NotBlueAtAll

I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

The Lies We Eat

July29

(Trigger Warning for food issues/demonizing)

I witnessed an exchange yesterday that made me cringe. The son has a severe gluten allergy and my cafe makes gluten-free Belgian waffles. He ate his entire waffle, but his sister barely touched hers. Mom then began to eat the waffle after eating her own panini, but grew too full. She then insisted out loud that it was just too good to waste! And tried to get her son to eat it:

Mom to son: Please, take this last bite of waffle! I didn’t touch it!
Son: No!
Mom: You’re going to make me eat all of these extra calories?!
Son: What? (looks very confused)
Mom: C’mon! Just eat one bite!
Son: No!
Mom to me: He is a germaphobe, very OCD if you know what I mean. Ugh! I can’t believe he won’t eat it! It’s so good! *chews*

Prior to this exchange she was asking me about my paninis and which was “the least fattening?” To which I replied (with a smile), “Are you asking my opinion, because I’m not sure you would want it.” She laughed, so did I, but insisted on which had the least fat and calories and I refused to answer. She went with the vegetarian one (grilled eggplant with sun dried tomato spread, grilled onions and mozzarella) and insisted it was the most delicious thing ever!

My next customer wanted to know similar things, “What kind of bread do you use? Is it thick? I am trying to cut my carb intake…*mutters* and calories (with a sad face).” I reply, “But you need carbs and calories for your brain to function, for your body to move and work and play! Don’t you hate that we’re told that all of this stuff is bad and they make us feel awful for it?” She nods yes and looks slightly surprised by my response. Then I say, “Sorry, I don’t mean to preach, but I read a lot about nutrition and I get so upset that so much of what we’re told about food and nutrition and health are lies. It’s all marketing, you know? It is too bad.” She agrees and orders what she wants and then admits that the restaurants that show the calorie counts on foods really affects her. She says she has a hard time making a decision when faced with these figures. And I agree that it doesn’t really help. Then I explain that our body craves certain foods because it wants those nutrients. Substitutes don’t give those nutrients and often lead to more severe cravings. To this she agrees wholeheartedly and smiles.

I have these exchanges almost everyday. I don’t always get so wordy or mouthy about it, but I am tired of just smiling and nodding and letting these people demonize my food and my fat! Half the time it’s the adults that are the pickiest of eaters, kids just was food! No guilt or emotional attachments…just food/fuel! And food allergies are a serious concern! I cannot stand it when people make light of someone’s allergies or illnesses. Ugh!

I’m sick of people just repeating the exact same lies that are in ad campaigns! I want people to question this shit! To research it and to decide what is right for themselves. But they don’t know TO do that. They just take things on face value. “Oh! Whole grain means healthy!” Um, not exactly. *sigh* It’s an uphill battle. I don’t have $65 Billion to get the truth out there. The diet corporations do. And this is why Fat Liberation seems so daunting to many.

This is where I think we can make an impact though: with our moolah! None of us is rolling in money these days, but there are small things we can do to make small changes in the world and that begins with how you spend your money. Do you buy something that is suddenly advertising in a magazine or on a tv station that is fat hating? Call or email or tweet or facebook them to let them know you cannot support them if they support the fat hate! It works! So few people actually do speak up and contact these companies that when they do get more than say three people calling, they are surprised and want to please their customers (usually). Look into parent companies and see if you can contact them, too! In fact, get to know your congressperson and contact them regularly about discrimination based on height & weight! Many haven’t even heard of this stuff and will be interested and will want to listen to you!

You don’t have to get all shouty or overly political about it (even though it totally is), you can simply tell them that you refuse to support their products and company because where they are advertising (specify) supports the oppression of people based on their looks (weight/height/etc). Yes, you will most likely get a canned response, but you’d be surprised at how few people/complaints it takes before someone takes action! I saw this in the town where my cafe is. People were so annoyed at dealing with the strict 1 hour parking, but few actually complained to the city. I complained, a few of my customers complained, but not enough people did at first. Then I just got angry because they were straight up lying about how many tickets they were giving out (they claimed one a day when I watch them give out a minimum of five!) and started telling anyone who complained to contact the city. It took awhile, but it’s now been changed to two hours. I thought I was dreaming the day I saw the guys changing out the old signs to the new ones! Ha-ha! But they specifically said that enough people complained! Simple as that!

People don’t like to complain to the city/county/state/country. They like to complain to their friends/spouses/neighbors/etc. It’s like a past time for some people. When you suggest they take it up with someone who can actually do something about the issue? “Oh, they won’t listen!” is all I hear. And that is bullshit! If you don’t try how will you or they ever know?! They need to know, dammit! Business need this feedback, they need to hear from their customers or they will ASSUME they are doing the right thing every damned time! I don’t want anyone assuming what I want. I prefer to make my own choices and my own voice heard, thanks.

Okay, so I’m ranty this week, but that’s okay! It’s what I do. I’m tired of just complaining to like-minded individuals (and wonderful as y’all are), I feel compelled to start actually speaking up to these corporations and letting them know what I think. I may be naive in some of my thinking, do let me know, but it’s just too frustrating to be silent.

What products are advertising in fat hating media? I’d love to put together a list and post it. Thanks for reading! Happy Friday (for those who have weekends)! I hope you are all well and in good spirits! <3

Snark, Randomness & More!

August23

Okay, so on the “Snark” thing, I don’t really want to snark about anything specific, I am just still sleepy and a tad cranky and I just love the word “Snarky!” Ha-ha!

I love this: Your Permission Slip From The Universe

Randomly, I typed “Fat Acceptance” into google and the only ad on the page: Feminist Therapy Associates

Did you know,I Have An Etsy Shop?

It took me awhile to find him, but this used to be the blogger/founder of Fabulon! J’adore! <3 Thombeau!

A friend told be about Questionable Content and now I am obsessed! You have to read it from the beginning. It’s magical! And this sums up how I felt on Saturday night:

Awkward Zone Print

My friend Jery has a fab blog about our local arts scene, theater, movie reviews and so much more. He does a podcast, too! Check it out here

What do you like to read about on Twitter? I’ve been on Twitter for years, but rarely use it. I follow too many people to keep up with, but I do enjoy it now. Before I just sort of ignored it. I enjoy posting things, but would love to know what people are looking for there. Thanks!

Have you heard of Current T.V.? One of my fave channels and a lot of viewer generated content. YAY!

I have had the pleasure of getting to know this amazingly talented artist, Carmen Reid. She was at first a customer at my cafe and now a good friend. She is a freelance graphic designer and enjoys taking on new and funky projects. Need her help? Find her here! I also feature some of her paintings in my cafe.

Looking for some cooking/baking inspiration? You gotta check out my friend Steph’s gluten-free blog

This website lets you create a font using your own handwriting. FUN!

Tie your shoelaces in different and fun ways!

Go on, Ask Me Anything!

http://ohjoy.blogs.com/.a/6a00d8341c6a0853ef0120a776dee8970b-pi

Wasabimon.com “Skimming The Surface”

July22

I wanted to pass on this link from my good friend Stephanie’s blog: http://www.wasabimon.com/archive/skimming-the-surface-bad-dietary-choice/#more-2896

Today she posts about her struggles with her gluten allergy and how even the most well intentioned around us in the end, aren’t. I particularly identify with the part about patterns and how we often fall into them. She also offers some great advice and solutions. A great read! Please, pass it on!

=0)

Food: For the Body & Mind

July7

Today is sort of my Monday, but I’m caffeinated and ready to talk!

I wanted to talk about food today. For a kajillion reasons, really, but also as a continuation on the food and food allergy subject mentioned in my last post which was a wonderful interview with my good friend Steph (www.wasabimon.com). I’ve been learning about food pretty much every day for the last three or more years. So, let’s start there.

It happened on accident, sort of. Everyone I worked with at the time was on a diet. The ladies in my office would try to under-eat each other (as in, who ate the least was the “best”). It was disgusting. At one point one of them saw that the other was eating a single piece of fried chicken. The other remarked, loudly as always, “Oh my gawd! You’re eating fried chicken?!” the one with the chicken, “Yeah, it’s just one piece, but it’s good.” The other, “Well, good for you, I guess. I could never do it! Just thinking about it? Oh gawd! But I’ll be over here with my ____.” You can fill in the blank with whatever you like. I’ll fill it in for myself with half serving of pasta or salad because that seems like all she ate. Once they argued over what had less calories raw vegetables or cooked. UGH! I was often tempted to grab a donut and walk past them enjoying it with full dramatic effect. Never did. Oh well.

After awhile I grew tired of being bombarded with this nonsensical information being fed to me through these nut cases and the major media outlets at large. (*giggles* “At large! Love it! ) Okay, ahem, sorry. My fave co-worker and cubical neighbor and I would hit up our local Target for 100 calorie snacks. I hadn’t yet heard of the fat acceptance/size acceptance movement, but mentally I was nearly ready. We would buy the Hostess Cupcakes 100 calorie packs in varying flavors and joke about it, “Oh Freddy, would you like to try the vanilla? One is only 50 calories?”  and then we’d laugh and laugh! Often with evil faces or snarky instant messages. I miss working with him. *sigh* Somehow this seemed like a side-step to dieting, yet now I see that it wasn’t. It was still calorie restriction, but whatever.

After reading an article in my newly fave magazine BUST, I discovered the Chubsters in the U.K. who make no bones about being fat (okay, enough with the puns, me!) and will bust yo chops if you do!  This lead me to a series of other fat-related blogs that eventually (after about a week or more of browsing) lead me directly into the FA movement. WOOT! I couldn’t believe it! Fat gals like me, loud & proud?! But this also made me question all I had been told about food and dieting and nutrition. Vague memories from High School conditioning class and that one day when our P.E. teacher brought in a Mary Kay representative to discuss make-up?! Really?! Even then I knew it was wrong. Even then I knew that aerobics and make-up would not bring happiness to my life. Even then I knew I didn’t look like other girls, but not yet classically fat or plus sized.

The more blogs I read the more hooked I became on FA and it’s various beliefs there in. I was scared to tell anyone about my new found love at first. Then I told my husband and my friend Steph! I was surprised by how supportive they were and specifically the amount of info Steph had on-hand and in-brain! Ha! If you wanna know something about food and the interwebz aren’t getting you there, Steph is the gal with the info, or book on the subject! For real! She has more books on the subject of food/allergies/nutrition/etc than anyone I know. So she also encouraged me to read more about these things. The more I learned the more I realized how much of what we as a society know about food is all lies!

I focused on health. I focused on what felt better & tasted better. I realized that when I ate fried foods I felt like crap. When I ate fresh & whole foods I felt fabulous. I realized that red meat would not work for my digestive system. I gave things up and embraced a new outlook on food. I switched to soy and suddenly realized that cow’s milk was making me ill! Radical, I know, but it felt crazy to come to this conclusion at the time. I became a vegetarian and discussed it with my doctor. She was supportive and encouraged me to try more new things and try not to overdo it on the cheese tip.

Later I ditched the restriction of vegetarianism and just kept trying to eat good things (not morally good, just natural and good like). I made choices instead of the social defaults (burger & fries). While my dad was somehow offended entirely regarding the no red meat thing, I think it made some things clear for me. One, that food is fuel and not some sort of past time. Two, that it’s okay to not eat what everyone else is eating. Three, to stick up for myself and not cave in to peer pressure and dieting nonsense. And at one job I had later on, when the entire company had a “picnic” but only bought KFC for everyone, I politely asked if I could cover the phones while everyone was having their lunch. The HR lady was concerned, but I explained to her privately and she understood completely.

I have met a lot of people and have been privy to a lot of restrictive diets or eating habits. I generally let people do what they want and mind my business, but then I met someone who was at first a customer and then a good friend (and then a complete asshole who burned me, but that’s beside the point) who was a vegetarian who hated vegetables. WHAT?! Yeah, made no sense to me either. But then she said that she loved fish! Okay, so she was a pescetarian. All I know is that all I saw her eat was bread, cheese, sweets and the occasional lettuce & tomato. Ugh!

She blamed her numerous health problems on her fat, but not on her diet. When I mentioned to her that I felt that it was what she was eating (or not eating as the case may be) that was making her sick, she scoffed at the idea and insisted she had never felt more sick since gaining the weight. For the record she was a 5” 22/24 apple-shape. I tried to reason with her just as she had with me over getting my G.E.D., “You deserve to eat better!” Obviously this had no effect and while that’s not the reason we’re no longer friends, it was always bothersome to me.

Then I started watching documentaries about food. You may recall one not very long ago about aspartame called, “Sweet Misery” and that floored me! “How can this be legal? This substance that is directly linked to brain tumors and certain cancers?” I started talking to my regular customers and one even gave up his 12 pack of diet coke a week habit entirely. Now? He drinks naturally flavored mineral water. WOW! I tried not to bum anyone out with my new knowledge, but when you know that something is literally poison? You try to save those you know and love. My pescetarian friend knew of the problems that aspartame creates and still drinks many diet drinks all of the time.

Then I watched “King of Corn” & “Food Inc.” and again I was floored. “How could this be? This industrialized version of food? What the hell are we eating? How did we get to this?” I won’t claim to eat a 100% whole food diet or anything. What I do eat is more in the “intuitive eating” style of diet. I pay attention to what my body tells me. When I eat something that doesn’t make me feel good or worse, makes me sick, I pay attention and not eat it again! But I also try new things, often if I can.

I guess my point is this: know what you are eating and pay attention to how it makes you feel. If I know I have a long-hard day ahead of me, I try to eat a good breakfast. I try to eat things that will give me natural energy and not some sugar-laden “beverage” that claims to provide the energy I need. I now enjoy cooking at home and am surprised by how little time it takes to make dinner. Sometimes less time than a trip to the drive-through!

We all have different eating habits, for better or worse, but we don’t always make conscious decisions when choosing what to eat. It’s a topic my husband and I often argue about. If you’re in the moment, fully present and aware of your options you may make a better choice than just grabbing what’s easiest/cheapest. That brings up another point of concern for me: Access!

Having access to whole foods that are fresh and natural and not molested by factory farming and the like is not a given. I am not proud nor ashamed to say that at this point in my life I am quite poor. I grew up very poor and have worked very hard to never see those days again, but I am and I don’t care who knows it. I can’t afford to shop at “Whole Foods” (or “Whole Paycheck” as it is more commonly known). I can’t buy all organic all of the time. I have to made tough choices when grocery shopping. I have to decide what’s more important and sometimes it means buying non-organic so that I can afford more important staples. Access can also mean not having  this type of food in your neighborhood or town. Many other factors may come into play as well (like you’re not doing the buying/cooking of the foods you eat), but in any case it can be very hard to get what you want or need regardless of the reasons.

There is no such thing a bad (as in morally) food or good food. It is all just food. I don’t know when this type of language entered our social sphere, but it’s useless! I’ll venture a guess and say it arose late 70’s early 80’s during that whole fitness craze. Somehow just exercising wasn’t enough, you had to have the egg white omlet and carrot sticks, too! “No dairy, no sweets, no fried food: these are your enemies!” Fuck that! I like a bit of ice cream and bread from time to time. I love a nice piece of chocolate or the occasional fried zucchini! And none of it is good/bad, it’s just food!  It is the fuel that gives us energy so that we can move and work an dance and play and think and live! Nothing more and nothing less!

As a cafe owner though, I hear this talk all of the time. Rarely from men, but also rarely from other fats. It’s mostly fairly well-off women. Women who would easily pass for years younger than they are who spend far too much time worrying about the opinions of others and some seriously go the extra mile to let me know how hard it is for them to carry so much weight (I’m talking easily ladies who weigh 110-140 lbs. for reals). To me?! A 300+/- lbs. gal who has nothing to relate to them. I think some are seeking sympathy while others simply wouldn’t know what else to talk about. They ask about sugar-free syrups and such and I simply inform them that I don’t allow the brain tumor causing chemicals in those syrups in my shop, ever! Most are shocked by this, some are grateful and others are interested in learning more!

When another customer turned friend informed me that she had once again signed up with Weight Watchers i had simply had enough. I said, “Look, I don’t want to get all Fat Acceptance on you, but you’re amazing and gorgeous and who gives a flying shit about a few extra vanity pounds?!” She laughed with me! What a revelation! The moral of this post (if there needs to be one) is that we all deserve real food to fuel our bodies and brains and to live. We all deserve to feel good about ourselves and our bodies. We all deserve to feel that we deserve these things. So why is the diet industry so dead-set on making us feel like crap? Because then we’ll buy their products and dream of the day we are thin/accepted/beautiful/worthy. FUCK THAT! How you look does not equate your worth.

You can do anything you want. Nothing is stopping you. You can feel good about yourself right now. You can be confidant and care-free! You can do it. I know you can because I’ve done just that. At 300+ lbs. I feel great and have never felt better! I don’t expect others to do just as I have done, accepting yourself is a very personal journey, but it’s one that I hope people of all sizes will take. It’s so enlightening and life affirming! I spent years hating myself and the world around me…and for what?! Ugh! Depression is a difficult monkey to remove from your back, but it can be done. I won’t get into the dynamics of depression, but I have been there and still fight it. YOU deserve to feel good about yourself! That’s that!

I was reading this blog familyfeedingdynamics.blogspot.com this morning and was surprised to read about adult picky eaters and this brought a lot of things to mind. Please go to her blog and well, read often as it applies to so many of us even without children! But she mentions this article:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704699604575343130457388718.html
For one thing, it made me think of my niece and her mom and what they eat every day. Nothing green! Yikes! In my book that’s awful and they’re missing out on so many gorgeously yummy things, not to mention nutrients! I won’t get too into it, but this has been a problem when our niece visits us each summer and is suddenly exposed to actual foods and not just spaghetti and pancakes (which is all she wants). Because her mom doesn’t eat these things, she doesn’t and I believe this is a big part of her health problem.

Talking to one of my customers just now, I asked him, “Why do guys see healthy eating as less macho?” His answer, “Ignorance.” I love it! It’s true! Guys are fed lines about how eating more meat makes you more manly and what not. Ugh! Gross! Stupid marketing, too about giant drippy burgers come to mind. Outdoor BBQ parties with guys singing about sausage and beer. Whatever! It’s all bullshit and I have no problem saying it! It’s not just ladies who suffer from the diet industry and it’s partners. I mean, has Subway ever had a female spokesperson? It’s all been sports guys & Jared. You guys, we can all eat healthy and it doesn’t mean you have to do XY&Z, too! It just means you’re eating healthy and that’s it. You don’t have to announce it to anyone or bow your head in shame at the salad bar…just do what feels good. BK be damned!

I hate the fact that people take one cursory glance at me and assume so much about my lifestyle and habits and I bet most are completely untrue. This is life! I fight those stereotypes daily. I try to laugh about it and not take it personally, but it’s tough. I would never claim to have it easy, nor would I ever claim I have it so hard. It just is what it is living in this body of mine. It’s different for everyone. There is no one way to live or be. We are unique individuals with very individual needs. I know that you’ll find what it is that makes you feel good and when you do? That’s all you’ll want to do and feel every day. You’ll smile knowing that you worked hard and it was worth it because you’re so very worth every bit of effort and energy. It’s no religion or cult it’s just living life is a more attuned with yourself sort of way.

That customer I was just talking to, he also said something that his homeopath told him, “The foods with short shelf lives, they give you a longer life. The foods with very long shelf lives? They give you a much shorter life. What do you want?” I love this! It’s true! Think about what’s in those longer shelf life foods? Yuck! I’ll take the the longer life, thanks.

Please leave your comments/questions and I will be sure to address them.

Thank you for reading!

Wasabimon.com Blogger, Writer & My Friend of 20+ Years…

July6

Stephanie Stiavetti is, as always, more than meets the eye. A talented writer and impassioned food blogger with a gluten allergy. Her work has appeared in such major media outlets as Pregnancy Magazine, Clean Eating, and NPR Online. Stephanie’s professional website is located at StephanieStiavetti.com. She also Twitters under the user-name ‘sstiavetti’ where she posts about food, nutrition, and writing. 

It was so much fun interviewing someone I’ve considered a good friend for my blog. I was delighted and even learned a bit more about Steph. Please read on for our interview. 

How do you know me? 

I’ve known you for what seems like forever – since Junior High, sitting on the concrete at McKinley in PE.
I know, right?! I remember getting a bunch of ear piercings and was having trouble changing out to new hoop ones and you totally helped me out. It may have been the first time we spoke. Whoa! I just got chills! Ha!
OMG, I wonder if those holes in my ears are still there? I think I had like eight in one year at one point! 

What did you wanna be when you grew up? 

Oh geez – so many things. A veterinarian, an artist, a mountain climber, a cake decorator. I woke up one day and a lot of the stuff I had from those years is painfully foggy. I know stuff is supposed to fade over time, but I felt like a lot of it blurred out during the time I got sick a few years ago.
I can totally see how all of these are a part of your life now, though. Cool! 

The 90’s! Man, what a crazy time. What’s your fondest memory? 

Honestly? Driving around in your Dart, feeling like we owned the world. No one understood like we did, no one else could even dream of ever “getting it.” I remember tie-dying old sheets, eating at Taco Bell, singing Under the Bridge. I guess there’s no single fond memory. It’s all one big one, with a bunch of bumps along the way.
“Oh My Shit!” Ha-ha! My ’76 Dodge Dart! Man, good times! Like doing the “Time Warp” at stop lights and oh yes…Taco Bell! I just remember long summers hanging at your old house and basically being mini-hippies.
Remember my John Lennon glasses and my tie dyes? I think I was wearing a tie dye in every one of my high school photos. 

What led you to writing in general? 

I’m overly verbose by nature, so it makes sense that I would write. I have so much to process, so much to get out, that it literally sweats from my pores. Too many thoughts to keep inside, so I guess you could say that writing, whatever form it happens to take, is like my pressure valve.
I am constantly amazed at the sheer amount you can output in a given month! It has been a great motivator for me as well. 

What made you want to write about food? 

It’s something that I’ve come to know a lot about over the years, which makes it something that’s easy for me to write about. There are so many aspects of food that are key to living our lives. It’s something I’m passionate about, both from a cooking and eating standpoint. But honestly, I don’t want to write about food forever. I want to write fiction or creative non-fiction outside of the realm of food.
Yes! It is just too simple a concept for some people to grasp, I think. I mean, I talk about this stuff every day with my cafe’s customers and it always amazes me how little the average person knows not only about food in general but about their own specific intake of foods overall.  

I’d like to know more about your food allergies and how you found out about them: 

I fell terribly ill for a few years, and after repeated medications and hospital stays, I’d finally had enough and figured there had to be another reason for what was going on. I tried going vegan for a while, but that didn’t help. Then I met a person who had a gluten intolerance and thought that might be a possibility – turns out gluten was a BIG part of my health issues. After going on an elimination diet, I felt immensely better. I started eating gluten again, and felt like crap. Cut it out, I felt better. It didn’t take a genius to figure out what was going on.
And don’t you do the same elimination diet or a juice fast once a year now to sort of reset?
Only if I’m feeling icky, usually. I’ll do a cleanse if I’m feeling I need it, but the elimination diet kind of sucks, so I tend to save that for troubleshooting. 

What can you suggest to someone with or who suspects they have a Gluten allergy? 

I’d say skip the western medical doctor and see a naturopath. My doctors still tells me that my food allergies are all in my head and that I should just take the steroids they keep offering me. Really, what kind of advice is that? Kind a healthcare practitioner that will support your health, not beat it into submission.
And if you ever feel sorry for yourself because you can’t eat something you want, think of all the people out there who have no choice
what they eat, if they even get to eat at all. And most of all, don’t be afraid of feeling better. Yes, you do deserve it.
YES YOU DESERVE TO BE/FEEL HEALTHY! It is perfectly okay to take care of yourself. But you know, it IS hard, too. Just accessibility can be a huge road block to getting what you need or avoiding what you can’t have. I don’t think a lot of people get that. Even I can’t fully explain why it is only $1 for a chicken sandwich at a fast food place and $2.99 a pound for nearly any given vegetable or fruit. 

  
Any tips on living gluten-free on a tight budget? 

Wow, yes! First, buy foods in bulk. I’m talking grains, cereals, etc – they’re much cheaper in bulk. Also, Amazon.com is a great source for gluten free foods on the cheap. Like, they have Pamela’s cake mix (make this a link to here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000DZH19K?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwwasabi-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000DZH19K ) for like $4 a bag if you buy it in a case of six. That’s almost half of what they charge at my local Whole Foods.  

Amazon is also a great source of ideas. Like, I just learned when I got that link that Betty Crocker makes gluten free cake mix as well ( http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002AQP5FW?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwwasabi-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B002AQP5FW ). Who knew? 

Fave guilty pleasure? 

Right now, it’s kettle korn from the Oakland Grand Lake Farmers Market. The past few weekends I’ve scarfed an entire HUGE bag in less than 24 hours. Another guilty pleasure? Sushi. I guess it’s only a “guilty” pleasure because it’s so expensive. Honestly, I could (and would) live on the stuff.
I imagine it’s healthier than a lot of other foods, too. When you eat such fresh and pure things you just feel better. A truer you! So I would never feel guilty about that one…yes spendy, but again it’s the whole thing about better foods costing so much more. Oh kettle korn? I guess I missed the boat on that one. I’ve only had the Rock ‘N Roll Gourmet ones that I sell in the cafe. I can’t imagine eating more than a handful though. To each their own I suppose. =0) 

What do you wanna be when you grow up, now? 

As long as I have a sense of clarity and know who I am, it doesn’t matter what I’m doing.
Oh I love that! I have been finding myself sort of heading in that direction, too. People assume it was my life-long dream to own a cafe, but that simply isn’t so. I always encourage people to get the hell out of their comfort zones and try things that scare you a little. Get out there! Do things! Create things! 
What scared you to try but you were so glad you did? 

Er, well, eating differently. That’s really hard when all of society eats one way and it’s no longer good for you. Also, moving out of state was really hard, but I was glad I did it. So was quitting my job to go back to school and get my BA, which I’d count as one of the most important things I’ve done in my life. Probably the hardest, scariest thing I’ve done is letting my husband be the breadwinner for a while so that I could get my health back in order. I’m used to being in control of bringing in the money, so it was really hard to let someone else take the reigns on that! 

What projects are you currently working on? 

A cookbook that my agent is currently shopping around, and I’ve got some novel ideas rolling around my head. Starting a novel is hard, though, so I’ve been making a ton of excuses as to why I haven’t done it yet. Probably the biggest project at the moment are the blogs, Wasabimon and the Good Taste Review. I’m trying to get them to a point where they’re as valuable as possible to my readers.
I cannot friggin’ wait to buy yourcookbook! And you better sign that thing, bi-otch! Ha! No, seriously! You have an agent? That’s hella Pro! You’ve worked so hard, too. I know times have been very tough lately, okay, the last couple of years for all of us, but I have seen you persevere on so many levels. It truly is awe inspiring. Even if it makes you a bit of a stranger to your friends… 

Dream project? 

An article or fiction piece for the New Yorker. Also, traveling all over Europe, researching some aspect of common cooking that is poignant and important to document.
Oh can I come with you? I pack light and do laundry! That would be an incredible experience. Maybe spend a week at various culinary schools across teh continent? Just a thought. And you know, I’d die to go to one! 

The $10 million question (lump sum, no taxes): 

What would I do with $10M? I’d buy some land way in the middle of nowhere and build my idea of Utopia. I’d have a fire garden, an insane food system, and someone to feed me sushi 24 hours a day. Then I’d probably run all over the world writing, filming and photographing the essence of places.
So, you’d build your ultimate utopia only to leave it behind for travel? Or is it so that you can travel knowing you have the most supreme home base? I always say I’d buy a huge cul de sac so everyone I know could be my neighbors. No, I wouldn’t buy the world a coke, but I dunno, I like the idea of building a community of my friends who are my family. 

What are you excited about right now? 

Honestly? Getting healthy. I’ve poured so much of my energy into external things for so long that I can’t afford to do that right now. I need to focus it all inwards. But as always, I’m excited about the future in general, and I still get little tingles of joy when I think about all the things that can be done with narrative.
Yes, it does seem like a moment at the crossroads for a lot of people recently. I makes me wonder if there is a huge cultural shift on the horizon or just so me sort of planetary motion. I just think about these things, I can’t explain why. Ha! 

If you could go back and talk to your 14 year old self, what would you say? 

EAT BETTER AND GET SOME FUCKING EXERCISE. And for the love of god, chill out.
I know, we freaked over everything, man! And for what? I was thinking about how we used to play tennis all of the time back then, do you remember? It wa so fun! But I try now and it’s so HARD! I had forgotten how athletic we used to be. Like basketball? I loved that game. Hell yeah! I can hardly walk up the stairs now without getting winded. I can’t wait until my acupuncturist clears me to go back to the gym. I really felt amazing while I was going. Life was a lot less overwhelming.  

Was there a moment when somebody gave you a great piece of advice? Something that encouraged you? 

One bit of wisdom my dad shared with me once was this: “It feels really good when you stop beating your head against the wall. In fact, I think that’s why people do it to begin with… because it’s really nice to stop.”
Oh that’s really fucking good advice! How many of us have woken up and realized that there is this hug ugly pattern you keep repeating and only you can find your way off that track. Ugh!  

Is this something that you pass on or do you have your own tidbit to pass on to youngsters? 

Hrmm. I’d tell them that life sucks no matter what – the only that changes is how you see it. You know those happy people that go around with a smile on their face? Those people who the world just doesn’t seem to shit on? Well it does, just like it shits on everyone. They just don’t let it get the down

Something you wish was never invented? 

Computers. Capitalism. Cars.
Sorry, but I’m surprised that computers is first. You were the first of my close friends that were in my eyes technologically advanced. I mean, You showed me so much even when I was all aloof and bitter about it (sorry ’bout that). I’m with ya on the capitalism front. Whoa did we wreck things with that! I love cars, though. I just wish we’d have locked onto the other fuel technologies of that era, there were far better alternatives and I can’t quite remember the story of how we ended up on petroleum.

Something you’re forever grateful that was invented?

Curry.
Of course! Perfect, too. =0)

Pic from my 30th B-day:

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