The Whole 30

30I’ve learned a lot from Salted Paleo. We have referred people to this site before and I hope you have checked it out. I would love to be able to eat clean full-time. I feel so great when I do and feel so bad when I eat things that disagree with my body. Our friend Jadah that runs Salted Paleo told me about the Whole 30 and I had to investigate. Jadah has tons of awesome recipes on her site as it is but I was able to find the program, shopping lists, and recipes here. It’s 30 days of clean eating to give your body a break. I only started today and it’s been pretty nice so far (I always say that the first few days). I hate when people tell you to lay off fruit because of the sugar and on the Whole 30, you can eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. So why don’t I eat better year-round? Two reasons: I love Mexican food and I always tell myself I can’t afford all that healthy food! The website addresses the cost of eating healthier too. But isn’t it better to shell out a little bit more when it comes to your body? I’d say so. Let’s see if I can make it 30 days though. You can find more about the 30 day program here. Try it with me!   ~Dutch

Advertisements

In Sweet Potato News…

beansOnce upon a time, we would talk about food on this blog. There are so many food blogs out there though so we try not to make it a regular thing. However, readers love recipes! So today, I’m sharing my new love of sweet potatoes. While some have shied away from them because of the whole Atkin’s phase/carbs are the devil, these little guys are a good source of vitamins B, C, fiber, iron and magnesium.  I’m not a big french fry person but I do love sweet potato fries. Other than that, I had never had them. Sweet potato pie just sounds so wrong. Actually, I hate all the desserts associated with holidays. But I aim to try new recipes regularly, all from my Pinterest boards, and love when I find a new one that’s equally fast and delicious. That would be these black bean & sweet potato flautas from peasandcrayons.com. They take less than half an hour to prepare and cook and are pretty much amazing to eat. I used Daiya cheese in mine so I was able to accommodate my dairy-free and meat-free friends. You could try these sweet potato fries or crisps too. I’ve sliced them up, added some spices and a little olive oil to bake my own chips as well. Share your ideas if you have some good tips. Happy Friday world!   ~Dutch

Things You Can Cook in a Mug

cookieRemember those nights when you were watching TV after dinner and couldn’t stop thinking about how you REALLY wanted a brownie? Those nights are over. I see a lot of the “mug recipes” on Pinterest and have tried a few myself. It’s so convenient! You most likely have all the ingredients already, throw them in a mug and start the microwave. Seconds later, your dessert! And you don’t have to hate yourself afterwards…unless you made lots of mug brownies and put ice cream on top…which I’ve never done. I also tried the cookie in a mug, equally amazing. Before I could go through my Pinterest boards and get all the links together for this post, I saw that Buzzfeed had a list and they have some I haven’t seen! Like French toast, cinnamon roll, and coffee cake. Can’t wait to try these! Here is the recipe for the brownie I made and see a list of more recipes here.  Happy Friday!   ~Dutch

Food With Friends

foodI had a great time this weekend with friends and family, including my brother from another mother, Cwall. Now it’s back to the daily grind and I apologize for the delay in today’s post. After all the food I had this weekend, you might be surprised I’m still thinking about it. But food is always on this girl’s mind. Check out foodily.com and download the app Food with Friends to have everything you’ll ever need when it comes to recipes. The best thing about this is you get to share recipes and photos with your friends. You might think Pinterest is good enough for this, but do you really think I’ll get Cwall to join Pinterest so I can get his famous cheesecake recipe or Beer Margaritas? Nope, not happening. You can follow celebrity chefs as well and keep up with their menus. I like how you can search a recipe based on one thing you have but also type in ingredients you want to exclude. Then when you find a recipe you like, it lists the ingredients, directions, and nutrition info. But there’s more! You can comment on any recipes and start a “real-time” discussion. So in case you are in the middle of a recipe and need answers asap, start your own discussion! I am always up for trying new food so I will be making meals from this app this week. I’ll let you know how it goes. ~Dutch

Urban Bowling

spare-room-bowling4Normally bowling is the last thing I want to do (next to ice skating). This stems from the fact that I don’t want to wear rented shoes that 9000 other people have worn and stick my hand in a sweaty used bowling ball. That being said, lately I have been reading a lot about new urban bowling lanes. These aren’t your average alleys that your used to, there’s generally fewer lanes, fewer people, and a bit more class. Things that you won’t find at an urban bowling alley include, sarsaparilla, John Goodman, disco balls, underage teenagers, that weird lady at the food counter, and locker rooms. You should find a cool spot to throw a few strikes without smokey league players in the next lane, and a variety of less than frozen/fried foods with a decent bar serving variety of adult beverages and no pitchers of Natty. The New York Times recently wrote an article about the subject, check it out here. Here locally if I wanted to go bowling I generally stay away from the teen night club alleys, there is a nice underground bowling alley on campus that’s super cheap and no one is ever there, you just need to know how to keep your own score, very hipster…

1221_kclo_jcpenney-thumb-550x365-25945On the urban front, one of the run down buildings downtown (formerly the J.C.Penny Company) recently changed hands and is slated to be restored for mixed use, including residential, retail, and you guessed it, an urban bowling alley. Hopefully that happens, I’m all for urban renewal, and supporting locally owned businesses, as long as they serve White Russians! ~cwall

Doughnuts!

Every town has that great doughnut shop that keeps odd hours and sells amazing inventive doughnuts. Just ask Dutch, there is a Donut Hole bakery and diner almost walking distance from her door. I have to drive a bit further for something creative, living in the city we are overrun with chain shops calling at you from the street with that glowing red neon “Hot Now” sign. Currently Knoxville is in what I like to call a cupcake renaissance, selling overpriced designer cupcakes that are smaller than a regular slice of cake. Bigger cities are catching on to this boutique doughnut movement though and Chicago is no different, The Doughnut Vault keeps with tradition opening early and closing when they sell out. Click the more link for a short film on the shop. Continue reading

Kinnikinnick

Say what? You probably wkinnion’t have any trouble remembering that name. Are you spending too much at the Fresh Market or your local health food store? When I started my gluten-free/dairy-free experiment two weeks ago, I ran into our Fresh Market to grab a few things and ended up with a bag over $50. If only I could get what I need for less and not have to drive across town to get it. Hello Kinnikinnick! You might recognize this name from your local co-op. Their site has products from gluten/wheat/nut/dairy free facilities AND $10 flat shipping! You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home. Gluten free isn’t just a fad diet (you hear that Miley??), for a lot of people it’s an obligatory way of life. It’s nice to have a place to buy GF products at a reasonable price. If you need help deciding what to get (I love the vanilla sandwich crème cookies!), this site reviews a lot of their products. Happy eating!   ~Dutch

[We like to have something for all our readers and this post may not be interesting to everyone. So here’s a cool recipe I found for instant margaritas using lime sorbet!]

Smooth Meals

photoBreakfast is the most important meal of the day so I’m surprised at how many people skip it. Having a morning snack increases the metabolic rate and kick starts your body into gear. Without it, your body doesn’t process your next meal as quickly and tries to hold onto those nutrients. Since it didn’t get any morning fuel, it tries to hold onto the afternoon meal as long as possible — instead of burning it right away. For a very long time, I’ve had scrambled eggs every morning before work. But this Black Friday, my life changed. I got a Ninja at Target for $29! It’s 10 times better than our regular blender and only takes a matter of seconds to make a smoothie. So my breakfast every day this week has been a smoothie. I love that there are so many options. We have a bunch of different fruit on our counter, in the fridge, and in the freezer. Grab a handful and throw it in. Then you can add yogurt, milk, or juice to help blend. To help your meal last, you can add almonds or cashews, flax seed or chia seed, or spinach or kale. How good is spinach for you? It’s considered a super food as it is a good source of iron, vitamin A, C, K, folate, dietary fiber and calcium. [Spinach also contains selenium, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, copper, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and E!] The best part is when you mix the greens with the fruit, you don’t even taste it. If you don’t care about calories, add a little limeade like they do at Tropical Smoothie. You could also try the peanut butter smoothies or add coffee. Here is a great site with lots of recipes. This usually holds me over for a few hours. Now if you compare this tasty and nutritious breakfast that takes 5 minutes tops with waiting in line at Starbucks for a high calorie meal that costs $10, it’s pretty worth it!    ~Dutch

Goodies

20121116-145237.jpg Got my first Goodies box this week. Goodies is a company that will mail you new awesome food to try out every month. The service is 7 bucks a month. You tell them your taste preferences and any allergies you have, and they customize your monthly box. Here’s a couple more shots of this months box:

I haven’t had a chance to try everything yet but the popcorn was tasty. The service is a great idea if you like trying new things. At 7 bucks a month you can’t go wrong. If you hate it, you just cancel anytime. Check em out! ~cwall

Our First Giveaway!

Welcome to our very first giveaway. I know, we have only had this blog for a month. But in these past 4 weeks, we have reached our first goal of 50 followers. I’m not going to lie, Cwall and I have been pretty happy about each new follower. We were going for 50 by Thanksgiving and we made that this week. Thanks everyone!!! So our next goal? 100 followers by Christmas. You can help! Spread the word about us and you will be eligible to win our grand prize of a Starbucks gift card. If we make it to 100, one of our followers will be chosen at random on December 25th for the prize. Maybe we are growing slowly, but having 50 people interested in 2 random people talking about random things is exciting to us. Now tell your friends about us and help us get to 100!      ~Dutch