Eating out became a challenge after my diagnosis, but I eventually mapped out the gluten-free world of Manhattan (my hometown) like an ace. With the risk of getting sick due to cross-contamination ever-present, I knew where I could get a gluten-free pizza or sandwich, or where I might find that rare but decent gluten-free cupcake.
And then I got into Emory. Fears I hadn't had since my early teens began to resurface: Where was I going to eat? Would I be able to find as many gluten-free options in Atlanta as I had in New York? It has taken some time, but after canvassing the city since moving here in 2011, these are my new go-to places for eating gluten-free. Feel free to share your suggestions in the comments below.
Facebook has been dotted with equality symbols in support of gay marriage this week. The image was created by the Human Rights Campaign, and rumor is that the organization actually hacked Facebook and Twitter to spread the avatar around. It's good to see Paula Deen among the supporters, whether she wanted to be or not.
"How many of you have a chef's knife in your house?"
Dr. Preston Maring posed this question during his talk at Georgia Organics' recent Farm Rx conference while holding a gleaming kitchen knife over his head. Less than half in attendance raised their hands. "Now how many of you have actually sharpened it in the last year?" Almost all of the hands went down.
Maring is an OB-GYN at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Oakland, Calif., where he's worked for 41 years. Over the last decade, he's become an increasingly visible advocate for food as preventive medicine. Maring has spearheaded the establishment of farmers markets at more than 50 Kaiser Permanente health facilities nationwide.
"[Ideally], everybody would have a sharp chef's knife and a salad spinner. They would get their kids involved in the kitchen, and we'd eat more of a whole food, plant-based diet. If we did that, we would save the future of American health," he says.
Continue reading "You are what you eat" by Stephanie Dazey
Well, it turns out that were you a monkey, you'd likely feel the same way. Blogger Jalees Rehman reports on a study that concludes that monkeys - and, by probable extension, other animals - make social evaluations about humans based on how they see us treating other members of our species.
So, be nice to others in front of animals, if you want them to eat out of your hand....
In further news of animals, eating, and niceness, we have this from an article about eating horse meat. Nicole King, the interviewee, is a horse rancher in Oregon:
King said not all horses are sweet, social and majestic. Unruly and dangerous horses that are usually put down - and the meat goes to waste. With many people going hungry in Oregon, she wonders why that horse meat can't be put to good use as a food source.
"I think people love horses so much they don't want to consume what we're so connected to, and I understand that," King said, "but I also see and understand the need that if people are hungry, they must eat."
Well, there are worse things than taking a bite out of Sparkle Pony (like the kids in an old commercial). You might stalk, abduct and cook a hot chick, for example.
Reuters reports that New York's infamous "cannibal cop" concluded his defense Tuesday. The 28-year-old guy was arrested last year after his wife learned that he regularly logged onto a fetish site to chat about torturing and cannibalizing women. He brunched with one of the women he hoped to eat, according to prosecutors, who charged him with conspiracy to kidnap his dinner.
Closing arguments are scheduled Thursday. The cop may go to jail for life.
I've become addicted to this chocolatey hazlenut spread recently. There's no need to worry. It's only 100 calories per tablespoon, about the same as butter and peanut butter. Could be slimming, if you ate nothing else. And the Nutella folks have been kind enough to design breakfasts that contain their spreadable crack. The meals are "based on FDA and USDA Food Pyramid guidelines!"
But that's not when I eat it. I eat it at 2:30 a.m.
Some background: After my botched knee surgery, I developed severe insomnia and began taking Ambien, the drug that got slapped around by the FDA about a month ago. It ordered all pharmaceutical makers using Ambien's active ingredient, Zolpidem, to cut pill doses by half.
The reason specifically mentioned was the frequency with which users of the drug cause auto accidents in the morning. Blood levels turn out to remain higher than thought. The day before the FDA issued its order, I had a horrific experience with the drug myself. The police can tell you all about it. I'm writing about that for another publication.
That aside, the drug has another common side effect. Many people taking it get up in the middle of the night, sleepwalk to their kitchens and majorly pig out, with no memory of doing so. It's called "sleep eating." Several friends have told me stories of waking up and finding their bed littered with food boxes and wrappers. It's not uncommon, either, for people to actually drive to a store and return with armfuls of ice cream and candy.
I take a very low dose of the drug and, until my experience a month ago, have never blacked out. But I have found myself staggering to the kitchen a lot, going directly for the Nutella. I heat up some soft flat bread in the microwave, spread Nutella on it, fold the bread in half and eat it. And then I do it again. And occasionally again. It's also good on apple slices, fingers and pickles. I should ask my partner Wayne to hide it, but, believe me, I'd find it, even in this 4,000-square-foot house. (If I chose not to blame the Ambien, I could conclude that I suffer "Night Eating Syndrome," the latest eating disorder identified by psychiatry.)
I could go on about Nutella's effect on me, but I'll refer you to the website Cracked.com, which has a thorough analysis. I also draw some comfort from the fact that my addiction, prosaic as it is, is widespread and, really, not my fault. It's the damned Ambien.
(Seriously, Ambien turns out to be a dangerous drug for many people. Please talk to your doctor, especially if you are taking doses over 5 mg.)
Luna tells Cardinale:
In my quest for running for Mayor, I'm going to show how corrupt our City Hall is, how we're hurting our African American communities, and how Fortune 500 companies are working in their self-interest and the interest of City Hall.
Is that all? Luna, by the way, has joined the no-children-allowed movement.
Just in time for Valentine's, Lust List 2013 is out and sizzling in a CL box near you. What? You prefer instant lustification? View the entire Lust List 2013 photo gallery here.
P.S., if you want to see them IRL, drop by our Lust List party this Sat., Feb. 16, at 9 p.m. at Halo Lounge in Midtown. Featuring DJs Applejuice, Jaycee, and Mars, there will also be a silent auction of items donated by the local businesses each Lust List winner represents. All proceeds will go to the winners' preferred charities. Aw, that's nice. RSVP HERE for free entry before 11:30 p.m.
But I digress. The point of the story is that as usual, this year's Lust List is full of restaurant industry folks. Check 'em out:
At a few fast-food restaurants around town - I know of four - the homeless can count on some surreptitious assistance. I doubt it's any restaurant's official policy, but I see employees quietly offering the visibly suffering something to eat now and then. I'm not naming the places, because I don't want to get anyone in trouble.
When you think about it, it's not so surprising to find compassion in such places. Consider the number of working homeless people - a horror that defies all the nonsense spouted by nincompoops who believe poverty is a symptom of laziness. What I mean is that those people behind the counter feeding our faces for minimum wage may well be homeless themselves.
In America, generally, we like to protect ourselves from acknowledging the huge failures of our economic system by creating classes of the suffering. There are those at the bottom class who deserve to suffer at their own expense. About as good as it gets at the opposite extreme are those who deserve some help, but not enough to feel secure. Because it's only fear that motivates self-sufficiency, right?
Then again, there are the children - millions of them underfed and poorly nourished in the Land of Opportunity. They're not to blame. Obviously, they have lazy-ass parents. But they'll learn to scrounge and eventually become CEOs, right?
Last week, I visited one of my favorite quickie restaurants. It's happened several times before - and at another restaurant across the street - that I can't get into the restroom. Customers wait and wait and finally an apparently homeless person emerges, having essentially used the sink to give himself a sponge- bath. I used to get annoyed as hell at this and complain. Then I noticed that there was always at least one employee present who was protective of the person in the restroom. It became, in a strange way, an education of the heart.
In the restaurant I visited last week, a man in his 30s came out of the restroom in such a state of obvious hunger and duress that looking at him was unbearable. In a moment I've never seen before, several customers bought the man food. This was not, understand, some scene from the New Testament. The homeless man was a bit surly and a bit defensive. Even crushing poverty does not fully penetrate the veil of shame that descends on the suffering in America. But his gaze, if you could meet it, was broken-hearted.
But he was also funny. When someone asked him what he'd like to eat, he said, "Anything but broccoli. I'm sick of broccoli." I'm down with that. Wheelbarrows of the stuff are being poured on plates everywhere. "You can't sell that shit for a beer," the man said.
When I left, the man's table was full of food, most of it in bags to carry with him.
You can argue, of course, that my recounting of the incident within a cultural critique is its own form of self-soothing grandiosity - the bleeding heart of liberal, better-than-thou preachiness. I'm not even averse to the criticism that such moments are also about relieving my own guilt about not doing enough for others.
But even if that's true - or even if it's true that the man was a communist trust-fund baby who works for Barack Obama - the fact is that he was suffering. And for some reason, this time people noticed and decided to help instead of concocting a story to avoid feeling the overwhelming sadness that the man brought into the room. Perhaps it was grace.
A few opportunities to help:
WTF? You never know what you're going to encounter at the Kroger after midnight. I can't bring myself to do it, but someone else please try these six-minute, thin-sliced, ready-to-grill, low-fat carnitas from Kroger.
I became a carnitas freak during my Houston years in the mid-'80s. When I returned to Atlanta for a second stint of editing Creative Loafing, I could not find them anywhere. Even after the explosion of taquerias along Buford Highway, it was difficult to find more than pulled pork posing as carnitas. Hell, you couldn't even find pico de gallo or salsa verde then.
There are many ways of making carnitas in Mexico, but, believe me, carnitas auténticas are a lot more than pulled pork. They gotta be caramelized, crispy, tender, juicy, salty. My favorite recipe has always been Diana Kennedy's in "The Cuisines of Mexico." It's lardless and a bit labor-intensive compared to throwing a hunk of pork in the oven, but vale la pena.
Meanwhile, please be advised that carnitas can cause your brain to swell with worms and induce epileptic seizures. Yes, they are that good!
Consider these figures:
-The National Restaurant Association (NRA) expects a quarter of American adults to dine out on Valentine's Day, making it the second-busiest holiday for restaurants next to Mother's Day.
-This Valentine's Day, diners are expected to spend an estimated $3.9 billion on a romantic evening out.
-The fact that the New England Confectionery Company (NECCO) produces 8 billion candy hearts each year (that's about 100,000 pounds per day) has absolutely nothing to do with dining out on Valentine's Day, but that's still a lot of fucking SweetHearts, amiright?
With big numbers like these, Valentine's Day may be the "Super Bowl of fine dining," but is everyone on board?
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