As a kid, I CRAVED to be thin. Until I enter the later years of college, I was never considered “thin.” Athletic, toned, and, especially when I was a little kid, overweight– but never thin. I would always look at the covers of the magazines my mom would give me and wonder how, even at the age of 6, I was not given the gift of a flat stomach, toned arms, and a fit waist. I glamorized these bodies, even from a young age. They were a ticket to a life that I could only dream about.
I always think that, in the back of my head, I was willing to do whatever it took to achieve that perfect body. Especially as a dancer, I was so self conscious about whether my body was toned and not flabby. I even remember my teacher grabbing my lower belly fat, telling me I had to get rid of THAT. Yet, despite all of my attempts to mold my body to how society thought it should look, nothing worked. Slowly, the methods of my fellow dancers to try to maintain their lean figures — usually with casual disdain, withholding from all kinds of food groups — began to seep into me, a porous, chubby little thing. At the pool, I became more and more aware of my rounded face and my definitely not flat stomach. Psychologically, I became so angry at my sister and my cousins, both of whom had the body type I was desperate for. They all looked so cute in their bikinis while I usually looked uncomfortable in surf shirt.
Remember when Jane Fonda told us all about the virtues of eating cantaloupe boats with nonfat cottage cheese for breakfast?
Don’t worry. I do not either, but I also wasn’t born yet. I have an excuse! However, despite Jane Fonda diet era occurring years before my time, the message that she and many medical professionals of her generation shared about the virtues of avoiding fat still linger in our public consciousness. Now, even as the conversation turns to embracing fat instead of hiding it, we still intuitively fear it. And the lack of fat has done dramatic harm to our body, especially in our digestive systems.
This might be my new favorite bowl to date.. and that is coming from a self proclaimed food-in-bowl addict. It is loaded with all of these goods like peanuts, rice noodles, a TON of herbs, veggies, and a funky yet delicious Vietnamese vinaigrette. And she is here to say HI BABES! I FREAKING LOVE YA.
She is a bowl of my dreams.
Many of you know this about me, but my favorite food FAR AND AWAY is Vietnamese food. So, here we go. This is my favorite thing to order at a Vietnamese restaurant that I want to share the recipe for ya. Officially, it is called bun. Not like a man “bun” or a hamburger “bun”. Bun is Vietnamese for white rice noodles and I am so smitten with ’em. Especially when they are paired with all of these fresh veggies and herbs.
Also, I always have to say it, because it’s that important for a recipe that features fish sauce: DO NOT SNIFF THE BOTTLE.
Fish sauce is that deliciously mysterious substance that smells deathly but, no, for real – it tastes like magic when combined with the right friends: lime juice, brown sugar, garlic, and the other usual suspects. When I was in college, I threw out a bottle of fish sauce in the garbage and BOY did it stink up the floor. But today is our day to embrace the power of fish sauce, who bring out the best and only the best of the fish sauce, and that means, above all else, do not let the urge to just check if it still smells as bad as it did last time get the best of you. It is made of anchovies and it STILL SMELLS BAD OK!
The herbs, on the other hand, smell better than ever because omg do we need some freshness. And new life! The mint and cilantro and basil together – it’s literal food heaven to combine the cool freshness of that herb trio with the saltiness and tang of the sauce.
So while half of the Internet is sitting here and chowing down on all of the fall veggies, I am loving this little number that can be eaten numerous times a year. And you don’t have to turn on the stove (if you have an electric kettle! EY-YO!). Simply soak the noodles in the hot water. While that is going on, chop the veggies and make the sauce. Then, all you have to do it pile the goods in a bowl, drizzle on the dressing, and you are good to GO.
This makes a great lunch or dinner idea for those busy weekday nights when you are craving something fresh. But aren’t we always craving something fresh? Because we are all fresh to DEATH! Ok I’ll stop now.
1.5 tablespoons Asian fish sauce (see notes if vegetarian/vegan)
1 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup warm water
1 garlic clove, forced through a garlic press
Pickled Carrot Ribbons
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 carrots, peeled and shaved into ribbons using a vegetable peeler
8 oz rice vermecelli noodles, cooked according to the package directions, rinsed and drained
2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped
2-3 Persian cucumbers, sliced thinly
1 daikon radish, cut into matchsticks
1/2 cup chopped mint leaves
1/2 cup chopped basil leaves
1/2 c. chopped roasted peanuts
2 eggs, cooked to your liking (optional)
To make the dressing, whisk together all of the ingredients in a bowl. Set aside
To make the pickled carrot ribbons, whisk together the rice wine vinegar, water, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Place the carrot ribbons in the mixture. Allow to sit for 10-20 minutes until the carrots get soft.
To make the bowls, divide chopped romaine and rice noodles into four bowls. Top with cucumber, radish, and marinated carrot ribbons. Sprinkle on mint, basil, and chopped peanuts. Add eggs if desired. Drizzle on dressing. EAT!
If you do not want to buy fish sauce or are a vegetarian or vegan, simply replace it with a "vegan" fish sauce recipe or substitute tamari or coconut aminos.
Hi ya, friends! Happy Tuesday it is! As a person who lives alone, I find more and more how difficult it is to use up all of my groceries at the end of the week (especially if there is a spontaneous Indian food run. Hello!). And y’all, this is not just a problem I have! About 40 percent of the food produced in the United States each year is never eaten, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). That means the water, fuel and labor that went into growing that food is also wasted. This staggering amount of waste equates to about $162 billion lost every year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. I was determined this year to do my part to eliminate food waste. The trouble was I did not know where to start!
And that is where our friend, the freezer, comes into play!
The first time I had tomato jam was at Cafe Gratitude in LA. Now, I am always looking for new and interesting ways to eat my favorite foods. And a lot of times, restaurants provide a great source of inspiration. But this bowl, especially the tomato jam, absolutely blew me away.
Down the street, we’re talking. Man, is that inspiration wind strong!
I was sitting in my apartment one Thursday evening, having a glass of wine and watching everyone’s favorite show: the Office.I had an exhausting work day, full of meetings, e-mails, and code to process. I was also mindlessly flicking through my phone, seeing where all of my friends were up to and what everyone’s plans were for the weekend. I also decided to check the health app, mostly out of curiosity. I felt I had run around all day, so I must have hit that 10,000 step mark. I scrolled down until I saw it.
3,000? How had I only hit 3,000? Thoughts raced through my brain. This had to be a mistake. Something had to be wrong with the app. Ok, it’s only 8 PM. Are there any errands I can run to get me to 10,000? Well, I could also go on a run, and it the weather is not too hot. But I’m just so exhausted.
Can ice cream count as breakfast? Why yes. Yes it can!
There is a certain sense of accomplishment when you get a day’s worth of fruits and veggies and a workout before 10 AM. And smoothies, rich and THICK smoothies, do just that. Now, if you have spent a second on Instagram, you know that the latest and greatest smoothie innovation is putting smoothies in BOWLS. And guys, I’v been doing this for years with no plans of stopping. A bowl of smoothie just makes them more meal-like, you know? Because you can just a ton of toppings on em and BAM, instead filler upper.
You might as well dump your whole pantry on here… cause I do.
This morning, I was reading through some of my friends’ Facebook posts. It is usually that time of year when lots of women try to get that “beach body.” (That discussion of a beach body has its own discussion, but that is for another time). Many of my friends were toting a diet of eating only steamed greens and lean organic protein to get those bikini abs or swimsuit body. “I need to purge my body of those toxic chemicals,” a friend said. “Green juice and smoothies only from now on.” The truth, though, is that detoxing – the idea that you can flush your system of impurities and leave your organs squeaky clean and raring to go – is a scam
And it is something that, as consumers, we need to be aware of.
I was 18 years old when I stopped eating meat. It was a traumatic affair, involving a bite into some deceptively cooked chicken. One bite of the stuff and I was completely turned off. When I came home after my first semester, I adamantly sat down to dinner with my family. “I’m going to cook some eggs. I don’t eat meat anymore,” I said. My mom looked at me quizzically, “Not even chicken?” she asked, handing me a dish of chicken parmesan.