The Gastronomical Delights of Mung Bean Fettuccini

The Gastronomical Delights of Mung Bean Fettuccini

Argh, fettuccine just does not look like it should have two c's o me, but this is what google is telling me.  A few weeks ago, I came across Exas Organic Mung Bean Fettuccini, whose sole ingredients are mung beans and water.  I have no idea how that is even possible, but I guess that is why I am not in the business of making bean noodles.  Too bad, I could really use that bean noodle money to buy a yacht.  About to embark on my detox, I was intrigued. Not only is it gluten free, it is extremely high in both protein and fiber (25 & 11g, respectively).  What?!?  Those stats are nuts.  That is close to half to recommended amount for someone my size.  I figured it would likely taste awful and induce a gastrointestinal revolt.  I had to try it.  

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A Burger in Name, but Not in Spirit

A Burger in Name, but Not in Spirit

In spirit, these moist, flavorful gluten free patties are the amalgam of high-reaching hopes, the memento of crushed dreams.  They are the ghost of previous dinners that have gone by - of recipes that were intended, yet not to be.  It's leftovers.  Pitiful, abandoned leftovers and widowed ingredients, sitting in the fridge, watching their bodies decay faster than a drug-addicted starlet, waiting for their day of glory.  Their day of glory is finally here, because I am here to tell you that you should mash them up and make burgers.

My Detox Pinterest board is another landmine of fruitless daydreams - mainly in the form of delicious looking veggie burgers.  Somehow, all of them require buying ingredients I don't have laying around, and I hate doing that, because I know I will buy a handful of sage, use one sprig, have great intentions for the rest, and then 2 weeks later I find it shriveled and smashed beneath some oranges, those bullies.  I blame them entirely, and me not at all.  But after reading through a few recipes the other day, it occurred to me that the basic recipes were all the same: some grain, like quinoa or oats, an egg or two, maybe some oil, herbs and spices, perhaps a healthy flour binder, and a mashy thing, typically in the form of beans.  It's sad that it took me so long to grasp this, because to all other food bloggers it seemed to come pretty quickly.  So today, I was wondering what to make for a detox dinner, and I realized that I had a bunch of mashy things I needed to get rid of!  Oh happy day.  Bring on the burgers.

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Exciting Coconut Oil News...

Exciting Coconut Oil News...

Coconut Oil to me is what Windex is to the Greeks, according to My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  I love it.  I love it a lot.  And I use it for everything.  A few months ago, I wrote a post about coconut oil, specifically the overpriced RMS Beauty Coconut Creme that is basically really high quality coconut oil that is outrageously marked up (but still totally awesome because coconut oil is the best).  This post is actually one of my more popular posts, and since then I have been on the lookout for other top-of-the-line coconut oil brands to add to the list, and I am super stoked to say that I found two that meet all of the qualifications that RMS lists:

- Organic, made from fresh coconuts.

- No chemical refining, bleaching, or deodorizing.

- Extracted from fresh coconuts within the day to eliminate mold growth or danger of other impurities. 

- No heat processing: centrifuge-based extraction which preserves all nutrients, not expeller-pressed.

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Spring Detox Grocery List

Spring Detox Grocery List

Ordinarily, when I say I'm doing some kind of cleanse/detox, my friends will roll their eyes and assume I'm up to my "hippie sh%&."  However, for some reason, this time around everyone is super interested.  Must be something in the air, or just the prospect of bikinis looming, but more and more people are willing to try out a cleanse nowadays.  Perhaps it's the influx of celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Shailene Woodley extolling the virtues of these detoxes, and while you can roll your eyes at them all you want, the fact is they both look pretty f$&%ing awesome.  The problem is, as it always will be: time.  Well, that, and willingness.  If you don't really wanna do this, it's ain't gonna happen.  But if you've never done one before, it can seem daunting in terms of finding something to eat, and having the time to cook it.  My method is: keep it simple.  Invest some money in some basic ingredients that are versatile, and keep your meals inventive but easy.  Read on for my comprehensive grocery shopping list:

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Antioxidant Packed Raw Chocolate Recipe, Sans Sugar

Antioxidant Packed Raw Chocolate Recipe, Sans Sugar

I am a self-proclaimed chocolate addict.  My entire family was raised to idolize the cacao bean like it was a tiny, delicious-flavored god. I can probably count on one hand the number of days in my life I haven't had at least one thing chocolate, and like all true chocolate fiends, I despise white chocolate for being a big fat fake and judge those who love it (LOML is one of them, and I still give him the side eye for it).  Now, I am off sugar, which poses a serious problem for me.  "Well, this might be a great opportunity to wean yourself off chocolate", you say.  "Fie!" I say!  (Is that what fie means?  I have no idea.)  Seriously, life without chocolate for me is a miserable one, and unless this world is ravaged by zombies and I find myself preoccupied with other, not getting eaten concerns, I will find a way to eat it.  Plus you know, it has health benefits.  So I needed to find myself a solution.

Let the google begin!  So much googling to be had!  Anyways, I googled it.  Did you know that dark chocolate, even SUPER dark (86%) chocolate has around 7 grams of sugar per serving?  Still a ton better than the 24 grams in milk chocolate.  Just for reference, according to the American Heart Association, the maximum amount of added sugars you should eat in a day are around 37.5 grams for men and a measly 25 grams for women.  That is the absolute maximum you should be having.  I have...um...a friend, yes a friend, who has been known to eat 3 bars of milk chocolate in one day, so this news is a little disturbing.  For that friend.  Yes, so anyways, the dark chocolate is an improvement (not to mention there is more cocoa in it, which is chock full of fiber, antioxidants, and flavanols, and may even help with weight loss), but still not great for someone wanting to cut out added sugars completely.

Luckily, I found this simple looking 3 ingredient recipe on the blog Chocolate Covered Katie (which is an addictive blog in itself) that looked easy enough to do, and I already had the ingredients.  Score!  All you need is:

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Spring Detox!

Spring Detox!

Spring is in the air right now....dewdrops twinkle among the cherry blossoms, and the air is redolent with fragrant florals and freshness.  There is just something about the spicy smell of hyacinth blooms and spring breezes always makes me want to torture myself in new and inventive ways.  Last year, it was the Tracy Anderson Method, and this year, it's a month-long spring detox - body, mind, and home.  I'm talking dry brushing, mega green smoothies, cleansing yoga, meditation, and a daunting closet organization that I'm hoping will be more freeing than spirit-crushing.  I like to think of it as shedding my sludgy winter skin and revealing a new self that is way more awesome.  Truth is, I started it a little over a week ago, and although it has been trying at times, it is a far cry from torture.  In fact, I feel pretty amazing: I've been in an unabating good mood that has made my typical snark all but disappear, and I have a ton of energy that helps keep me motivated.

I have embarked on a few detoxes over the years, from an all-juice 3 day cleanse to a two week complete elimination diet (CLEAN by Alejandro Junger) that was mostly protein shakes and moodiness.  The juice cleanse was particularly challenging, as by day three I wasn't even hungry, I just wanted to be able to chew something.  But I think I have finally found the trick: moderation.  Basically, when you cut out EVERYTHING, all you will want is what you can't have.  Which is everything except kale.  I've never found those detoxes to work for me, because it quickly becomes an obsession with truffle mac & cheese and at one point I even DREAMT I was eating mac & cheese, like ALL NIGHT, and I am not wasting my dream time on food again, not when I could be flying over Narnia on a fire-breathing pegasus*.  Anyways, the whole point is to make healthy changes that will last, not create an unhealthy obsession.  My advice is - pick one thing you want to focus on, and try to eat as much whole, unprocessed foods as you can.  I am focusing on cutting out sugar, with the exception of citrus fruits and berries, and I don't really have any other foods that are taboo (it turns out that I have the opposite of a gluten intolerance.  I turn into a complete monster without gluten.  And I pass out.  I'll still eat dairy too - but I'm going to get really high quality, organic dairy and eat it in moderation.)

My other advice?  Don't buy a cleanse**. 

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