are my favorite lunch addition.



Kale Chips could not be easier (or cheaper) to make! You need three ingredients:



Kale
Cooking Spray or Olive Oil
Seasoning of Choice

1)      Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a baking sheet
2)      Wash kale and make sure to DRY COMPLETELY! Tear kale into pieces (be aware that they shrink a LOT during baking, so do not make the pieces too small), spray or douse with oil and sprinkle with seasoning
3)      Bake for 12-15 minutes
4)      If you are like me, proceed to squirt a good deal of ketchup and DEVOUR!

Lately, I have been loving “Cavender’s” Greek seasoning. You can find it in the spice aisle of the grocery store.



However, when I feel like having “cheese” Kale chips, I use nutritional yeast. It is very nutty/cheesy and a wonderful non-dairy seasoning that is full of amazing B vitamins.



While, I know ketchup is not “paleo,” I just cannot give it up. I have tried and it just is not possible! I do, however, make sure not to use the HFCS ketchup.



Do these taste like potato chips—no. I am not going to lie to you. But there are incredibly yummy and I feel like they have that wonderful “snacky” quality! Also, I love that you can get SEVERAL servings of vegetables at one time, not to mention a hearty dose of fiber.

Have you tried Kale chips? What is your favorite healthy snack food?

Be sure to check back tomorrow as the amazing Meredith tagged me with the Blissful Blogger award where I get to share 7 facts about me. This is my first blogging award so I am VERY excited! :)

Monday, August 29, 2011

My Paleo "Must Have"

Hello! 

Gosh, I missed this little blog! I went back home to Kentucky and left my computer at home--the horror! Actually, it was amazing. To "unplug" for 4 entire days felt really good! And it has made me excited to get back into the metaphorical saddle. 

Today I wanted to talk about one of my paleo "must-have's." 

 Source

The glorious CHIA SEED! 

I am unfortunately deathly allergic to shellfish. Numerous doctors have *STRONGLY* cautioned me to avoid all seafood, as my allergy appears to be getting worse. 

This is unfortunate on both the level of taste, and even more so, nutrition. My diet is lacking in vitally important omega-3s. I have low HDL levels, so I really would like to up the omega's in my diet. Enter, chia seeds!

While I call this my paleo "must have," this TOTALLY pertains to any and all--regardless of your eating style. The benefits of increasing omega-3 fatty acids in your diet is undisputed. Omega-3s reduce inflammation in your body, thus reducing chances of heart disease, arthritis, and cancer. PLUS, it helps your brain. Holler.  (For more info, go here.)

So, I picked up these at the grocery store:
Source

You can find them in the "organic" section of many conventional grocery store or in the baking/seed aisle of Whole Foods/Fresh Market/Wegmans. These little beauties are stocked with omega-3's and they are an easy addition to my morning smoothies. They also add thickness to the smoothie which I definitely appreciate. 

 This article expounds on the wonderful nutritional info on chia seeds. Most importantly, it refers to them as a "functional superfood with 20% Omega-3 in each seed."  Um, AWESOME! 

I bought the bag for around $7. While I thought it was expensive, it is darn cheap compared to wild-caught seafood! Plus, all I need is a tablespoon. This bag is going to last quite a while! You can also sometimes buy them in the bulk food aisle, which would save you a dollar or two. 

I am excited to get my HDL level checked in a couple of months and see if my HDL's are improving. I will definitely keep you posted! 

How do you get your omega-3's? Have you ever had chia seeds? Any good recipes to share? 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Nerdy Guest Host

Good morning to all of the PRG readers.  I’m going to warn you right-of-the-bat, your usual host is on vacation!  I am PaleoRunnerGirl’s husband, Non-PaleoSitOnTheCouchBoy, and I have been asked to guest host the blog this weekend.  My wife, in all of her wisdom, thought that I could actually bring some worthwhile information to her readership (and I hope she’s right), but I will give you the following disclaimer: this entry’s going to have a little science in it.  So for all of you science-aphobes … NAVIGATE AWAY NOW!  Just kidding.  This is going to be fun science.

 
Alrighty, so here’s a quick introduction to your guest-host: I am in my final year of medical school at Temple University in Philly.  Now, while my picture may suggest otherwise, I am no “quack medical student.”  In fact, most scientists pride themselves on their stubborn refusal to believe anything until the last possibility of plausible deniability remains (note how long it took us to admit that the earth is neither flat nor the center of the universe), and I count myself among them.  So when PRG sheepishly told me a month or so ago that she was going to eat Paleo, I was my usual skeptic self.  But it sure didn’t take long before I became a believer!  
Making life-or-death medical decisions for our kids based on the advice of this lady?!  Really?!
The reason scientists (and especially medical scientists) are skeptical, are important ones.  Mainly, there’s a lot of pseudoscience out there that can harm people.  For example, if it weren’t for Jenny McCarthy and Andrew Wakefield, kids wouldn’t be dying from whooping cough right now.  But here’s the thing on Paleo eating: it’s pretty simple science!  There’s not much to be skeptical about.  It’s a nothing-to-lose lifestyle.  If it helps: great.  If not: no biggie.  (Though it usually helps.)
 
Let’s do a quick talk on immunology and autoimmunity (don’t be scared).  All human beings get a nice little gift from mommy and daddy upon birth: it’s called your genome.  That’s just a fancy word for the miniature library that your cells check books out from, and learn what they’re supposed to do.  One particular shelf in that library has a bunch of books that teach the cells what kind of immune system you’re supposed to have.  Those are called the “HLA Haplotype” books.  Some people’s HLA Haplotype books teach the cells to be super-lazy, and therefore, their immune system becomes a bum, and creates an immune deficient person (e.g. the book called, HLA Class II Homozygosity teaches cells to create SCID, also known as “Bubble Boy Disease”).  Some people have HLA Haplotype books that tell their immune cells to work exactly as they should—no more, no less.  However, there is a third type of haplotype book out there, and here’s where eating Paleo comes into play.  That third shelf of HLA Haplotype books teaches the immune cells to work overtime … in a bad way.  An overzealous way.  In fact, they work so hard that they create huge inflammatory responses, and sometimes even attack our own bodies creating autoimmune disorders (e.g. the book HLA-DQA1/B1 teaches our cells to create asthmatics, and HLA-DQ2 teaches on Celiac Disease).  The unfortunate thing about this, is that usually our libraries look a lot like our parents’ libraries.  That’s why a lot of people with autoimmune disorders also have a parent or family member with an autoimmune disorder.
 
Now, the shelf with HLA Haplotype books in my library is the middle kind.  My immune/inflammatory cells are punch-card employees: they come in at 9 and leave by 5 … no more, no less.  So I can eat anything I want, without having to worry about inflammation, etc.  But PRG, on the other hand has a shelf of HLA books that teach overzealousness, and that makes eating tough for her.  Why is this?  Because a lot of foods out there create huge targets for those already overzealous little HLA-educated cells.  Foods have little chunks of proteins on their surfaces called antigens.  Certain foods, like glutenous ones, have enormous antigens.  They put a humongous target up for those overworking little immune cells, and they go straight for the target.  When they hit the target, the immune cell creates an inflammation party, and BANG! You’re miserably bloated and cramping and spending the rest of your night in el baƱo.  Those foods with big antigen targets are said to have high “immunogenicity.”
 
So to summarize Paleo in one scientific sentence, it’s this: for those people with overzealous, HLA-educated immune systems, stay away from highly immunogenetic foods.  Duh.  I’m on board!  (Hope 1/3 of you stayed until the end.)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Art of Play

When was the last time you played? 



I have been spending a great deal of time with these adorable one-year-old twinnies and they have re-taught me the importance of PLAY! 

Mark Sisson from Mark's Daily Apple underscores the importance of taking time to do "purpose-less" activities. When I was looking into the Paleo/Primal lifestyle I was absolutely stunned that a big part of it is PLAYING! Honestly, I think this is a discipline that many adults have to re-learn. I am such a Type A multi-tasker, that taking time to PLAY is actually hard. However, it feels so good to play hide-n-seek with these two cuties and actually BELLY laugh with glee. 

I challenge you to take 15 minutes out of your day today to PLAY. Find a playground and swing or go down the slide. Take time to read a silly children's book. Buy a tube of fresh play-do and have some fun squishing it between your fingers. I promise that it will make your day SO much better! 

Do you make time to "play"? What was your favorite thing to play as a kid. 

*To answer the last part of that question, I was BIG into barbies. I actually secretly played with them until 6th grade. I just loved all of the clothes!* 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Perfect Paleo Pasta


I am married to an Italian and he loves his Italian comfort food. I also have always been a fan, as well. In fact, spaghetti with meat sauce used to be my Birthday dinner of choice. When I became a vegetarian I switched to Pomodoro sauce, and always made sure to have it covered with cheese. While I always got a stomach ache after eating pasta, I figured I must have simply over-indulged. Little did I know that my intestines had a FIERCE aversion to grains.

Enter the joy of Spaghetti squash.

Source


If you have never cooked with this amazing fruit (yes, squash is a fruit, not a vegetable), you are missing out. I have loved spaghetti squash for years and each fall I re-discover its glories; however, it is now the most perfect paleo pasta! When I saw one at the market the other day, I placed it in my cart with gleeful anticipation.

While I, sadly, had no meat on hand, I decided to make a batch of marinara sauce. If you have never made homemade pasta sauce—you are missing an amazingly easy and delicious experience. Here are the ingredients, minus the onion and red pepper flakes. 



I always keep a bag of frozen onions in my freezer because I HATE chopping onions because I can never get the smell off of my hands. They no longer make me cry, but Bath and Body Works is definitely not rushing to market an onion lotion anytime soon!

It was seriously as easy as 1, 2, 3:
1)      Saute onion and garlic in olive oil for 5 minutes
2)      Add all other ingredients
3)      Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Done and Done.

Voila! You are left with a pan full of tomato goodness. 



I seriously eat this by the spoonful. It is amazing both hot or cold. And it is excellent over spaghetti squash (or pasta!).



Recipe for Sally Anne's Quick and Easy Marinara

1/2 cup Onions (chopped)
2 cloves of Garlic (minced)
2 tbsp Olive Oil
Giant Can of Crushed Tomatoes
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
1/2 can of Tomato Paste  
2 tbsp fresh basil (chopped)
1 tsp oregano
1/2 cup chopped zucchini
Several dashes of Red Pepper flakes
Several dashes of salt

1) Saute onion and garlic in oil over medium heat (5 minutes)
2) Add in all other ingredients
3) Simmer for 5 minutes of medium heat and once bubbling, simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes


What is your favorite go-to dinner? Have you tried spaghetti squash?
 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Confessions

**THIS IS NOT ANOTHER REAL HOUSEWIVES POST. I PROMISE** 

I am an introvert. I spend far too much time “in my head.” I keep a lot of things close to the vest, so to speak. However, this little blog has given me a small, yet delightful opportunity to let the voice inside of me get a little talk time. 

 

While I may not know many of my readers in “real” life. The virtual world is a community, and a warm and welcoming one at that.


Today, instead of a paleo recipe, I am going to tell reveal 3 things about me that few, if any, know about me. I welcome you to join me in this very cathartic confessional!

1)      I have already told you of my adoration, and vast collection, of shoes (high heels to be specific). What you do not know, is that I have a bizarre attachment to these shoes. I have a very difficult time parting with my shoes once they reach the point where they should go to “the place we shall not name” {The waste basket}. To me shoes are like tangible pictures that carry special moments and memories of my past. I can tell you stories that surround each and every pair of my shoes. (I promise I am not crazy, just a little sentimental at times). Over the weekend I discovered that one of my beloved pairs is showing signs that they are quickly approaching old age. 



When I walk they sound like chalk scraping the sidewalk because the heel is so worn. I love these shoes with all of my heart. These are the first and only thing I own with animal print. They were my touch of trendy/whimsy in an almost glaringly conservative wardrobe. 



Does anyone know if cobblers still exist? Because I must find one ASAP!

2)      I am a very low-maintenance type of person. I am the youngest child—but never was I ever “the baby.” I was the “you must go with the flow” kid. I can get ready in 5 minutes. I just recently discovered the use of eye-liner. I have never been scared of a little mud or rain. With this being said, I am THAT Starbuck’s person that orders the insanely specific drink. 



This right here is a short, extra-hot, non-fat, no whip, no foam Hot Chocolate. For real. Would I ever order this at any other place in the world—no way! Would I ever order this in front of anyone I know—no way! However, Starbucks basically bred me to do this. With options comes possibilities, and I have never been one to waste the potential to order the best drink in the whole wide world (please see my 5 adjective hot beverage).  I am looking forward to this winter when I will have to bring my own coconut milk to tack on another adjective!

3)      I am a Paleo eater. Clearly, this is not my revelation. This means I avoid grains, dairy, soy, and legumes while instead eating fruit, veggies, meat, and healthy fats (coconut and avocado).  I have been plagued with awful stomach aches for the past decade and for the first time in my life I feel better! I eat this way because it makes me feel good and because my body clearly has a problem with grains, dairy, etc.

With that being said: I, Sally Anne, am absolutely 100% addicted to Trader Joe’s semi-sweet chocolate chips. 



Obviously, you see that I hoard them. The problem is that we live an hour away from the closest Trader Joe’s. Thus, I stalk up whenever we visit a place that is blessed with a TJ’s. Nestle, Hershey, Baker’s , Guittard, Ghirardelli—none of them beats Trader Joe’s—and I would know because I have tried them all! I eat a handful of chocolate chips EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. They do not hurt my stomach, so I see no reason to stop!

Phew. That feels good to get off of my chest.

 Do you have any confessions or little tidbits about yourself to share?