Leave it to Jimmy Kimmel and late night TV to be the harbinger of the next big thing in dietary science. I mean, he is the guy famous for the “I ate all your Halloween candy” videos after all. So when I read a new study about gluten sensitivity (or lack thereof, as you shall soon see), the first thing I thought of was his “What is gluten anyhow?” sketch a couple weeks ago where he asked people on a gluten-free diet what it is they’re hiding from. Jimmy makes all the science fun: (click through to see video if it doesn’t show up in your reader)
“I live in LA, eating gluten is akin to satanism.” [Truest sciencey science ever]
Gluten is a combination of two proteins found wheat, barley and rye. You’ll never be dumb again. You’re welcome.
Do you think Angelina Jolie poops a lot? I don’t normally think of the toothy actress much but the past few days I’ve spent a lot of time wondering about her and her dietary habits, especially as I’ve been spending a lot of time on the potty thanks to her. Constipation is very rarely an issue for me and the past week it’s been really not an issue, if you know what I mean. The problem, as I’ve decided through the process of elimination (hahah!) and toilet-googling (don’t lie, you’ve done it!), is the hemp seeds. Or maybe the problem is I took food advice from a celebrity. Or maybe the problem is I took food advice from an “unnamed source close to the Jolie-Pitts” when I read a concern-trolly article about Angelina’s new-found devotion to ancient grains (aka the “birdseed diet”).
Bouncing along the dirt road, listening to the box full of frozen bones clanking around like I’d car-jacked Ezekiel, all I could hope was that I wouldn’t get pulled over because I didn’t want to have to explain to a cop why there was a bloody cardboard box filled with a chopped up cow skeleton in my trunk. Because of course the answer is: I’m cheap. You sure you want all these? the rancher had asked me when I went to pick up my neat little shrink-wrapped order of local, grass-fed, kissed-by-angels beef. When I nodded at the stack of bones to the side, he just shook his head. You must have a lot of dogs or something.
Dogs? Nope. Delusions of health grandeur! Something like that.
A honeycrisp apple approximately the size of Jelly Bean’s head. Surely if any piece of produce could imbue me with super bloat-repelling powers it would be this magnificent beast!
Truth: I have one of those period tracker apps on my phone. I’d like to say it’s just more evidence of my hysterical white lady hypochondriac shtick but this thing is dope. Not only does it track my monthly shark bait business but it also lets me track my mood and symptoms – the only thing that makes me feel less “gloomy” “exhausted” and “frustrated” is noting that the icon for “breast tenderness” is a fork. (Also, bloated is a cupcake and constipation is a bottle of something fizzy with a bulging stopper. Makes me giggle every time I click on it, virtually saying, “YES. This IS ME” – an overstuffed fizzy cupcake with a fork in her boob.) Which I have been doing all day today since the Tampaxalypse is nigh. Anyhow, by now I’ve written enough about my wicked PMS to choreograph my own musical where the streets are paved with yellow bricks of fish oil, flowered fields seduce with the magical scent of magnesium tablets and flying monkeys bring raspberry leaf detox tea in jumbo jars.
Sugar substitutes are not my friend. From lab rat to gym rat, really they’re not anyone’s friend. And yet over the years I’ve ingested way more than my fair share. I remember one incident, remembered only to my roommates as The Day Licorice Died And Took Our Cleaning Deposit With It.
I was a young college co-ed, trying my darndest like all young co-eds in the 90’s to look smokin’ hot in my infantalizing baby doll dresses, ripped up jeans and decidedly unsexy combat boots. All of which involved A Diet. Every girl I knew was on one. And having a long relationship with Anorexia, I knew I could do A Diet too. I was great at diets! So after weeks of deprivation, I finally splurged some of my hard-earned waitress money on sugar-free licorice. I love licorice. My roommates all loved licorice! I hated calories. My roommates all hated calories!
“Note to Mothers: Play safe with your young ones – make sure they get sugar every day.” Egads… P.S. I want to watusi too!!
The next time you’re tempted to mindlessly eat handfuls of chocolate chips or order the extra large soda with dinner or drink syrup straight from the bottle (which… I can’t really judge you for because real maple syrup is delightful), instead science wants you to think about making baby-nuggets with your cousin. Because nothing will pull you out of a junk food binge like imagining sexy times with the kid with whom you not only share grandpa’s nose but also shared the Summer of Boogers.
In what has got to be the best quote by a researcher ever, Dr. Wayne Potts, a biology professor and senior author of a new study about the effects of the “recommended amount” of sugar on mice, opined, “Would you rather be on the American diet … or have parents be full cousins?” In case you aren’t already totally squicked out, he added, “This data is telling us it’s a toss up.”
We’re all about learning new stuff these days. For instance Jelly Bean is learning how to tie bows (and therefore only wears things with tie-able parts… and only ties them in the front). So when my friend Heather offered to teach me how to can peaches, I jumped on it. It helped that peaches are super cheap here right now and even though I’ve been doing my darndest, I still cannot eat an entire case before they rot.
So after a tutorial at her house, I decided to put on my big girl bloomers and try my hand at “putting up preserves.” (That’s what people call it, right?)
First step: Enlist some good helpers. I got my two eldest to help me peel and slice the peaches after blanching.
True story: Heather had already done this step before I got to her house and so she just told me to blanch the peaches and rub their skins off, like I had any clue what that meant. Turns out blanching just means dropping the food briefly in boiling water and then putting it in an ice bath. And then the peach skin really does just rub off like magic! (Or the fake velvet on my purple disco platforms! Grr.) Thank you Chef Google!
Man, I miss Calvin!
Burping noxious flavors is my primary concern when deciding what to eat pre-workout. Especially now that I have a couple of friends that I go running with a few mornings a week (friends! yay!!). We go early early to avoid both our kids and the hot sun and so this idea of what to eat before I go out has been on my mind a lot. I know some athletes carb-load while others swear by fasted-state cardio and still others strive for a balanced meal 1-3 hours before getting their sweat on. And let’s not forget the smoothie/shake contingent! ( The difference between a workout smoothie and a shake? Nothing except that women drink the former and men drink the latter.) But honestly who cares about blood glucose levels if I’m regurgitating sausage and peppers between sets? Therefore my pre-workout meals are generally pretty bland. Oh and I learned to avoid soy products the hard way when my gaseous emissions nearly asphyxiated an entire TurboKick class. (Yes, 5 years later and I’m still apologizing for that one.)