Uhh…

So, here is something interesting…I didn’t realize until today that my blog title said Forks in the Crossroad but my web address is forksinthecrossroads.wordpress.com.  Wow.  Way to miss that one.  My e-mail is also without the s.  So folks, don’t be confused, I made everything with an “s” now except for the e-mail address.  Just not going to change that one.  Guess I need to pay closer attention around here.  Goodness.

(It’s okay to laugh, it’s pretty funny.)

🙂

 

** Edit: so it turns out that I ended up making two e-mail addresses and I do own the one with the s and without the s.  So, yeah.  Don’t worry about it.  Just have a good hearty laugh about this one.**

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Eats on the Road

I was at my best friend’s wedding last weekend.  It was a beautiful wedding and I had a good time.  Eating was however a little bit of a challenge.  Made only more challenging by the lack of a car.  (I’m a poor student and if I can save 100 bucks, I will…although I was jealous of all those people who had jobs and could afford means of personal transport.)  The one good thing was that there was a grocery store practically next store and it was of the Trader Joe’s variety.

I don’t think I need to talk about how difficult it is to find food out in the big bad world away from a kitchen and a good weekly farmer’s market.  (for the record I tried to go to the local farmer’s market there and then got the day wrong and ended up missing it…sad.)  Plenty of other people have said so.  Instead, we’re going on a little food tour here of some of the hits and misses of this trip.  I did promise my friend that I would eat at least a bite of everything for her, so there was a good amount of non-paleo eating going on.

Flying all day, I downed a coconut water on the way to the airport and then took a whole bag of goodies with me – beef jerky, roasted sweet potatoes, a bag of roasted (but not salted) almonds, some fruit.  I didn’t end up eating any airport food.  It was just all too gross looking.

Once I got in, I had dinner at the hotel restaurant.  I’m sure the dressing was not a friendly olive oil but some sort of vegetable oil, but I hate being picky and annoying to waiters, so I just went with what was the closest to paleo.  No picture of this one.

Breakfast the next day, I went for a lengthy jaunt and happened upon a Le Pain Quotidian.  I was tired and didn’t really want to figure out a better option since most places seemed closed, so I went with it.  I had an expensive spinach and goat cheese frittata.  I couldn’t find anything without dairy, so it ended up being a more primal meal.

I ended up picking out the tomatoes from the frittata (I had no idea that there were tomatoes involved) since I’m trying to avoid nightshades.  I left all the bread.  I felt bad wasting food, but I took a good sniff of the bread and didn’t find myself really interested.

Ta da!  All finished.  Oddly enough, I thought I had posted from my phone with the above picture, but it turns out that I have no idea what I’m doing and that post never appeared on the blog.

Lunch, I made do with left over foods that I had brought with me on my trip and a packet of tuna that I bought from the store.  Tuna and half a sweet potato with some almonds.  Not the most appetizing of meals, but I was tired and I really didn’t need much more food.

Dinner was pizza with a bunch of people.  I had some pizza and mostly just picked off the cheese and toppings.  I didn’t end up eating much since I wasn’t really hungry and I wasn’t all that interested in eating pizza.  I’m sure all the people sitting with me thought I was weird and wasteful for having a bunch of left over crust and bread on my plate.  No picture of pizza…not like you really needed one.

We headed out for the bachelorette party afterwards and since I barely had any dinner, I needed some fortifications before having a drink, so I had a squid and artichoke plate from the bar.  Tasty.  You can also see my tasty drink peeking out from the top of the photo.  I had a bourbon peach crush.

Hotel restaurant breakfast the next day was awesome in terms of paleo.  Not the best tasting food, but the waiter was helpful and when I told him no toast, he offered me fresh fruit instead.  Yay!

Didn’t really have lunch…had a banana and some raspberries.  Then for dinner, it was a wedding dinner.  I had at least a taste of everything, including all the desserts, but mostly, I tried to stick to eating paleo friendly foods.

There was originally more salad on that plate, but I didn’t remember to take a picture until after I had eaten some food.  Skipping lunch does that to a girl.  I later had some desserts and cake.  No pictures of those.  I had to eat cake, it was my best friend’s wedding.  The food was good.  I never expect wedding food to be good, but it was good.  🙂

The next morning, I went to the store next door and stocked up on some beef and buffalo jerky, freeze dried fruit (with no sulfur or preservatives!), and macadamia nuts for my trip home.

I used the leftover macadamia nuts to make this a couple of days later.  And that’s my vacation in food pictures.

 

Farmer’s Market

** cross posted to Funny Eater **

Sooo….it’s been a week and today I’m feeling awfully lazy.  Actually, truth be told I have been really stressed out lately about various things.  I know, it’s terrible.  All that cortisol running around my body is not doing me any favors.  I just have a hard time with things sometimes.  Anyway, this is not about me and my cortisol, but about the Farmer’s Market.

Today is my last official day visiting this particular Farmer’s Market.  I am totally sad about it.  I wish I could just stay here and continue on this journey of getting calmer and having a life.  Alas, my current career trajectory has other ideas.  (I am hoping to get off that career trajectory, but I’ll leave those thoughts for another post.)

The height of summer produce isn’t my favorite.  I’ll be honest.  The string beans have been way too fat and tough to eat lately and other produce just tastes a bit bitter to me.  I liked early summer better.  All the young and fresh produce that was just making it out of the ground just tasted better to me.

As usual, I forgot to take a camera or my phone to take pictures.  I also forgot to take photos when we got home.  Things are a little crazy around here.  The stuff that spoils got shoved into the fridge and then we tackled some life things, so I’m giving you a wordy run down instead of a lot of photos.

My sister is home and she came to the market today (yay!).  We ended up having a more involved shopping excursion than usual.  We also ended up showing up much later than usual since we all slept in (I actually got a good amount of sleep last night, which I really needed.  I was very, very, very sleep deprived.)

First, we stopped at my favorite organic farmer.  We got some french lettuce, rainbow carrots, cabbage, parsley, little yellow-orange cherry tomatoes, and a couple of zucchini.

You can’t see everything in the photo.  I just snapped whatever was still on the table post shopping because I am feeling way lazy about the photos right now.

You’ll also notice in the photo that you see some corn peeking out from the right side and some plums up top in a white bag.  We snagged those and a carton of eggs from another local farmer.  They aren’t organic, but they are local and they are the major fruit supplier of the market that we go to.

Then, the meat guy was there.  I have wanted to try some local meat for while, but this guy was missing last week.  We ended up buying a couple of boneless pork chops and we had them for lunch.  I am really not good with meat so I looked up a recipe on Purely Primal.  We made the Lime Honey Pork Chops.  My sister ended up doing most of the cooking.  The pork chops were good!  Easy recipe, tasty meal.  I am not going to complain.

I wish I had a picture of lunch for you, especially since lunch involved some of my sister’s paleo friendly cabbage slaw, grilled zucchini slices, and grilled sweet onions.  Alas, I ended up on an inadvertent fast this morning and we ended up eating at 2:30 PM, so you’ll have to understand that food was looking really good at that point.  (I hadn’t even had a glass of water until 2 PM!)  The only thing I have for you is that plate of mostly grilled onions off to the left side of the picture.

Back to the market.  Our final stop was a winery.  We bought a bottle of pinot gris (at least I think that’s what it was…I’ll have to go and check) after taste testing that and some framboise.  The framboise was not at all like framboise that I’ve had and had a weird taste, so we nixed that one.

All in all a very productive market trip.  Off to be productive in other ways.

Farmer’s Market!

**cross posted to Funny Eater**

Once you start eating paleo/primal and you consider what you put into your body, not only do you eat differently, but you shop differently for food. Case in point, we’ve gone to the Farmer’s Market every week since we started. It’s the highlight of my week and the food is well worth the effort.

The food just tastes better. We usually have to do a midweek run to a grocery store or farm market store, but that is never the same. The produce just doesn’t taste as good. Different foods have lots of different flavors.

I remember as a kid we had a vegetable garden and while I would eat the vegetables that came out of that garden (even the tomatoes!), I really didn’t like vegetables otherwise. Why? Food from the grocery store doesn’t really have a taste and the taste that it does have is kind of yucky. I always think that carrots taste like dish soap. Gross!

So, we’re heading to the Farmer’s Market in a bit. Just thought I’d let you know. (Don’t think the pictures are going to go up very fast though, because right now I’m in deep trouble for procrastinating on my regular life. I’ll have them for you, but not until later.)

Have a great day! (And stay cool to those folks suffering from excessive summer heat today.)

en papillote

**cross posted to Funny Eater**

I have been wanting to try this whole “en papillote” cooking thing for a really long time now.  I saw it on TV when the great Jacques Pepin was cooking (on PBS).  He did some really cool geometric things with the parchment paper…yeah not me.  Then, I saw it in a magazine as a recipe to impress.  When I saw it on Health Bent, I had to do it.

The only thing I really followed from the Health Bent recipe was the oven temp.  I dialed the time down to about 10 minutes because I was using our fantastic convection toaster oven and it was a small piece of fish.  Instead of spring onions (sadly, I ran out and have to wait until market on Thursday to get more), I put in chopped sweet vidalia onion, sliced local garlic that we bought yesterday, and some fresh basil leaves.  I did my usual coating of olive oil with some himalayan salt and fresh ground black pepper on top.

The final result is a tasty fish done in 10 minutes.  Awesome.  (In fact it’s so awesome, the dog is begging for some.)

Try it out.  It’s easy and it makes you feel fancy.

 

On Being Tired

So, this whole I’m tired thing and if I don’t take a nap, I walk around feeling like a zombie thing is really not doing it for me.  You’ve heard me talk about sleep a million times (here, here, and here).  I keep trying to figure out how to have more energy during the day.  It was one of the reasons I started eating this way.

Well, I decided that this has to stop.  I googled and sifted through a couple of websites (did I tell you that computer screens make me tired?  I hate looking at screens, but it’s so necessary right now.  Ugh.) and came up with my list of why I’m tired.

    1. low carb flu – apparently some people after going low carb or being low carb get low carb flu.  Errr…well that doesn’t sound like much fun.
    2. not enough sleep – you knew this one was on the list after I kept harping on it.
    3. not eating enough – some people don’t eat enough calories eating this way
    4. stress – I’m more stressed than I want to admit and so I’m more tired and maybe also sleeping to avoid (the sleeping to avoid part didn’t seem likely, but I put it up here anyway).

Well, I couldn’t really decide what the problem was.  So, I found my trusty, smart, experienced Paleo friend online and told him I was tired and I hate having to nap.  After asking me some questions, he was like okay, I think you probably need more fats.  He also said that I might still not be in fat burning mode, so my body is still trying to adjust.  Darn it!  I wanted to be all energetic and awesome, now!  (Well, actually yesterday, but impatience is really not going to help out here.)

So, at the recommendation of my friend, I’m getting my extra fats via some olive oil with every meal.  I could have done it a different way, but downing a spoonful of olive oil was way easier than the other options.  We’ll see what happens.  If I feel more energetic then I need more fats in my diet (and more calories it would seem).  If that doesn’t help, I might just have to tough this tired thing out.  Double darn it.

I guess it’s better to do this now than when I need to be awake for hours and hours and on spot about stuff.  At least in theory.  So, for now, down the oil, take naps as necessary, and just deal is my plan.  Sigh.

Yeah, this paleo/primal thing isn’t always a walk in the park.  Just thought you should know.  It is thought, great overall, so don’t go pointing fingers at my blog saying that I said it was tough or terrible.  I love eating this way and feel better and so does my mom, who is doing this with me.  We have both notice nice subtle differences.  It’s just that this adjustment period seems to be hitting me pretty hard.

I’ll be relieved, happy, and excited when I’m through this phase and my body becomes a fat burning machine.  I’ll let you know when it happens.  I’ll probably be so excited at that point my post will be in all caps.  Haha.

Have a great day!

Sleeping, Again

I know, you’re probably tired of hearing me talk about sleep, but sleep is like the one thing that I can’t seem to get good at.  I know it’s silly.  Sleeping is natural and it just happens when you’re tired.  Not me.  I’m jealous of all those people out there who sleep well.  I want to be one of those people.

Anyway, enough about my wishes and desires.  I have been trying out an app called Sleep Cycle, which by analyzing your movements at night gives you a summary of your night that looks something like this:

Went to bed / woke up: 21:39 / 5:58
Total time: 8h 18m

Analysis made by the Sleep Cycle iPhone app.

My sleep graph for the entire night:

This is the version that I e-mailed to myself.  It looks a bit nicer in the actual app.  You can also post it to Facebook.  Now, I’m not sure why you would want to post something like that to Facebook, but you can.

I’m not sure how accurate or based in science the whole app is.  I know for a fact that there is some correlation between how much you move and the stage of sleep you’re in, but I’m not sure how accurate the graphs are.

I actually bought the app hoping that the wake up function would help me out a little in the feeling dragged down in the morning department.  So far not a whole lot of luck.  I seem to wake before the alarm or accidentally set it for the wrong time.  Whoops!

We’ll see how it goes.  I figured it was a harmless experiment for $0.99 and a fun novelty.

In other, possibly more interesting sleep news, I went to sleep late yesterday around midnight, probably after, and got up at 3:30 for an hour or so to cook some breakfast for an early morning departer (I like to make up words to suit my needs) and then slept until about 7 am.  So in total I probably slept something like 6 hours.  I’m guessing that figure is probably less because I’m not sure when I actually went to sleep, I just know that it was after midnight when I looked at the clock last before I went to sleep.  This is all the boring background.  The exciting news is that I actually feel pretty alert today.  I feel pretty good.   I’m surprised.

So, does this mean I actually need less sleep?  My stress somehow magically vanished overnight?  I ate something yesterday that helped me sleep better??  I have no idea.

All I know is that I usually do not do well on less sleep.  So this is interesting.  Hopefully, there will not be a big spectacular crash later from the lack of enough sleep.

More thoughts on sleep to come…aren’t you excited?  (I know you’re not, so you don’t have to pretend.  It’s okay.)

Have a great day!

Sleeeepy

I have been having some major issues with getting tired in the middle of the afternoon.  I know that there is a natural dip in energy, but passing out for an hour or two just doesn’t seem quite right.  Plus, I was hoping that I could avoid the afternoon slump by turning paleo.

Now, I know that I’ve only been eating paleo for a short while, so I shouldn’t get all concerned, but I either need to wait this one out or change something.  (The other explanation is that I really hate studying…honestly, I’m allergic to sitting for a long time.)  I’ve been trying to sleep better at night, but I don’t seem to be sleeping that much better.  I do seem to sleep deeper since going paleo, but I’m still not sleeping great.

I recruited the services of an app on my phone called Sleep Cycle ($0.99 at the Apple App Store) for the last few nights to see how I’m sleeping and to see if waking up when it was more optimal would help me.  So far nothing really great to report.  I think it’s going to take a little bit longer to figure out how to optimize that.

I think my biggest problem is falling asleep.  I also seem to be sleeping the best in the early morning, which is not ideal since I need to wake up fairly early in the day.  Plus, it’s my preference, since I seem to get more done getting up earlier – it’s a mental thing.

I read on Mark’s Daily Apple something about long lying and how that can help you fall asleep, so my plan is to use the inversion table we have and hang upside down for a while before I head to bed for the next few nights and see if that helps.

In addition, just in case I might be tired from not enough calories or from “low carb flu,” I am trying to eat more today and see if that helps things.  We’ll see.

I really hate to have to resort to caffeine to keep me up, but if this continues, I might just have to do that since I really need to focus for the next couple of weeks.  Sigh.

Any suggestions or ideas are welcome, especially from those with first hand experience in getting over their sleep and sleepiness issues.

Farmer’s Market

** cross posted to Funny Eater **

This is a much delayed post from my Thursday morning outing to the Farmer’s Market.

This is what I got:

Zucchini and Sunburst Squash

Summer Spinach

Romano Beans

Rainbow Carrots and Spring Onions

 

My favorite are the rainbow carrots.  So much fun and the color of the yellow ones when you peel and slice them are neon yellow.  They even taste yellow to me.

Stay tuned for this week’s Market outing.

 

All the Tasty Things

So much tastiness going on here lately.  I admit, I was in a funk before, but no longer.  I think it’s all that going to the farmer’s market stuff.  I also have some thoughts on sleep and a new app that I’m trying out with my phone.  More on that in a different post.

I mentioned in previous posts that I am not good at cooking meat.  I feel like I have to learn how to cook all over again.  I always left the meat cooking to other people.  The most that I’ve done is cook some salmon and cook shrimp.  Even with those, I find myself at a loss for how to cook them well.  Enter the lovely convection toaster oven that my parents have, some himalayan salt, and fresh ground black pepper.  Salmon and shrimp are done in less than 15 minutes and 10 minutes, respectively.  I’m convinced it’s the himalayan salt that makes everything so tasty.  I use almost no salt when I cook, so I think that salt here helps me get the salt that I need.

Check it out…salmon…

And shrimp!

Looks tasty, huh?  So how can you get yourself some of this tastiness?  Simple, follow these directions:

    1. Get some fish or seafood of choice.  Frozen is fine.
    2. If frozen, make sure you defrost item of choice in fridge overnight.
    3. Rinse and pat dry the fish or seafood
    4. Place on aluminum foil.
    5. Drizzle olive oil over fish or seafood.  Make sure that each piece is well coated.  I use my hands to make sure that every piece is coated all over with oil.  Don’t be shy about how much olive oil you use.
    6. Arrange on the foil on the baking sheet.
    7. Sprinkle some Himalayan salt and fresh ground black pepper over all the pieces. 
    8. Cook at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes for fish and about 10 minutes for smaller seafood.  (I used a convection toaster oven, so you should keep an eye on your food to figure out the optimal cooking time in your kitchen.)
    9. EAT!  Yum.

I have been trying to amp up the color in the vegetables we eat since I’m trying to phase out those pesky bell and sweet peppers from our diet.  Honestly, taking out nightshades really makes adding color to meals a lot more challenging.  Most of our most frequent vegetables fall into the nightshade category.  How annoying.

On the bright side, you can get creative and make this:

This is zucchini, sunburst (or pattypan) squash, and spring onion sauteed together.  So tasty.  I like to put the spring onion in first with some olive oil and then add the squash and cook until just cooked.  I like to have some crunch when it’s done.  Plus, this saves well in the fridge for later if you make a lot.  I just had some cold for lunch.

Okay, Farmer’s Market update to come a little later on.