Larabars and Snap Peas

Today, I have another internship story for you and more sweet success. Which would you like first? Let’s talk food first.

You might have seen this in my twitter, but this Larabar flavor tastes just like a lovely blueberry muffin. No lie. I loved each bite. My co-worker W had not heard of Larabars before. I think I may have to bring some to share, since both he and his wife are interested in health food. W, as you will hear about later, is a great person to work with.

I’ve also been munching on these lovely baked snap peas. At first, I could not figure out this purchase from Trader Joe’s. I mean, these tasted like snap pea cheerios. What do you do with something as peculiar as that? A neat way to gravitate towards actual green vegetables, perhaps, but I’m afraid in our first dairy free gluten free snack olympics, this rookie fails to make the cut. Tough competition.

Now for a story. Another internship moment of brilliance, and why my co-worker W is such a neat guy.

Starting around 8:30am, I began updating our firm’s data collections with fresh numbers from the Federal Reserve, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, etc. Updating spreadsheets of data then allowed me to update all the files associated with the data. This took a number of hours and as I munched through some lunch at my desk, I wanted to make sure I did not miss anything before announcing to W that I finished. My co-worker W had been training me and telling me where to find data and how to update it appropriately. Since he had been so nice about a large amount of questions, I wanted to make sure I had done everything he asked, and well.

But I had nothing to announce. The computer folders I worked with showed no modifications made since December, according to the “date modified” tab. I told W the news and we both tried to figure out what happened. He believed me, but thought it was really weird. I determined that I would find proof of my work in five minutes or redo everything as quickly as possible. So many prayers rocketed skyward as I tried to search the computer for anything that might show my work.

Some things demand attention because they are simply gigantic. Unlike this rather obnoxious headband I found at Nordstrom, my mistake was small and unfortunately significant. I saved all of the data to the wrong drive without knowing it. The computer tracked down the changes I made once I searched the entire system for Wednesday’s modifications. I discovered my “recent work” attached to folders with the exact same names as ones I worked on, but in the completely wrong place. Lesson learned! W treated me with respect throughout the entire thing, which makes him the most amazing co-worker ever.

Q: Have you tried baked green vegetables? Have you had a co-worker W experience (or a gigantic headband like this one)?

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New Year, New Body

Basically, I decided to put some thoughtful practice into writing. I think I need to make some yearly plans for myself, because I realized something… I have opted out of yoga for the past two days.

Not a serious problem, but if I want to make it a consistent habit, I need to have an accountability system. A blog can help with that. I do not know about you, but publishing your plans to the entire world is a little motivating. Yoga? Meet motivation.

There are some other things on my mind for this semester besides yoga. Here are my other healthy goals for the spring…

1. Write posts and queue them. No more feast and famine style blogging.

2. Read more books.

3. Give more. There’s more to life than me.

4. Sweeten friendships. Global relationships need this.

5. Practice yoga and choose to sleep.

I find that keeping healthy wishes simple makes them easier to accomplish, and motivates me to fulfill them to an even greater degree. I also believe health is strongly connected to your entire lifestyle, not just nutrition or your workout regimen. My healthy goals fulfill personal needs, which then enable me to stay strong in the other areas of health.

Q: How about you? Do you have any healthy plans or fun things on your Spring agenda? I am forming plans for an adventuresome Spring Break! Trips to visit friends all around the United States, hopefully. 🙂

Q & A Update

Hello lovely readers!

Q: Where have I been????

A: I have not entirely removed myself from the blogging world (check those tweets!). However, I have been reflecting on how difficult it is to find local restaurants which can accurately cater to those with allergies as well as those without. To be honest, I almost felt like giving up. Lame sauce. (That picture? Slushes on winter vacation with Jessica!)

Q: Well… what now?

A: Luckily, my newest semester in school inspired me by accident! Instead of focusing on primarily restaurants, I am shifting my gaze a bit more broad. Here is the future as I see it:

1. Local food or food-based business reviews (per usual)
2. Reviews on products that are local (as defined >>here<<) and are CONVENIENT (read: frozen or workplace oriented)
3. Nifty recipes for home cooking or baking that I make or just want to share (per usual)
4. More life stories which pop into the picture

Q: Inspiration? Explain please.

A: My inspiration came from my internship. Basically, each hour I am not in school I will be interning from 9a-5pm during the week. My internship is near Scottsdale, which gives me reason (and funds!) to venture into local places there. It also means I need to be super UBER practical with how much time I have to cook and what conveniences are worth buying! I hope that as my life takes a little twist, you can enjoy the new look right along with me.

Q: What do you (lovely readers) think? Do you like the tweets via instagram?

A: Comments below!! 🙂

These Things Called Allergies

Blast these allergies. I cannot deny them. My reactions to peanut butter have driven me away from the stuff for good. A former favorite, but no more. I began to commiserate this past week as I realized that my favorite foods actually caused the issues I found in elementary school. Constant upset stomach? Yes. Feeling overfull all of the time? Yes. I could not tell when hunger was supposed to happen. Everything made me feel the same expanded, slightly painful belly. After a few years, I learned to ignore the symptoms. I stopped going to the nurse’s office because I felt stupid. I could not explain my problem and I thought I must be just wrong about my feelings somehow.

You realize, of course, that I must have had a reason to look into food allergies since that time. This reason came as a swift surprise. My joints started aching painfully this time last year. I thought my physical activity might be to blame or a number of other logical reasons might explain the pain. After three months, I realized the persistence of the issue. Only a few months later did I bother to get it checked out, because honestly, who has the time? It was then I found I had rheumatoid arthritis and that my joints really were in a bad place.

Following the appointment, I learned that the cause of rheumatoid arthritis might be related to food allergies. I completely disbelieved the argument from the start. How could one explain joint pain with food as the cause? Doubting heavily, I still took the advice to go on an Elimination Diet to identify my possible allergens. I think I was more willing to test for food allergies because my brother was diagnosed with celiac’s disease, and only by accident. I did not want to be a celiac and not know it.

Well, I had to quit the diet without complete results. Midterm week early on in the semester turned me in. My willpower broke. However, while on the diet, my joint pain disappeared. Completely. I obviously converted to the food allergy cause after that, as you might imagine. While following the diet, I also came to the realization that I could not handle gluten or strawberries. What I failed to realize was that, having successfully rid my body of inflaming foods, if I reintroduced them, I would feel every reaction more pronounced. This is where you find me now. Waiting for the right time to complete the diet process, and knowing I will not ignore my feelings. I will help myself by removing their cause.

On that note, I think the best way to overcome some lifelong diet changes is to admit the losses and celebrate the gains. Particularly in pictures. Particularly because this is a food blog.

So I admit to myself that I cannot eat the truffles drenched in milk chocolate or filled with a strawberry center…

source: chocolate reviews

However, I resolve to divulge in a dark chocolate truffle, au bon moment, and embrace the luscious notion of raspberry sauce!

source: bell'alimento

I also admit that gluten-laden crusty breads are out of the picture. Lovely delights that these are.

source: Simply So Good

However, I resolve to embrace a whole new world of nontraditional options. No neglect in flavor, no neglect in texture. Like exotic rice breads and oat flour graham crackers!

As for Arizona’s restaurants and food trucks and local eats, I am up for a challenge. I will find delicious foods which locals love and where allergies have no presence. In fact, I have my first location already picked out, and I am rather excited to go.

Perhaps you know someone, or many people, who happen to have dietary restrictions. I hope that you benefit from my personal adventures as I learn how to navigate local venues and allergen awareness. Who knows, I may throw in a few product reviews as well. Smores seem like a great place to start, now that I have a gluten-free graham cracker to work with… November weather calls!

Q&A: Would you ever consider testing yourself for food allergies? Have you ever tried gluten free stuff or been curious about it?