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Cool it down with hydrating foods

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Good morning and holy heatwave, Batman.

NYC is in full-on Cooling Centers mode and the subway platform I wait on every morning is basically some secret circle of hell no one ever warned me about. The AC still isn’t fixed at the facility where I work (going on 3 weeks now), so I finally took matters into my own hands and bought a little portable fan. I’ve also been drinking water like it’s my other job and snacking on foods like celery and cucumber slices with salsa. And music. Speaking of cooling it downIMG_2732

Rather than bitch talk about the rise in IV fluid administration amongst our patients, I’m going to direct you to my awesome friend Linzy’s blog post on how to stay hydrated in the heat. Enjoy!

How do you stay cool in the heat? 

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Bruschetta Quinoa Salad

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IMG_2687The other day I saw this genius recipe over at Jenn’s blog and needed to try it ASAP. So I did.

I added some cannellini beans and goat cheese and tossed it with some baby kale to make it a meal, but there are endless ways you can customize it. It was a great way to fuel up for an afternoon spent walking around the park.

IMG_2689The container the greens came in is a totally appropriate serving vessel, btw. And don’t work—after taking this photo, I immediately dusted the coffee table off because, well, ew. Dust. I’ve got a song for that. I’ve got a song for everything.

Happy Monday!

What recipes are you loving lately? 

A to Z

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Just for fun
Just for fun

Happy Sunday! Hope you’re enjoying a lovely weekend. Mine has been fun, relaxing, and even pretty productive.

Blog surveys remind me of dead/livejournals in high school as well as the mid 2000’s and wasting time on Myspace. Cue flashback to summers 2006 and 7…

I snagged this from Emily over at Have Your Cake And… just for a little summer fun.

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The Secret Password is “Round Egg.”

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Want a real egg on your McDonald’s Breakfast sandwich? Of course you do. This Serious Eats post  lets you in on how to make it happen: ask for a “round egg.” Why settle for an awkward egg patty when you can have a real egg cooked in a ring on the flattop? It’s the little things that make a big difference. Observe…

Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt

Not that I’m condoning regular consumption of McDonald’s breakfast, but if you find yourself on a road trip, in need of sustenance and options are few, I’d recommend an egg-and-cheeese concoction over donuts or a pastry and sugary coffee fluff drink. It’s slightly closer to the  real-food end of the spectrum, and it offers up some protein and fat to keep you satisfied rather than just a bunch of sugar (hello, highway hypnosis). I’m not going to tell you not to enjoy it with the bacon if you can’t stand to go without, but you know, just make that your one “bacon meal” for the weekend. Balance.

What are your go-to road trip foods? 

Soda Ban Drama

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photo courtesy of Village Voice

Surprise, surprise—Big Soda is none too pleased about Bloomberg’s soda ban here in NYC. In fact, the ban was banned the day it was supposed to take effect. Bloomberg says that city will appeal the overruling, but good grief—what a drama.

Of all the coverage of the topic I’ve been reading over recent months, I’ve been getting the most out of Marion Nestle’s blog Food Politics. She just cuts right to the chase and has a way of letting facts speak for themselves…

As someone who puts sugar-sweetened beverages on par with cigarettes, I’d love to see people drink less soda. I think there are many, many ways this could be encouraged. Though I understand the criticisms and misgivings, at the end of the day, I happen to support some of the more drastic measures others prickle at. However, it’s not going to be an overnight or even peaceful process.

So I suppose we shall see. It occurs to me that I haven’t asked my dad, who will probably be buried with a glass bottle of coke, what he thinks of the ban. Maybe next time instead of nagging him about his hypothetical impending foot amputation, I should, you know, start a real conversation.

Baked Egg White Omelette with Brussels Sprouts, Leeks, and Gruyere

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I’ve been lazy about trying new recipes this fall—usually I just roast a bunch of vegetables on the weekend, make a pot of soup here and there, and live off random egg scrambles, pasta dishes, and unphotogenic bowls of warm stuff. However, after seeing this recipe on Carrots ‘n Cake, I got inspired–shaved brussels sprouts & gruyere? Yes, please!

The only thing was that I wasn’t sure what to eat with a cheesy side dish, mostly because I really don’t like cooking meat at home (monthly filet mignon aside), and fish seemed a weird pairing. Also, I have some mental block against buying breadcrumbs, which the original recipe calls for. My mind went right to eggs, and then, “Hey, what if I mix eggs in the thing?” And then it became egg whites, since you can just pour right from a carton. Sometimes I’m just too freaking busy to want to break any shells.

IMG_1106

This smelled amazing cooking, and it tasted even better once it was done. I know that a morning hot yoga class basically makes whatever I eat for lunch taste like the best thing ever, but seriously—why don’t I do this more often? And now I have leftovers. This would make just as good a breakfast or dinner as it did lunch, and I highly recommend you make this ASAP.

Ingredients:

  • 10 ounces shaved Brussels sprouts
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 3/4 cup skim milk
  • 1 pint egg whites
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Sautee Brussels sprouts and leeks with garlic and olive oil until bright green. Transfer to an 8″ x 8″ baking dish
  3. In a separate bowl, combine Gruyere, cheddar, milk, egg whites, and salt, and pepper.
  4. Pour egg white mixture onto sprouts and leeks and mix.
  5. Bake for ~30-40 minutes or until top starts to brown. Allow to cool before serving.

So yeah—this was totally worth breaking out of the rut for.

How do you break out of food ruts? 

Random Facts

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Good morning! Thanks for sharing your favorite go-to snacks on Wednesday. Today happens to be my birthday and I used my floating vacation day from Labor Day today instead of in September so I could take the day off. I’m also taking a break from regular posting in favor of a little fun randomness. Thanks to Raechel from the RebelGrrrl Kitchen, who nominated me for a Liebster Award the other day!

Liebster comes from the German word for “dearest,” and the award is designed to honor and promote bloggers that you appreciate. It’s also a way to get to know the blog creators a little better. It has five parts:

  1. Write 11 random facts about yourself.
  2. Answer the 11 interview questions you’ve been given by the person who nominated you.
  3. Create 11 new questions.
  4. Nominate 11 bloggers and mention them in your post.
  5. Go and tell the person who nominated you, along with the people you’ve nominated about your post.

Ready?

For some reason I love fake Christmas trees

11 Random Facts

1. I pay attention to the moon and the planets. Even if it’s total BS, being aware of some potential celestial influences has never steered me wrong.

2. I do not take a multi-vitamin. However, I do take vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium, a probiotic, and fish oil. The fish oil is a more recent addition, as I’m seeing if it helps keep the eczema away this winter.

3. I have a tattoo on the inside of my right wrist that says, “Yes.” Aside from being a reminder to think positively and be strong in my decisions and actions, I also kind of got it because I love this story.

4. I have deformed feet. This is the main reason you will never see me posting about running. Or about high heels. Or okay, not that often, because sometimes a lady just wants to feel like a lady. Or something.

5. My first real job was teaching tennis at a local swim club when I was 15. I did that for two summers and then basically gave up tennis for poetry. I still played for fun but had no interest in competing or teaching anymore.

6. I have a tennis racquet but have not picked it up since the summer of 2007. I’d love to find someone to play with, though!

7. I play the harp and the ukulele, but I totally suck right now, as the whole work/internship/grad school thing makes practicing hard. It’s a good day if I remember to tune the instruments. My favorite song to play on the harp right now is Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” and my favorite song on the ukulele is probably the Rolling Stone’s “Dead Flowers” because, well, come on—it’s a great song! Yes, I always sing along, and hopefully my neighbors don’t mind too much. This week I’ve been teaching myself James Taylor’s “Sweet Baby James” on the uke because it’s way easier than I thought it would be.

8. During the week, I go to bed pretty early. I used to be embarrassed about going to bed at 10 pm on a weeknight, but I prefer being clear-headed during the day when I’m seeing patients.

9. I eat plain yogurt almost every day. Me & lactose are just fine.

10. Since high school, I’ve started almost every morning with oatmeal. I even wrote a personal essay a few years ago about the variations over the years and how they reflected what was going on in my life. I remember sharing some of the weird sh!t I used to make in college, the first time I lived alone. Um, yeah. I think maybe one other person has ever read it. I haven’t looked at it in a few years. I’m sure it’s pretty bad.

11. I think “thank you” is one of the most powerful phrases there is. I say it as often as I remember.

This demented little tree brings me great joy—Thank you to my mom for getting it for me a few years ago as “feel better” gift when I had a bad cold.

Raechel’s Questions 

1. You are hosting a dinner party. What is on the menu?

A big salad; crusty bread with great olive oil for dipping; roasted garlic and roasted veggies; garlicky greens, salmon with a miso glaze or balsamic happing; roasted potatoes; dark chocolate and/or flour less chocolate torte for dessert; plenty of wine—maybe lambrusco because it’s cold out. Or anyone else like bourbon?

2. You are hosting a dinner party. Who is on your dream guest list? (People can be living or dead, famous or not).

Some of my best lady friends, my sister, my writing group, Ben Franklin, Woody Allen, Mark Twain,  John Lennon, Joan Didion…this is starting to sound like a really big dinner party.

3. What’s the best trip you’ve ever been on?

I did a 3-week course on the Mediterranean diet in Italy in 2010. Worth every penny (and those 6 grad credits).

4. What is the best meal you ate at a restaurant?

It had nothing to do with the food and everything to do with the company. I’m grateful to have quite a few memories of enjoyable meals—it kind of makes up for the not-so-nice ones.

5. With whom did you have your first kiss?

I think it was on a school bus in the 8th grade with the boy I was “dating” at the time. I wish I could say I remembered it well, but it’s just a blur of chins and teeth.

6. If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be?

I’ve been told I’m kind of catlike. I do like to stretch and yawn and slip quickly into small spaces.

7. What was the best birthday you ever had?

I’m going to hope that today is that best birthday! At least so far.

8. What is your favorite season?

I love summer, but I also dig fall a lot.

9. If you’re a yogi, what is your favorite yoga pose? If you’re not, what is your favorite type of exercise?

I have a love-hate relationship with half-pigeon. My hips are so damn tight. My right psoas muscle also loves to remind me I’m not getting any younger.

10. Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?

Yikes! I don’t know—no one would buy Angelina Jolie as little old me, but hey, in a perfect world…

11. What was your first pet’s name? (If you never had a pet, what would you want to name it?)

My parents had two cats—Casey & Studley—when I was born.

My questions:

  1. What are your desert island albums? 
  2. Do you pay attention to astrology?
  3. What’s your hidden talent?
  4. How did you celebrate your last birthday?
  5. What’s your favorite way to spend a day off?
  6. Hot weather or cold weather?
  7. Do you have a “signature” dish you make? What is it?
  8. What’s your favorite drink? Alcohol or non…
  9. What song do you listen to over and over?
  10. What time do you usually go to bed?
  11. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

My Blogger Nominations (Note: I tried to make sure to nominate people that haven’t been nominated already, so there are definitely bloggers I appreciate that aren’t on the list because it appears they’ve already been nominated!)