Monday, March 19, 2012

An open letter to my love: Bacon

Dear Bacon,
  I just want to tell you how much I love and appreciate you.  Whenever I see you and include you in my meals you take that meal to the next level.  You always know how to make me feel better and perk up my day.  When I cook you and there is a little bit of fat left over I love nibbling on that little bit and it wakes up my senses and makes me so happy.  I do believe that a person has to smile when eating you.  Some people may give you a bad name and I say poo-poo to them.  Obviously they have not tried the many different varieties or they have not tasted the greatness of you in the uncured farm style.  Please tell the manufactures to stop masking your flavors with preservatives and yuckiness.  You need to stay in your true form lightly smoked and uncured.
I also wanted to thank those farmers who do keep you in real form so I may reserve all of that yummy rendered fat.  That fat just accelerates the taste of any veggie and also provides this body with that special taste and that certain something to make EVERYTHING you touch taste 100x better.

Again thank you for making me feel good, tasting great, and being a great food for ANY meal!

Stay true, no preservatives and you will ALWAYS have a place in my tummy!

Monday, March 12, 2012

IF...Intermittent Fasting...and no one got hurt.

So a few posts back I had mentioned I was going to start incorporating something into my diet called IF (Intermittent Fasting) into my diet just to help out my metabolism.  IF is part of the Primal Blueprint which I have been following since Jan 1.  Basically it is a fast, it is suppose to be unscheduled, but some people schedule them either throughout the week or during the day or even eat one meal a day.  I spoke about doing this during my vacation in Key West, and I didn't even realize I was.  This was because we got up late, met new friends, laid in the sun (and shade) (all in the name of getting adequate Vitamin D,) and just didn't do anything during the day.
So the way that this IF is laid out seems similar to when I had to fast for my colonoscopy except I don't have to drink the laxative.  Also like the many times I have fasted for blood tests the next day.  During the vacation it turned into a fast during the day.  We ate dinner the night before around 7 or 8 and then had a few (or more then a few) drinks, fell asleep, and woke up the next day at 9 or 10.  Got outside sometime maybe around 11 and stayed between the sun, shade and pool for the better part of a day.  Until we ate dinner.  So my vacation fast was really without thinking about and I was limiting my eating to the back end of my day.  So now I have decided to make a conscious choice to not eat for one whole day (more like 36 hours.)  So last Wednesday evening I ate my dinner, and decided to start fasting, and continue not only the next day, but to break my fast on Friday morning. Here is the tale of that day Thursday:
I woke up feeling normal since I had eaten the day before.  This day I had to leave fairly early for a few appointments with a few people who actually did get on my nerves, BUT I wasn't going to let them best me, and I wasn't going to let me hunger take over.  I decided if I was going to do this I was only going to sip some tea and water throughout the day, at least I would be hydrated.  So I got my tea and off I went.  The first appointment was not terrible, but around 12 I was starting to feel a little loopy, I shook it off and had some more tea.  I was definitely feeling hungry, but I was going to keep going.  I had a little break between appointments and had landed myself in NYC a little early so I took a seat at a Starbucks and had some tea.  I texted with my friend Josh and Nicole just to keep sane, as I could feel the hunger take over, but I pulled through, no one was hurt yet.  I had my second appointment and started talking to the two lovely SLP's.  I started hearing myself and I thought, am I talking or are words just coming out of my mouth.  I stopped, apologized if I was talking nonsense because I was fasting and kept going, clearing my head and pushed through.  The appt was one was hurt YAY!  I grabbed a bottle of water for the ride home and headed home, singing showtunes and what not on my way up the New England Thruway.  I got home and felt really energized and thought it was such a nice day out and Ivy needed a walk so I took her to the park for a walk, then decided no, a RUN would be better.  So we loaded up and went for a trail run, after that I felt even better!  I got home and still felt good, I felt loopy as hell, but GREAT!
Eventually that night I fell asleep and the next morning I felt really clear headed and great, I had my normal breakfast of eggs, fruit and yogurt and went on with my day.  I highly recommend trying it, if you dare.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Pulled Chicken...easy...good...yum

 In my quest to come up with new easy meals that I can cook in my slow cooker or don't need much prep time or I want to try something new I found this. Pulled Chicken!  Thanks to my cousin Brian and his girlfriend Claire and their culinary adventures (or the Slow Cooker Revolution cook book) they told me about the Pulled Chicken recipe.  I love anything with BBQ sauce and really I love chicken, and my slow cooker, and food.  So I searched for the recipe since I never got it from them but I couldn't find it, what I remember is boneless skinless chicken thighs and BBQ sauce, but I don't remember the order or the measurements or whatnot.  So I said F IT! and I used my Iron Chef cooking skills (maybe I think they are great, but probably not IRON CHEF quality, but I digress.)  I knew what I had to do and I had the ingredients, so I did what I could and came out with a lovely and tasty meal.  I have also been much more aggressive about reading labels since my stomach issues and eating bread (I knew I had them and now I KNOW they are real!) So I have been making sure if I get sauces that I am not making that they are Gluten-free or what not.  So here it is.  My take on Pulled Chicken, also with a help from a Kentucky friend who mentioned they cook their BBQ in Vinegar and then add the sauce after.

2-3 lbs Boneless/Skinless Chicken Thighs (organic, cage free...local, you know the drill)
2 TBSP of water
2 TBSP of Apple Cider Vinegar

2 bottles of BBQ sauce (I used Lip Lickin' Sauce Sweet and Smoky AND Bold and Spicy)

Add the first three ingredients to the crock pot, turn it on low...forget it all day...

When you get back you will see that there is a whole lotta liquid in the pot.  It is a gorgeous smelling, yummy tasting liquid that you should NOT throw away but instead use as a base for a soup, which I did, which didn't come out the best, but that is my fault.

So don't throw the liquid out, save it, its stock, but drain it. Turn the dial down to warm setting or if you have a digital crock pot you are too fancy for me, so figure it out.  I only have High, Low, Warm and Off.
Shred that chicken with two forks and start adding the sauce.

This is post-shredding and with a little BBQ sauce added.
Keep adding sauce until it reaches the desired sauciness.
Here is the finished product, yum-yummy-yummers!  It was so good, I put a little cole-slaw on top of it yum!
By the way if you think you can eat a heaping helping, it is WAY more filling then you think. I took WAY too much and couldn't finish my little bowl.