Last night my husband and I hit the Best Of A’fare. Not many veggie options, but that’s okay. We had a date night elsewhere.
We did see one of our favorite coffee shops there, Urban Beans. They even recognized us.
So, to finish my exam studying, we dropped by Urban Beans for my favorite chai in town.
“Hey… Wanna take me home and give me a better life? I’ve got $600 on my debit card” he shouted from a distance, to a gorgeous stranger getting into her car.
This last week has been a veritable boon for people watching. Clearly, I have forgotten about this incredible aspect to public transport. What other events have I missed out by driving everywhere for the past few years? I’m a Chicana, judging is in my blood!
Twice in a single day, did I witness two drunk people. I could not tell who was worse off, the guy that stared at me with burning desire and passed out as he moved to the seat in front of me? Or maybe the guy that was singing loudly and kept preventing the doors from closing upon his exit?
My favorite was definitely the second. He had significantly less “creep” factor and made everyone laugh, instead of stare. A jovial drunk; the best kind.
Some things, you wish you could get on video.
When I got on the lightrail to head back home, I did not expect such a glorious sight. People act silly all the time, but this increased exponentially as my ride continued. This middle-aged man dressed in a dirty jean jacket, plain baseball cap, and sunglasses graced us with his glowing [read: drunk] rendition of “Oh, Danny Boy”. His song filled the chambers of the train. He talked to a few people, and they all laughed. For a few moments, I assumed he was simply a joyous man wanting to converse with others.
Then I heard the conversation in spite of my earbuds I use to deter people from talking to me (that doesn’t really work, by the way. Additionally, dressing slovenly does not deter people from asking you for money.).
Passenger 1: “You’ve been drinking, but you’re not drunk?”
Drunky McDrunkerson: “YEAAAHHH, I’ve been drinkin’ since twelve o’clock last night, but I don’t get drunk! HAHAHA!”
“Oh, AWESOME,” I thought, as I removed the ear bud from my left ear. After all, it is my “good” ear.
Then he began to sing new songs.
DMcD: “WHOOOOOO LET THE DOGS OUT… AAHH-WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO…. *coughcough* AHH-WOOOOOOOO HAHAHAHAHAHAHA….”
And everyone snickers.
DMcD continues to howl, and sing. He started going back and forth between “Who Let the Dogs Out” and “Danny Boy”.
DMcD: “WHOO LET THE DOGS OUT AH-WOOOOOOO, DANNY BOY? AHAHAHA. Oh, this is MY STOP! I’m gonna get me some WHISKEY!”
DMcD stands up and stumbles, and laughs. Then he starts to howl again as he starts to the door.
“AH-WOOOOOOOOOOOOO BLAAAAAGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH…. WHO LET THE DOGS OUT!? AH-WOOOOOOOOOO,” at this point, he is standing in the doorway.
The door closes, “HANG ON! AH-WOOOOOOOOOOOOO BLAAAAGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!” The door opened for him.
“AHHH-WOOOOOOOOOO” the door almost completely encloses upon him.
And yes, we all laughed.
And I put my earbuds back in.
For a very long time, I was a pedestrian. The trials of being a pedestrian in Phoenix are vast unless you live strictly in an urban area. I did not. For 5 years, and through a pregnancy and new motherhood, I was a pedestrian.
This was before we even had the lightrail. Traveling through the depths of Chandler and suburbs of Phoenix were a bit of a challenge, though, at the time I lived at a great vein for public transport. Many places did not and still do not have routes. This resulted in a lot of walking.
I am very blessed to have had a car for the last 3-4 years. Believe me, I do not take car ownership lightly. I did without for too long to not appreciate it.
This leads me to the “now.” Parking is not fun in downtown Phoenix, and I will be there often for classes. I have purchased a pass and will be returning back to the wonderful world of pedestrian-ism. Where car drivers are inconsiderate a-holes, cat calls and awkward interactions are prominent, and people watching is vast. You’ve gotta love that they let anyone on public transport…
I have struggled a bit with my illnesses (yes, multiple) these past few weeks, but am now finding the strength to get by using the lightrail as a primary method of transport. I will be blogging my escapades on a weekly basis with all the blundering details.
I have been scared, but I feel like I finally have some answers.
I have been gluten-free for 6 months. My migraines are gone (unless I eat gluten), my join/muscle/back pain has almost completely disappeared, I have no bloating, no nightmares… My digestive system felt like it was working like it was supposed to. It is the best thing that I have done for myself in quite awhile.
I have been pretty careful about what I have been eating, but come August 23rd, I kept feeling like I had eaten something I shouldn’t have. Was there butter or traces of dairy in my food? Was it all the corn I ate the day before? Why was everything I ate making me sick?
These symptoms were getting exponentially worse. I couldn’t eat without feeling full all day, or bloating. Even a friggin’ Kind Bar would give me problems. I was starting to feel like I could only digest smoothies and sorbet. Everything else bloated me, so that was largely what I ate. Then I started getting the headaches, dizziness, and extreme lethargy. I thought I had mono, (I thought I had mono for a year. Turns out I as just really bored.) which I had when I was 17 — unlikely. After a week and a half of this, I walked right into my doctor’s office to figure out what was going on.
After running a myriad of tests, she ruled out ovarian cancer and organ failures. She left me with a “leaky gut”. I was so frustrated, I was in tears. Another digestive issue… Her prescription was to heal myself with a diet guide she lead me to, supplements, and probiotics.
The theory is that leaky gut syndrome (also called increased intestinal permeability), is the result of damage to the intestinal lining, making it less able to protect the internal environment as well as to filter needed nutrients and other biological substances. As a consequence, some bacteria and their toxins, incompletely digested proteins and fats, and waste not normally absorbed may “leak” out of the intestines into the blood stream. This triggers an autoimmune reaction, which can lead to gastrointestinal problems such as abdominal bloating, excessive gas and cramps, fatigue, food sensitivities, joint pain, skin rashes, and autoimmunity.
My first instinct was to contact my friend Ken Scheer, who had been experiencing similar symptoms awhile back. He is the resident expert in gluten-free dining out, and food allergies. He told me that the program Kirsten Carey of Nourish123 had available changed his life. He set up an intro and I went to meet with her at her EXCLUSIVELY gluten-free restaurant.
We talked about cross reactive foods, what foods I should eliminate, what foods I should be eating, and I got to speak with her head chef who is the herbalist that created the program. Kirsten had experienced troubling symptoms herself and used his program to heal herself. It sounds like she was worse off than I was, but she did not downplay it at all. She knows the concerns of a celiac in need, and recognizes that we had the same trouble.
She said she hears it all the time — someone walks in saying they felt great for 6-12 months and are suddenly sick again. It sounded… like me!
For 30 days, I will be on the road to healing my gut, with their dream inducing tea (I’m not kidding), and the awful tasting tincture. She said it may be worse for the first couple of days. It’s been two days and I am as fearful of solid foods as I was a week ago, so this is to be expected. I am also probiotics and L-glutamine at her recommendation, which my doctor also recommended taking.
She promised I should start healing soon, and convinced me that this would work. I left Nourish that day with supplies in hand, and hope in my heart.
And maybe soon, I’ll be able to have more for dinner than rice gruel laced with miso, and a hemp protein shake.
I am horribly guilty of picking apart everything I eat at restaurants. There are not many dishes I do not pick apart. When I do pick something apart, I will usually figure out how to make it taste all the more divine on my own.
I won’t name the restaurant for this one, but this restaurant serves a wood oven roasted seasonal vegetable dish. Honestly, in my opinion, people hardly ever cook spaghetti squash well. It is a bland vegetable that tastes amazing with the right applications. This restaurant served theirs over a tomato sauce that only tasted okay, to me.
My husband loves spaghetti squash… I decided to try my hand at an improvement of the restaurant dish at home and I definitely hit the nail on the head
The sauce adds the perfect amount of flavor and tanginess needed while still letting the spaghetti squash shine in all its seasonal glory. This recipe does not require a lot of ingredients, but it is enhanced in just the right way to let all the elements shine.
1 spaghetti squash (about 4-5 cups), seeded and cooked.
1/2 cup Follow Your Heart Mozzarella (Seriously, I will stab you if you use Daiya.)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 – 1/2 cup or toasted pine nuts
2 tsp dried thyme
4 tbsp fresh basil, chopped and separated
Salt and pepper, to taste
1- 3.5 ounce bag of ready to eat sundried tomatoes
3/4 cup of water
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp chopped basil
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Blend all sauce ingredients until smooth. Taste and ensure it is salted and peppered to your liking.
Set aside 2 tbsp of chopped basil. In a large bowl, toss spaghetti squash and olive oil. Toss with spices, the other 2 tbsp of basil, and vegan cheese.
Pour sauce into a 12″ cast iron, or oven safe pan, over medium heat, until just warm. Top with the spaghetti squash mixture, top with the pine nuts (I like to use more) and pop into the oven for 15 minutes, or enough to melt the cheese and brown the top slightly.
Depending on your oven, you may have to broil it for the last 5 minutes to get the full effect.
Top with remaining basil and serve.