Monday, May 6, 2013

Autoimmune Paleo Protocol day 4: To goitrogen or not to goitrogen?

 To goitrogen or not to goitrogen? 

That is the question of the day. Oh how I love my broccoli, brussels sprouts, and kale! Do I have to give them up to protect my thyroid? Yes and no. A goitrogen is a substance found mainly in cruciferous vegetables as well as other varieties. Goitrogens interfere with uptake of iodine in the thyroid and can result in thyroid suppression and cause goiters. Good news is I have no symptoms of a goiter, but I know I eat way too many goitrogenic foods on a daily basis. I sometimes wonder if that effects me. I'm embarking on this journey to heal my thyroid amongst other health issues--so it seems like no better time to pay attention to my intake of goitrogenic vegetables.

Here is a list of goitrogen containing foods:

bok choy
brussels sprouts
garden kress
mustard greens
soy milk
soybean oil
soy lecithin
soy anything

Also included in the goitrogen category, even if mildly, are:

bamboo shoots
pine nuts
sweet potatoes

Many of these vegetables are amongst my favorite...for the next month I plan to limit and be conscious of the amount I am consuming. This journey is an experiment and I want to figure out the optimal diet for me.

This podcast from the ladies over at Balanced Bites will provide more information on soy, goitrogens, and hypothyroid.

 Evolution Fresh is the new juice company from the Starbucks Company. I saw this Essential Greens at Whole Foods yesterday so I decided to pick one up! A cold-pressed juice for $4.99, sign my up. Not organic, but I'll pick one up in a rush.

On the menu this morning: grass-fed beef tips with sauteed onion, garlic, ginger, brussels sprouts and kale--all over cauliflower! The goitrogens, oh no! 

 I had some broccoli sprouts on the counter, so after a quick run/walk, I blended a hand full in some water with lemon. A great pick me up. 
I had lunch with a friend at a local fish market. I had a salad topped with pan seared Idaho Trout. It was a nice light lunch and so fun to catch up with my friend! We were too busy gabbing for me to remember to snap a photo;)

 I came home from a busy afternoon and decided to fry up a ripe plantain in some coconut oil and made an aioli for dipping.

 I enjoyed a local blueberry & green tea Kombucha from the farmer's market. If you can't tell, I'm obsessed with this glass at the moment.

I decided on a meatless dinner and kept it light with a green medley of romaine, red lettuce, sorrel, parsley, cilantro, sunflower sprouts topped with summer squash--all fresh from the farmers market. I used the left over aioli as my dressing.

Basil Aioli

     1 small zucchini, peeled and chopped
1/2 avocado
2 cloves garlic
6-7 basil leaves
2-3 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Table spoons olive oil (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Place the ingredients in a blender and let it work its magic! This aioli/dressing is great on salads or as a dip.

A warning to the wise: I made vegetable broth in my crock pot today. When I do this I usually let it cool before I put it in the fridge--to speed up the process I like to put the jar of broth in an ice bath. I guess I didn't let it cool enough before the ice bath because the jar broke the second it hit the water!! I was soooo mad! All my hard work down the drain...maybe it's a sign I should go ahead and make bone broth again?

Oh well, that's life. I sipped on a few cups before my mishap.
I'm thinking a coconut chai before bed--sounds like a great night cap.

"The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love" --Hubert M. Humphrey

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Autoimmune Paleo Protocol day 3: Chris P. Bacon--Pig on wheels!!!

Happy Cinco de Mayo! 

This is one of my favorite holidays and I'm pretty bummed I couldn't go out and get tipsy this year, but I had a pretty awesome day regardless. It was an absolutely beautiful day with 70 degree weather and perfect blue skies. Matt had been asking me to go to Lake Eola all week, which was weird because we hadn't gone in a while. We arrived at the park at 2 pm as things were finishing up at the famer's market. As I started to look through some of the stands Matt grabbed my hand and took me towards the far corner of the park. He wouldn't tell me where we were going! After a few minutes of walking and me pestering him with question we arrived at our destination--an open field and a special surprise....Chris P. Bacon-Pig on wheels!!! I don't know if you guys have heard of this handicapped pig or seen his Facebook page, but I'm absolutely obsessed with him. Matt knows this so a month ago he contacted his owner on Facebook (the owner is a vet and he lives in Florida) and planned a surprise visit for me to meet him! I was so shocked I started crying. It was incredibly thoughtful for Matt to do this and I couldn't believe I finally got to meet Chris P. Bacon. 

Matt recorded a video of us playing and feeding him cheerios--so not paleo.

 You can't really tell from the picture, but Chris P. Bacon was born with a birth defect that crippled his hind legs. He has a wheel chair to get around with, but he gets around really well without it.

I'm truly ashamed of my breakfast and definitely would have picked something else if I knew I was going to see Chris P. Bacon today! I adore pigs and it's not easy for me to eat them, but for now I want to heal so I will do what I feel is right for now.

 I didn't feel like juicing this morning so I picked up an ultimate greens juice from Whole Foods while I was shopping and snapped a quick selfie;)

 I made some curried chicken salad for lunch--I got the idea from The Autoimmune Paleo Protocol Cookbook, but I changed the recipe a bit. I really liked the idea of using coconut as a "mayo" base; I usually use nuts so it was a great substitute. 
I sipped on some homemade chicken broth on the way to the lake.

 After I got back from hanging with Chris P. Bacon I was very starving so I cooked up some butternut squash. My stomach felt fine, but I was a little itchy afterwards. This squash was not sweet whatsoever, it was quite tasteless to be honest--a little disappointing considering I LOVE SQUASH. I'm trying some GAPS diet friendly carbohydrates that The Paleo Mom recommends for people with SIBO.

In Cinco de Mayo fashion I made some guac for my boyfriend and I. 

Cinco de Mayo Guacamole 
por dos
1/2 chicken breast, shredded
1-2 avocados
1 small zucchini, blended
1/4 red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons Lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

I blended the zucchini in a Vitamix and added the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and mixed them together with some love and Cinco De Mayo magic!

It was a fabulous Sunday funday, I honestly couldn't have asked for a better day. Matt earned a million boyfriend points today, what a great guy;)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Autoimmune Paleo day 2: I Believe In Miracles

I believe in miracles--this is my mantra of the day according to the amazing spiritual guru Gabrielle Bernstein. I'm reading her book May Cause Miracles and partaking in her 40 day spiritual transformation to let go of my fearful thinking and actions and replace them with love. I'm on day 5 and today I've been instructed to believe in miracles, which means that I'm accepting a change in perspective. Well...I'm open to anything at this point, I figure I need to replace my vices with something? Gabrielle Bernstein was able to give up her addictions to love, food, alcohol, and drugs through studying a Course in Miracles and now she is a teacher of the text herself. The reason I brought this up is because today I witnessed a small miracle in my health journey. I got my period for the first time since February (sorry TMI), but I figured I've already told you a lot so why hold back now. I started taking the Estrofactors and DIM in January to help balance my hormones and they worked great (skin clearer and menstruation). I was curious to see if my hormones would stay balanced without the supplements in early March and went off them. My period disappeared for three months and two days ago I decided to start them up again along with the AIP. So I'm not sure if it's the supplements, the omission of alcohol and coffee, or the AIP in general, but I'm happy to know my moodiness this morning wasn't for nothing;).

I started my day off with some Ashtanga yoga and came home and popped a little poussin chicken and summer squash in the oven. I topped it with a pesto sauce I whipped up and made some green juice in the mean time. This morning it was a dandelion, parsley, cucumber, celery, lemon, cabbage, and 1 carrot concoction. I blended some broccoli sprouts in the juice for good measure because I read that broccoli sprouts are a great h. pylori KILLER. The serving of chicken looks huge, but there was not much meat at all. I won't be buying le poussin for's a little to, um, little.
I took the chicken carcases and simmered them for and hour  to made some chicken broth that was delicious. I sipped on a cup.

I went to the farmers market and picked up some local chicken breast, Brussels sprouts, red lettuce, sunflower sprouts, and some sage.
 This was my brunch. I wasn't really satisfied with the chicken so I whipped up some salad with sunflower sprouts, avocado dressing, and some Brussels sprouts steamed in chicken broth, all alongside one lonely sardine.

I made a coconut chai with ginger, clove, and cinnamon with the smallest dash of stevia;) I got this idea from The Autoimmune Paleo Protocol Cookbook
 I sat around in bed for a couple hours feeling very blah-my back hurt and my energy was unusually low so I decided to have a little comfort food (def because of TOM). 1/2 roasted sweet potato and 2 carrots blended with some Himalayan salt, cinnamon and cloves. Right after I ate this my throat/ears started to itch which hasn't happened since the last time I was detoxing....interesting. Just and observation. I sipped on a cup of homemade veggie broth too.

And of course a Saturday night Green Goddess Mocktail (in a red neck mason jar wine glass....haha) to enjoy while my boyfriend sips on a yeatsy brew. Am I jealous? Of course, but I know this journey will be worth it in the end.

        Green Goddess Mocktail

1 cup natural sparkling water

1/3 cup green juice of your choice

1 wedge of lemon

Do you see my boyfriend photo bombing my dinner?

We had buffalo burgers, roasted Brussels sprouts with left over bacon fat, and sauteed kale and red onion with chicken broth.

Good eats and lots of laziness with my boyfriend-couldn't ask for a better day. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Autoimmune Paleo Protocal Day 1

This post from Mickey over at her website explains the whole Autoimmune Pale Protocol. It's basically a version of the Paleo Diet (no grains, legumes, processed sugars and oils, and dairy), but it's modified to remove ALL gut irritants. Ommitting coffee, nighshades, alcohol, nuts, seeds, NSAIDs, and eggs helps to further heal people with autoimmune disorders who often have more damage in the lining of their gut. I will be doing this for at least 30 days, but I will not be including any fruit and very limited starchy vegetables. This is because I need to starve the bad bacteria and h. pylori in my gut. I do believe I will need some carbohydrates for brain functioning purposes, but I am making an effort to keep it to a minimum for now.

I started my morning off with a lovely green juice (cucumber, celery, cabbage, lemon, dandelion greens, parsley, one carrott, and cilantro).

Great cookbook: The Fresh Energy Kitchen by Natalia Rose and Doris Choi

 Happy pigs Bacon-organic pasture raised.
I set the oven to 400 degrees and placed the bacon in the oven for 25-30 minutes until it was crispy. It was delicious.
I could not remember the last time I ate bacon.
      I cooked a side of brussel sprouts, garlic, green beans, and kale.

I also enjoyed a cup of vegetable broth-it's comforting to sip on. Unpictured.


                                                                I had my final college exam today! Yay. I made a quick blended pudding before my exam that consisted of 1 zucchini, 1/2 avocado, coconut butter, a sprinkle of stevia (I'm slowly cutting it out), and cinnamon.

         I had plantains as an afternoon snack as I have some I need to get rid of and this salad.
I also went out to dinner with my boyfriend and I had trout with some cauliflower. I know the sauce probably had some kind of vinegar that is not allowed on the AIP, but it was my first day so I'm not stressing about it.

These are the supplements I will be taking.
  • Armour Thyroid, unpictured
  • Xifaxan (and antibiotic to kill my SIBO), unpictured
  • Garden Of LifePrimal Defense Probiotics, unpictured
  • Mutlithera Multi Vitamin
  • Magnesium Calm
  • UltraImmune IgG (help heal my gut lining)
  • Vitamin D 
  • Estrofactors (to balance my hormones)
  • DIM (to help balance my hormones by binding to excess estrogen)
  • Alginate Plus (to detox heavy metals)
  • Diatomaceous Earth (to help get rid of parasite and yeast-do not take within 2 hours of probiotics)
  • HCI with Pepsin (To help with my low stomach acid and digestion)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar (helps to kill yeast-do not take within 2 hours of probiotics)
        I haven't had any alcohol in a week, coffee in 5 days, and have been eating low carbohydrates all week to ease into this transition. I can already feel that my moods have been much more stable, which is a major reason why I decided to do this in the first place. My moods have been very unstable the last couple of months and I'm excited to see how this changes. I'm hoping this diet won't be terribly hard for me because I already had a pretty strict diet before, but letting go of the emotional attachment of food will be the hardest. Bye bye vices (coffee and alcohol). I also want to address the fact that my blog is moving in a totally new direction, but so is my life! I graduate in less than a week and I want to live a happy and healthy life. So for the time being this blog will be Health, Happiness and a little bit of Booze Kombucha.

What do Oprah and I have in common? Hashimoto's Thyroiditis.

            Would you have guessed? Oprah and I are long lost twins?! Imagine that! Of course, I don't mean this literally, but medically we both suffer from the madness. Thyroid madness that is. We both have hypothyroidism, Hashimoto's Disease to be precise. I like to refer to it as Mr. Hashi-it makes it slightly mysterious and elusive when in reality it just sucks. Hashimoto's disease is an auto-immune disorder that causes your body to produce anti-bodies that attack and slowly deteriorate your thyroid (if you don't take the necessary precautions!). Sounds fun huh? A normal anti-body level is >35 (although none is desirable) and last time mine were tested it was around 65. Fortunately, my anti-bodies aren't as high as many people I've talked to. I met women who's anti-bodies are in the thousands, but my goal is to get to zero anti-bodies attacking my thyroid. I am going to embark on the impossible! Good thing Addidas tells me "Impossible is Nothing" because I want off my medication.
           Mr. Hashi reared his ugly head a little more than two years ago during my junior year of college. I took pride in being the healthy friend and for the most part I appeared healthier than most. I ate my greens and adored vegetables (I still do), I was mostly vegan, but I also frequently took adderall to study, was always stressed and partied way too much. Eventually this caught up with me and my skin started breaking out terribly. I instantly knew something was wrong. Around the time my mom read Dr. Mark Hyman's book The UltraMind Solution-it was the first time I heard about the connection between gut health and brain health, amongst many other things. I knew he needed to be my doctor I had a feeling he would help me figure out what was wrong. 
          I made the trek to Lenox, Massachusetts to the UltraWellness Center and had several blood tests done, in addition to a stool test and mercury levels test I did beforehand at home. My test results showed that I had very high mercury levels along with other heavy metals, I had h. Pylori (a parasite), systematic yeast, SIBO (small intestinal bacteria overgrowth),  several nutritional deficiencies, amenorhea (lack of menstral cycle), constipation, acne (like I didn't know), and as if that wasn't enough Mr. Hashi was diagnosed. I was put on a protocol to kill the parasites, yeast, and get my body back into balance. I was on a crab load of supplements to detoxify my body and to heal my gut. In addition to this I was put on a diet FREE of sugar, dairy, gluten, yeast, caffeine, and alcohol-for 3 MONTHS. I was pissed, it fucking sucked, but it was necessary at the time. I ended up taking the semester off to attend cooking school (yah cooking school on a diet) in NYC with my best friend-taking a break from college to do something more creative, more me. To say I didn't cheat on the diet would be a big fat lie, I cheated a bit…although I stuck to the whole no alcohol thing. At the time, I wash't as educated on gut health, gluten intolerance, probiotics, supplements, yeast issues, parasites, detox diets-amongst all the other subjects I now consider myself and expert on. My pursuit of knowledge to better myself has in returned made my life path more clear. I now know I want to help people who find themselves in the same place I was-tired, breaking out, depressed, OUT OF BALANCE.
          Wait-how did we get here? Back to Mr. Hashi…so I did this fun diet for awhile and didn't fill my prescription for ARMOUR THYROID, a natural thyroid replacement that I was told would restore my thyroid levels (but not get rid of the anti-bodies). I resisted being put on a pill that I was told would be for the rest of my life (a myth I am going to bust), but eventually I was curious to see if it worked. After about 6 months, right before I was to return to college to finish up the year and a half I had left, I decided to try it. I went on 15 mg and it worked like magic. My yeast symptoms went away because my immune system wasn't suppressed anymore. I felt great and MY SKIN WAS CLEAR. I was put on a higher dose, I don't even remember why now and slowly I started to not feel as great. Towards the end of the year I wanted off the medicine I hated the idea of having to take a pill every morning, controlled by an outside mechanism, I wanted out. So cold turkey I went on a juice fast and said bye bye to the Armour. Blah blah blah-return of the ACNE, parasites and yeast, ew (maybe they never fully went away). I decided to go back on the Armour in August, along with a super strict diet, and some antibiotics to kill the parasite- I was depressed, my skin was breaking out, and I was alone back at college where most of my friends had graduated. I was not in a good place, I was obsessed with healing myself and I'm pretty sure the stress of my diet and getting rid of the parasite was causing more harm than the parasite. Haha funny how life works? So I ditched the dogma and decided to do what works for me. Of course, the pendulum swang to the complete opposite side. Hello coffee, alcohol, and the occasional  sweet treat. Not terrible, but definitely not helping. To be honest, I needed this freedom for a few months, but now I'm ready to heal my gut once and for all.
         I want to go off my thyroid medicine, little by little, and do it completely 100% naturally. I'm almost 23 and being dependent on medicine isn't an ideal situation for me. I am confident that with a positive attitude, the elimination of my vices, reducing my stress, and tweaking my diet-I will heal my thyroid issues 100%. I hope for this to be a learning experience. How will I do this? I've been tip toeing into the paleo diet for the last couple months and I think I'm ready to dive into it with a few tweaks here and there. The Autoimmune Paleo Protocol is what I feel is going to work best for me. I'll post more on this later, but I wanted to let you know where I'm heading.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Spring Break Smoothie.

Spring Break SMOOTHIE.
A quick recipe to keep you smiling while I'm away!

This smoothie was from One Lucky Duck in NYC, but I thought it was a pretty picture;)

Get fancy and have your smoothie in a wine glass.

Erry’ morning smoothie 

½ frozen banana
½ cup of frozen blueberries
¼ strawberries
1 cup of spinach (optional, but you can’t taste it)
1 cup unsweetened almond or soy milk
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon vanilla powder or extract
a pinch of himalyan salt
1 spoonful of nut butter (about two teaspoons)
1 Tablespoon Mila (ground chia seed)
5 ice cubes (optional)

Place all the ingredients in a Vitamix and begin to blend on low and proceed to turn up the speed as the fruit mixes together.

    Spice it up and top with some cereal!

Have a good week I'll be back soon.

Gluten Free Pizza and Spring Breakin' it down!

Happy Friday! I got a tad bit lazy this week on the blog front. I'm trying to keep consistent and post a few days a week, but somehow it's already Spring Break!

I leave for a cruise tomorrow....not just any cruise, but THIS cruise. I'm beyond excited to learn, eat, tan, and relax. I'll be without Internet for a week, but I'll have my phone so I can document the festivities.

To celebrate the beginning of SPRING BREAK and this weekend I want to have a pizza party with you! I came across this recipe last week and was waiting for the right time to make it (the only alteration I made was adding one teaspoon of dried oregano and one teaspoon basil to the crust). I woke up Monday morning and decided that I would brighten the beginning of my week up with a little pizza pie! Despite the fact that this pizza was gluten and dairy free, it did not disappoint. It was crispy and the flavor was superb. 

I was even nice enough to give my boyfriend a crumb bite and he requested I make it again....boyfriend approved**. This recipe makes two crusts so I was able to freeze one and make a few different variations throughout the week.

I made my own "tomato" sauce to dress the pizza in the appropriate attire. Recipe Below. I wanted to share an alternative to pizza sauce for people following a nightshade-free diet. The flavor is very close to tomatoes; my boyfriend had no idea it wasn't tomato sauce (and he claims he HATES beets).

I made a recipe similar to this in cooking school. I couldn't find the recipe so I recreated it from memory.

Nightshade-Free "Tomato" Sauce

Yields about 3 cup of sauce
2 carrots
1 medium beet
1 cup of water or stock
2 teaspoons mellow miso (I used Miso Man)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano

Chop carrots and beets into 1/2 inch size pieces, place in a pot with one cup water or stock. Bring to a boil and then down to a simmer for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain the water into a cup and set aside. Place the carrots, beets, and half the cooking liquid (about half a cup) into a Vitamix blender and begin to puree on medium-low. Add miso, apple cider vinegar, salt, and spices to the mixture. Add additional liquid if necessary to bring to the desired consistency. You want the sauce to be thin enough that it mixes together in the Vitamix, but thick enough to spread like a pizza sauce. This recipe made enough sauce for two medium size pizzas. 


             After pre-baking the crusts I spread my sauce onto the crust and topped it with....

  Sweet potato, spinach, heirloom tomato, green onions, garlic, and an egg.

Before Baking.
After baking!


The egg was delicious on this pizza, but I'm starting to think that my egg allergy has come back!...or never really went away. After this pizza I decided to lay low on the egg front this week and my skin has been clearing up nicely. I'm always up for a self-experiment so I'll keep you posted on how it turns out.
           The colors were so vibrant, this pizza was such a nice treat!

 I froze the other crust and a few days later I had this variation with roasted sliced zucchini, spinach, green onions, and some nutritional yeast sprinkled on top for a cheese flavor.
Sliced and ready to eat.

 Then came the strange but good topping- I topped the sauce with some sliced thin zucchini and sauteed some tofu, curry dressing, and kale to go over it.
The tofu kind of reminded me of cheese, which can be nice when you're transitioning to a plant based diet.
I've received a few requests via my mom's friends to do some healthy treats for kids. This pizza recipe would be perfect for children. You could pre-bake the crust and then have the kids top the pizza with whatever toppings they fancy. When children feel like they are creating their own food they are much more likely to try new foods when introducing healthier options. 

And no blog post is complete without a few selfies from last weekend.

So I'll leave you with this. ALSO, when commenting below remember if you don't select the right option it won't let you post. I guess some people are having issues with this. If you can't tell I really want some comments. So humor me?

I think I may also post a smoothie recipe later to keep everyone refreshed during spring break!

**When I say it's boyfriend approved-this means that someone who eats the Standard American Diet (SAD) most of the time will enjoy it. I emphasize this because it means a parent who is trying to eat healthy themselves won't have to make two different meals, one for them and one for their family. I strive to make all my recipes in this fashion because healthy food tastes good, if you cook it correctly.

*Also special thanks to Brittany from Real Sustenance for sharing her amazing pizza crust recipe on her blog. If you haven't checked it out she has a plethora of amazing sweet treats and more!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Cuisinart Espresso Maker & WIAF

Cuisinart Espresso Maker...if you want to get technical, it's this one. My new beauty.   

I’ve been pondering this purchase for quite some time for a couple of reasons. Espresso makers are not cheap, Starbucks is a huge chain and I rather support small companies, non-organic coffee is becoming problematic (check out the Gutamalan tradedy of this years coffee crop), and sugar is a drug. I spend almost $5 dollars on my daily Starbucks habit. A grande soy cappuccino costs me $4.45, that is insane to me. I get charged 0.60 cents extra for soy milk. Over the course of the year this habit costs me $1624.25. That is a lot of money for a college student. So getting to the point. I decided to invest in an espresso maker for the sake of saving money, but also for my health. Sometimes I question whether or not I like the taste of coffee or the creamy delicious soy milk that accompanies it. I don’t really consider a grande soy cap a “sugary” drink, but with a whopping 15 grams of sugar, it's a sneaky sugar source that could be avoided with home brewing (Starbucks has recently taken off the sugar part of the nutrition facts, nice move). Unsweetened almond milk with a dash of Stevia to the rescue and I’m eliminating a whole lotta sugar. Don’t even get me started with alcohol, but honestly I’m not even going there. So I bought the espresso pictured above….and this morning was my first attempt at my Stevia sweetened almond milk cappuccino/latte. I knew it wouldn't have the manicured taste of a Starbucks, but I really enjoyed it along with the satisfaction of my savings. I would love some other suggestions for my next can of espresso!

The extra gadgets it came with. So far I'm really satisfied, but I'll keep you updated.
          This machine has the ability to steam the milk and make it nice and frothy just how I like it.
And of course the day must go on.
I started off my morning with a probiotic and a green juice with LOTS of green.

Juice foam<soy capp foam

This juice was a little too green for me today. I drank about 5 ounces for breakfast and saved the rest for after my workout.

Then I drank my almond milk cappulatte (try and figure that one out).

After my super awesome kickboxing workout I went to my school's dining hall and got some gluten free tofu pad thai and I added some steamed sweet potato and an egg when I got home;)


 It was pretty yummy considering it was from the dining hall and I liked that is slightly resembles a heart.

Matt and I went to Shipyard for a drink and their amazing happy hour from 4-7 Monday thru Friday. Shipyard is a brewery from Maine so I love that they opened a location in Winter Park, it makes me feel more at home. ;) Face down in a glass of wine.

So pensive.
I came home and whipped this awesome meal, it was delicious.

 This meal was amazing. I was trying to buy a mandolin for slicing vegetables, but I accidentally bought a Julienne mandolin, which slices veggies into shoestring like size. I decided to try and make shoestring fries! I used a sweet potato and a turnip, they didn't crisp up like I wanted, but the flavor was amazing. My meal consisted of a buffalo burger topped with sliced avocado, a broccoli bread stick, salad with my curry dressing, and fresh heirloom tomato. I changed up my buffalo burger recipe by adding salsa and it was so juicy. My boyfriend said it was his favorite version of my burger so far.

So my take on eating meat...I grew up in a plant based household and ate very little animal products. I believe in the healing power of a plant based diet for diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc, but it is not for everyone. I believe animal products in excess are not health supportive, but since introducing more meat and fish into my diet (always grass fed from a local farm or wild caught) I have seen many improvements in my health. After going gluten free two years ago, I felt being gluten-free and vegan was making me very unhappy so I reevaluated my diet. This doesn't mean I'm going to eat meat forever or even next year, it's just what it right for my digestion and health at this moment. I don't use labels because they create stress for me. I'm a whore for quality food (local, organic, seasonal-you get it), let's just leave it at that.

 I finished the night off with some ice cream that totally hit the spot.

Ice cream in the dark?
My "ice cream" recipe is sofa king good.

OMG I totally forgot. Today is National Margarita Day! So let's get real and have a little fun. Cheers to the weekend!

Will you celebrate National Margarita Day? What's your favorite brand of coffee? Fill me in and comment below.