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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hali Hannigan's Cupcakery

I went to my very first cupcakery today. The experience was nice. I walked in knowing their cupcakes were about $3 each and was still thinking, "WTF?" but my new (awesome) friend Monica wanted to try their tiramisu cupcakes so I went. Plus, I knew they were by the gym I'll eventually join so I wanted to try them myself. How else would I behave after a hard workout? Workout aside, I went. A mom (?) and young child were there when we arrived. I thought, "I probably wouldn't be buying any kid of mine a $3 cupcake. I'm sure not bringing my sister's kids here. There's too many of them [for $3 cupcakes]!" Monica and I ordered. Banana pudding instantly caught my eye, but I stuck with tiramisu (and turtle cheesecake) since that's what brought us into the store. It (tiramisu cupcake) was okay, not great. It reminded me of bran or a "healthy" (whole wheat) cookie but not as good or something dry. The cream towards the center of the cupcake was heaven. Yum. If I had liked the cake itself better, it's possible that it would have just been yum but with things as they were I was chasing that $3 joyous cupcake cream center. The cream was good. Yum. (I'm having a flashback). I've had tiramisu. It's okay. I don't love it, but I like it. I must voice that as a full disclaimer for my review. It's been a while since I've had it so it's possible that I forgot what to expect. The moments of coffee found at times throughout the cake seemed right. The joyous cream was the height of my memory. The initial bite that made me think of bran-- eh.

Hours later was cupcake #2- turtle cheesecake. Sounds close to heaven, right? (banana pudding was left behind so....) It was good. The cake had a flaky, sugary feel and taste to it that was just right for a cupcake cheesecake. The flavor and moisture were good. The beautiful fluffy top that they had on all of their cupcakes-- almost great. 90% of it was great but 5-10% was horrible! My senses screamed each time I came upon the horror so I really can't describe the menacing flavor for you. Eventually, I tried to investigate to see what caused the ruin but I could not find the bad flavor in what was left of my beautiful top. Turtle cheesecake, I recommend. I just wish I knew what doesn't need to be there so I can talk to the chef :).

Before I left the cupcakery, I thought, "this would be a nice place to bring a child." Notice the "a". At $3 a cupcake, I couldn't live out that fantasy with more than 2 children. I suspect the cupcakery is like a Jelly Belly. A few flavors are great, a few are horrible, and most are in between. It's about the adventure of trying and hoping that one day, you will find the perfect one.

Another disclaimer: I've never purchased a single cupcake before. For all I know, Kroger *could* be charging $2 a cupcake. I just doubt it. Off I go to think back to the joy of my $3 cupcakes from today.

an adventure in public nudity

Today, I forgot to put on clothes before I went outside. More specifically, I walked out in a 2-piece swim suit + a towel. Yesterday, I put on jogging pants and a t-shirt on top of my swimsuit before I left. Today, it didn't occur to do that until I was outside, on the way to the garage. "Naked," I thought in my head. My shoulder twitched back to go in and put on some clothes but my head said, "neh. I'll go like this. My long-term goal is to walk around naked outside after all." lol Pulling out of the driveway, I had a (negative) fat girl thought. Then I though of Ragen who I now absolutely adore. I decided to let my fine in own skin 90% of the time self handle the situation as I drove to the Y in just a swim suit. It was cute. It was much like what skinny girls wear much of the time anyway-- a short skirt with a way too high split and a sleeveless v-neck top that tied around my neck. The extent to which this get up felt like an outfit probably contributed to me forgetting to put on clothes in the first place. On I drove. I glanced in the parking lot when I got to the Y: no one else in just a swimsuit walking around. On the way in, I saw a girl enrolled in the same class as I leaving- in clothes. I went inside- no strange looks. I put down my towel and began my slow crawl into the pool. I survived the trip there. Nude. In a swim suit.

Class was good. We practiced free style swimming and learned a little more about breathing in the water. I learned to float on my back and helped a girl (age 7?) learn to do that after class was over. I was the first to jump in the 10 feet area today. Another nude-like moment-- I confessed to my hot teacher that it hurt my boob whenever I jumped in. He told me to jump feet-first instead of chest-first. Brilliant! Yesterday, my boob popped out when I got out of the pool. Today, my top went up. Partial nudity. Funny how I feel dressed in the water in the same outfit in which I feel nude out of the water. Perhaps it's because completely nude is what's most appropriate in water? Moving away from that thought....

Leaving the pool seemed even more inappropriate than my arrival. I was soaking wet. Everything fits different when you're wet. In retrospect, I don't know how that may have been bad; I can only say I felt it. I wrung water out of my top and skirt multiple times on the way to my car and used my towel to cushion my seat in the car. Even if I had pants on hand, I would have been wet and done that. I used the towel like a shawl both on my way in and out of the gym, as if my top area is what was most inappropriate about my dress. I'm not sure that any of it was inappropriate actually. Pulling into my drive way after class, all felt right with the world.

In the end, nothing was lost but a little more freedom may have been gained. Perhaps I'll remember to get "dressed" before leaving next time but if not, eh, naked women exist. :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

diet change- week 1

I'll give myself a liberal D on week 1 of my diet change. I did many things wrong:
- made spaghetti- justified by me not remembering my spaghetti was "good" because it was whole wheat, not gluten free- the current focus/goal
- The meatballs I had were not gluten free. Double whammy on the spaghetti.
- I put cheese in my omelet yesterday with the justification that I only had 1 slice left and needed to use it because it wasn't enough to freeze and would go bad if I let it sit. Wouldn't want to waste food, would it?
- I ate a cheeseburger. I was out. I was hungry. I REALLY didn't want Taco Bell. I did remove one bun so as to have a little less "bad" added to my system.
- I ate breaded hot wings. Again, I was trying to do something other than Taco Bell. I forgot that Krystal's breads their wings, whereas wing places do not.
- Cream of mushroom soup on pork chops-- I haven't checked but figured it probably contains dairy in an after thought.
-I ate an ice cream bar. I wanted ice cream; I wanted it out of my freezer. I tried the tofutti sandwich in my freezer but oops! They were REALLY old.

So there ya go, a combination of errors with a little forethought and errors realized at or after the bite. Physically, I feel no less pain though energy has lasted past 8pm this week. I wonder if the liquid vitamin B I had influenced that.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

preliminary decisions, preliminary actions (part 1)

Today, I've had 4 Tylenol, 1 Trammadol, 1 BC Powder, used Watkin's linament and still I have pain. Things leaving my diet: dairy, gluten, yeast, wheat, sugar, & aspartame. Dairy because I've talked to a couple of people with theories on why it would exasperate pain. I never reintroduced it when doing my experiment last year so I have no clue how it affects me. Maybe I'll find out this time around. It was hard to conceptualize removing dairy in this heat until I remembered soy cream. Cool and refreshing.

Sugar- well, I can't say anything more than I plan to limit this category. That should have been obvious when I mentioned soy (ice) cream. lol. Sugar raises yeast levels and yeast was part of the block of things that raised my pain last year.

Gluten, yeast, and wheat were the block of items that increased my pain last year. Once I dropped the diet, they didn't seem to elevate the pain the way I thought they would but in the artificial setting, yes. Perhaps removing them again will help my pain levels drop and become more controllable.

Aspartame- eh. It's said to be bad for us in so many ways. It was also one of the first things I heard was linked to pain. I tried removing it without removing other things once and it didn't make a difference so I don't know how much of a trigger it is. But, as with all things, if other pain triggers were in my diet while this pain trigger was removed, I'd still feel pain and not recognize aspartame as a trigger.

These guidelines were in my head as I went grocery shopping this afternoon. Nitrates allow the possibility of frozen meals. No dairy or gluten seemed to remove that possibility. I have to remember how to eat again. I remember fruit (and corn chips) being my save so I made a large fruit salad today: mango, pineapple, apples, oranges, and grapes. I hope not to consume so many chips this time. Chips are one of my major diet weaknesses. I thought my allowances would allow for a variety in chip type since chips are made from potatoes and I'm okay with nightshades this time around. Nope. Dairy is oh so prominent. If I keep looking, I might find some options but it didn't work out for me today. Plain is an option. Plain is not my favorite. I paid too much for a brown rice chip for work. We'll see how that tastes.

Despite mentally trying to (plan to) live under these new guidelines, I've already screwed up. I bought ingredients so I can make spaghetti forgetting my spaghetti is "good" in that it is whole wheat but not appropriate in that it is not gluten free. * sigh* There's 3 days of gluten and wheat for me but it also gave me the realization that I need to prepare a Whole Foods list for when I'm in Memphis next weekend. Except I also need to curb my spending. We'll see what happens. I'm doing a little more meal preparation now that I'm teaching myself to eat vegetables. Oh. I hadn't told you that. I made potato and leek soup two weeks ago as part of my try a new vegetable initiative. I bought the Food Lovers Weight Lost System but failed because it wants me to eat vegetables (green, purple, orange) twice a day. Proior to receiving the material, I thought I could get away with using fruit as my slow carb. Strawberries are about the only slow carb fruit I eat apparently. New goal: Eat at least 4 servings of slow carb veggies each week. If I can build up a tolerance for those foods, perhaps I can give Robert Ferguson's system another try one day. I do like the concept and seem to lose 2lbs a week using his week 1 guidelines (minus slow carbs) so I'm giving up my right to a refund and looking at what good I can get out of the info. Next up to make myself: yams. I've had them. I mostly don't like them. I like how a local restaurant, Royal Reeds, makes them. Maybe I can make something tasty too?

Some joys of having nitrates, nightshade plants, and caffeine in my diet this time around:
1. I can eat Nathan's hot dogs. They are SO good on the grill. And I bought some pecan roasted beef sausages that look divine. I can't wait to try them.
2. I can drink wine. It tends to contain nitrates so I had to abstain the first time around.
3. I can eat french fries.
4. I can have salsa with my tortilla chips.
5. Oh Lord, I hope there are more....

Here's my new beginning on controlling my food intake to control my pain level. I'm looking for someone to experience this with me. Are you down?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

if the diet resumes...

Let's say I'm tired of the pain and ready to stop eating again. Maybe I won't eliminate ALL of the foods I eliminated the first time around. Perhaps I can eat something besides what I prepare myself. The webmd suggested categories to remove are (1) aspartame, (2)nitrates, MSG, and other additives, (3) sugar, fructose, and simple carbs, (4) caffeine, (5) yeast and gluten, (6) dairy, and (7) nightshade plants (tomatoes, potatoes, egg plant, & peppers). Fibro sisters & other folks with chronic pain, which of these things have you noticed contributing to your pain? What do you recommend that I ditch? Let's say that I remove 3-4 of these categories-- the winners would be ______? Yeast & gluten are a definite as I remember them spiking the pain when I was doing the experimental and control groups last year. What else? Feedback appreciated.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Lord's Prayer

The Lord's Prayer
(from the New Zealand Prayer Book
Rev ed.: He Karakia Mihinare O Aotearoa

Eternal Spirit, Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven:
The hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth.
With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and for ever. Amen