Gothic Granola

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Summer Trip Heart Attack

Road food is not kind to vegans…or really, to anyone.  TC and I were eating a very unhealthy breakfast of fries (for me) and French toast (for him) somewhere in South Dakota and he said, “Ugh, I feel like I’m gonna have a heart attack after eating all this heavy food this trip.”  Which led to a certain song being stuck in my head for the rest of the trip…

road trip 2016 vegan gluten-free | gothic granola

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Baking, Fails, and New Products

Ordering at Chinese Restaurants when you’re Gluten-Free

Pro Tip: Order the dish you desire without soy sauce or any sauce at all (steamed, you’re even safer.)
Do a little research, figure out how the dish is made. Understanding how certain dishes are prepared helps you understand possible sources of gluten-containing products. Finally, if you don’t care about cooking, heaven help you if you’re gluten-free.

Or Maybe Not

The continual availability of new gluten-free products hasn’t ceased to amaze me. People with actual Coeliac disease make up less than 1% of the US population, yet the GF foods market is valued at >$10.5 billion (in 2013). Since I pinpointed my gluten sensitivity in May 2011, I went from barely being able to find sorghum flour at ShopRite to being able to buy GF (and vegan) bread at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods (duh), Sprouts, and Safeway.

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April Corporate Wellness Article Roundup and Pistachio Blondies

 

omega 3 powerhouse muffins gothic granola

Here’s an article I saw this week about the dearth of Omega-3’s and overabundance of Omega-6’s in the American diet.

Hence, we have more than double the linoleic acid in our body fat as do our parents’ generation, and fatty acid turnover in adipose tissue can take years. So you may feel the health effects of your diet from the past year or two, even if you switch to a healthier diet.

Besides the importance of supplementing with Omega-3’s (preferably eating Omega-3 rich foods before turning to supplements), the point about the “delay” in your healthier habits taking hold reinforces the idea that you just have to give things time. The body doesn’t repair itself overnight. Major health changes through behaviour change are not easy, and the rewards don’t come quickly, but they will pay off with consistent effort over time.

How about some Omega-3 Powerhouse Muffins?

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Covenant Concert & Makeup under a Motorcycle Helmet

Because we are Gothic Granola, we go to concerts for Goth, Industrial, Synthpop, Alternative, Electronic, and more, as the entertainment budget allows. That’s a royal “we.” On Tuesday we went to see Covenant at Casselman’s in Denver, hosted by Club Sanctuary.

Covenant Makeup Sportbike Vegan Gluten-free Synthpop | Gothic Granola

We rode on sportbike to Denver, and having seen few practical posts for wearing makeup under a full-face helmet, I decided to experiment. As I said in this post, I don’t wear makeup often and I don’t think it adds anything to my appearance. Most message boards I read for female riders focused on the hair, and I happen to like helmet hair (I also have short hair and a low-maintenance deathhawk, so there’s not much to “ruin”). 

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Theories, Stories, and Musings | DC Parting Shots

Being GF is not a diet. It’s a lifestyle. It’s sometimes not a choice (id est, coeliac, IBS, leaky gut, intolerances, allergies).

A recent NY Times article by Kim Severson pointed out how life as a GF diner is becoming somewhat easier. 


I do and don’t understand why someone would become gluten-free just to try it. After initially losing weight due to losing an entire food substance from one’s diet, being GF (or being vegan, for that matter) is no guarantee of weight control/maintenance.





This dog is GF because he has food allergies.

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Cerealously

This blog post is dedicated to the awesome blog that is no more, “Option Pitch and Waffle Crisp” and its intrepid author.

While on a nostalgic Internet search for French Toast Crunch, specifically the Halloween version from Fall 1998, I found a blog called, “Option Pitch and Waffle Crisp,” a WordPress site on which the young male author discusses college football and reviews food. Adam Nettina had managed to score a box of Canadian French Toast Crunch and reviewed it sometime in the last two years. The more I read the site, the more I noticed what the author and I had in common: twenty-something, higher-educated, Catholic, living in the DMV, eating disordered. Don’t try to look it up, though; Adam took the blog down last year.

His clear writing style made the blog easy to read, and his photos made me want cereal, had me eating with my eyes, as a good blog should. Reading his posts brought a smile to my face as he rated food on texture, taste, price, availability, and whether he would buy it again. Adam once began a review for yet another kind of cereal that he was “someone who chooses to eat [his] carbs in the form of cereal,” a statement I found hilarious and relatable up to a certain point in my life.

Yeah, I had a bit of a crush.

Hey, for words on a screen, Nettina met my criteria for cool before I even had criteria: excellent writer, critical thinker, religious, foodie, writer, blogger… This article showed me how similar Nettina and I am, in psychology.

Promise I’m not a creeper! Most of my crushes/squishes to that point were hopelessly unrequited, so I didn’t have reciprocal experience. Hence, my crushes/squishes until 2013 rather closely resembled stalking. The Internet makes indulging such passions all too easy.

Until the target disappears.

I began reading Option Pitch and Waffle Crisp in September 2012, and I took pictures of my breakfast consisting of Nature’s Path Koala Krisp and green juice (and the requisite ground flaxseed and peanut butter hiding in there). I had intended to blog about the cereal in the style of OPWC, but I put it off. Now I can’t even link to the blog that inspired it all.

Review 1. Envirokidz Chocolate Koala Crisp (TM)

Brand: Nature’s Path

Composition: Chocolate puffed rice

Works well: Straight, as cereal or in Sacrifice Bars II or the original Sacrifice Bars or Embassy Treats

Number of ingredients: 6

Price: $4.50-$5.50, depending on the store (it’s available at Whole Foods Markets, MOM’S, and similar stores in the DMV area)

Crunchy and chocolaty, Nature’s Path has a solid kids’ offering here with the Koala Crisp. The chocolate flavor is more “cocoa-y” than chocolatey, but that’s par for the course with healthy cereals. At six ingredients, there’s nothing to complain about in terms of it being a mysterious, supplement-sprayed, frankenfood kid’s cereal, and for this, it rises way above competition. It clocks in at 11 grams of sugar, 2 grams of fibre, and 2 grams of protein per serving, though, which makes it a better “treat” cereal than a daily one. I have purchased and cooked with it on multiple occasions already.

You can tell I used nondairy milk in that smoothie because it’s “flat” green. Oh wait, I write down what I eat. That was a kale-ginger-red delicious apple-almond butter-unsweetened vanilla almond milk-plain coconut kefir smoothie. As if this post wasn’t weird enough, there’s another one of my idiosyncrasies, food journalling!

Review 2. Simply Maize Organic Corn Cereal

Brand: Kashi

Composition: Puffed corn flakes (think Special K)

Works Well: Straight

Number of ingredients: 4

Price: Costco-sized box, close to $7

TC introduced me to Kashi Simply Maize cereal last month. I ate it with a mysterious smoothie, of course. He and his superior said my breakfast concoction looked pretty gross. SM tastes much like healthier, cleaner, clearer Corn Pops. The corniness is inherent in the crunch and toasty flavor (the latter of which is probably due to the molasses). Two grams of fibre, six grams of sugar, and two grams of protein for a 3/4 cup serving is safe for daily consumption, in my book. Daily consumption drowned in green juice, that is. I already bought a tonne of it at Costco, but I will buy it again in my efforts to 1) have food TC will eat at my apartment and 2) build healthy, long-shelf-lived snack packs to prevent binges.

Tangent time: DID YOU KNOW…Araceli, the heroine of the short story “Nickel-a-Pound Plane Ride” by Gary Soto, creates a concoction (fifth grade vocabulary word) of cornflakes and coffee, and said concoction was the inspiration for my group of friends’ subsequent creation of lunchtime potions? Moreover, that story gave me license to begin mixing tea with ice cream, and my culinary imagination took flight from there.

Proof: Q circa June 2004, my post-prom dessert. Actually, Alaine and I left early, so the time of this photo wasn’t even technically post-prom. Videre licet, decaf tea over chocolate frozen yoghurt, Ghirardelli chocolate, and a Ghirardelli brownie. Ownie Mom’s the chocoholic and food preparer, not me.

And then I got into the “cover everything with nondairy milk” phase, when I used to drown my bread or oats in it every morning. Q, 2011, looking extremely pissed off next to a bowl of oats, fruit, and nondairy milk (soy from the off-whiteness of it).

Review 3. Cinnamon Heaven

Brand: Van’s

Composition: GF flour blend squares coated in cinnamon

Works Well: Cereal qua cereal. Maybe as cereal qua French toast?

Number of Ingredients: 14

Price: $4.50-5.50 (found it at MOM’S)

OMG. OMG. OMG. It’s my fave cereal in natural foods style! Or close enough. Cinnamon Toast Crunch was my favourite boxed cereal from back in the day when The Little Mermaid was my favourite movie. Nostalgia aside, this tastes like it should, healthier version of the original (i.e., cleaner taste, not as stridently cinnamonny). For the price of it, no, I would not buy it again. Not when I can make it.

TC’s response to my telling him about this cereal, since Cinnamon Toast Crunch is/was our mutual favourite, was, “Did you eat the entire box?” One night, TC and I were looking for something to do and he said, let’s get boxes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and see who can finish first. I countered with something along the lines of, ‘eww, no, but I’m a binge eater, so that’s no contest.’ Cereal used to be my drug of choice, and having as much as I do in my apartment right now is a challenge, mainly because the sugar is triggering. I also realized that denying myself sugar 100 per cent was setting myself up to fail:

1) because it’s in everything and avoiding it is more of a problem than I thought.

2) because some cravings ought to be given into–healthily.

There are worse foodstuffs to shove down one’s throat than 3/4 cup of sugar-containing cereal. So, moderation. Lieber das Messer ablecken als den Löffel abgeben.

Parting shots:

My new AGV Valentino Rossi motorcycle helmet, with which I am obsessed. It was on sale and TC’s spare helmet was too big. Now I have a helmet that fits my noggin! Can’t stop thinking about how neat it is. Going to be riding pillion (proper term) or bitch (vulgar term) with TC on the sport bike a lot as the weather warms up.

Steamed some broccoli.

Pressed some tofu.

Marinated tofu in jazzed-up broccoli water. Voila:

Come to the Dark Side…we have vegan and gluten-free goodies.

Work to Capacity | Article Review

And not over it all the blessed time. 



Bunch of articles to review this week, folks.

Long-range, big-picture thinking is an attribute some employers prize in employees. Besides being valuable for planning effectively and acting strategically, such a mindset also helps people better self-regulate. What I particularly took away feom this article was the last bit about prioritizing sleep/rest/turning off if what you’re doing is not going to matter in ten years.

Another list, which may indicate you need to see list no. 1.

CTFO, mate. I am guilty of all of the things on this list. I used to do homework during family events. Now I overeat and isolate, but that is another probably related issue, some kind of workaholism.

Healthy eating and living taking precedence at home is all well and good and I endorse this. Healthy eating without sufficient education (label-reading, why it’s important, et cetera) can sometimes have the negative backlash effect of kids eating all the junk foods once let off the leash.

No shit. My depression hit before, during, and then just dropped off the cliff after senior year of high school, a year when I averaged about 5 hours a night. When I did the same nonsense this past six months, I got the same results. Hence, article number one. Sleep helps the body repair tissues, for one. For two, dreams influence my decisions, and making sure I have sufficient time and depth of sleep to dream makes me a better decison-maker. 

The following article examines why teens are so stressed. Given that my teen years were only four years ago (I’m 23), I am not surprised. A five on the AP Biology exam got me out of one lab course at Princeton. The AP courses prepared me for workload and intensity of a college course, but otherwise they had little added value. The rest of my AP credits did not carry over to PU. Point being, the elite universities want to see you slave away in high school, but they’re not going to give you a fair return for your blood, sweat, and tears. Higher education can be such a cruel, sick, twisted, albeit necessary, game for getting ahead in the business world.

Something for the stress: treadmill.

Best line: 
Movie, music, or meditation. Plan a walk or run for sweat and enjoyment. Focus your mind on artsy things and allow your body to run without you in full control all the time.

Focus on artsy things! How rich! I used to work on my novel and poetry while I ran on the treadmill after school my junior and senior years of high school. Runner’s high helped me deal with the stress. Walking or biking after work now does the same.

What am I doing here? I’m releasing the negative in order to make room for the positive.

Parting shots:
City of Rockville shuts down in snow.



TC drew a Nosferatu on the table when we went to the only place that seemed to be open in Rockville: Macaroni Grill.



Macaroni Grill does GF pasta: corn penne, broccoli raab, roasted red peppers, roasted ‘shrooms, and a piece of wheat spaghetti that slipped in there. >_< #zeroproteinmeals


TC calls my food “mysterious.” Videre licet, mysterious concoctions I ate for breakfast…


…and lunch.



The basic format for “Q’s mystery bowl” is nondairy milk, defrosted berries, nuts/nut butter, chia seeds, fruit/greens (kiwi and Rotkohl, respectively), and spices (cinnamon). I am deliciously weird. That is my affirmation and I’m sticking to it!

St. Valentine’s Day breakfast #1: Tuja Wellness raw cookie dough and ground flaxseed under banana-lemon vice cream.




Skull and crossbones heart socks from my fashion-forward aunt



Wore an Ownie Mom original from my brocade phase: black brocade with red roses jacket. TC made me dinner (tofu fajitas) and dessert (chocolate-dipped fruit) for V-Day.

Fin! Chillin’ out on this snowy Saturday.

Come to the Dark Side…we have vegan and gluten-free goodies.