wheat-free wednesday.

In all honesty, other than the occasional slip up via cookie or pizza, every day is wheat-free. I do understand, however, not everyone shares my trepidation over wheat. Luckily for them, wheat is one of the crops that remains non-GMO here in the good ole US of A. We have Japan to thank for that {seriously}. As I said before, bread is still one of my favorite foods, so I've been re-working some tried-and-tested recipes to fit our cravings. Not to mention this keeps my husband from loathing me for taking away his Apple Jacks {true story}.

milk: does it really do a body good?

When we first switched to eating Paleo, I literally mourned my Starbuck's caramel macchiato. I thought, but it's only 120 (or so) calories! I'm drinking skim milk! Who cares about sugar? Now, I don't even consider ordering one, and I probably haven't intentionally had milk in about 2 years {I have had ice cream, largely because I have an undeniable sweet tooth. This is on my list of wants needs after purchasing Paleo Cooking from Elana's Pantry which is full of paleo ice cream recipes.} While I'm certainly no expert on the issue of milk, my morning latte is now half full of almond milk (and made at home).

the naked truth.

A few days ago, Naked, owned by PepsiCo, settled a $9 million dollar class action stemming from the brand's use of the phrase "all natural" on its labels. Unfortunately {due to a crazy work week}, I was behind the times on this one and bought a jug of green machine last night. Since it was $9, I'll probably drink it, but that will be the last one for me, except during airport desperation. {Wouldn't someone make a fortune opening up a chain in airports that served edible, healthy food? [Starbucks does not count.]}

strawberry-banana-cacao smoothie

This was an accidental recipe. My original plan was to make a delicious paleo-friendly chocolate almond milk. {I will literally polish off the Blue Diamond chocolate almond milk in a matter of days, but there are so many ingredients in it that it makes me a bit nervous...} The original plan failed. Instead of continuing to waste almond milk, I switched it up and created something actually drinkable.

nails done, hair done, everything did.


We all love a fresh mani {this post has nothing to do with hair, but "nails done" may not have cued Drake in your mind}. In case you were wondering (and if you weren't now you'll know), not all nail polish is created equal. Believe it or not, the toxins in nail polish is actually an oft-discussed issue, although we'll admit it isn't really something we've given much thought. After a little browsing last week, we decided from here on out, we'll bring our own base, color and top coat to the salon. Why?  We want all nail polish landing on our nails to be either "3 free" or "5 free."

friday fun.

There is no denying I'm a sucker for fat bulldogs.

I can't decide if the crumb cap is genius or ludicrous. Either way, no matter how hard parenting might get for us, we won't subject our babies to this {despite how amazing the picture would be in the future wedding slideshow}.

Help this dad get the GMO message out. 

Need some retail therapy? Amazing sales going on at Alice & Olivia {personal fave}, Tory Burch {code: extra20}, and Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale started today. Happy hunting :)

Happy Friday!

spicy lemongrass soup.

We try to buy fresh, organic fruits and vegetables from a local distributor as frequently as possible. This week, Fruit of the Vine Organics had a great basket with lemongrass and bok choy. A few months ago, we were in Austin, TX, for my bachelorette party and I had the most amazing Vietnamese soup. I think I could eat that soup every.single.day. I dreamed about making this spicy lemongrass soup all day. No joke. It really wasn't the same as Vietnamese soup, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I think the husband approved.

quick reference: organic labeling.

Connecticut recently made history by becoming the first state in the nation to pass a bill requiring the labeling of genetically modified organisms {note: many GMO crops are outlawed in Europe and Japan}. Given Monsanto's lobbying capabilities, it is unlikely we will see widespread change anytime soon. Most Americans say they would avoid buying genetically modified food if it was labeled.

When buying fruits and veggies, you can determine if the item is organic by checking the PLU (price look-up) code. This handy code is located on that pesky sticker on your fruit and vegetables.

If it starts with a 9, it is organic, and you're good to go. There was a widespread rumor - some refer to it as an "urban legend" - that five digit PLUs beginning with an 8 marked GMOs. I realized I had never seen one and thought that might be because I shop at Whole Foods. Wrong. Turns out, the concept exists that GMOs could be marked with a five digit code beginning with an 8, but in reality, it is not in practice.

And why would it be? Americans have indicated a desire to avoid genetically modified produce, but GMOs cannot be avoided if they are not labeled. The only way to avoid GMOs entirely is to buy organic. Which is exactly what your representative will tell you to do if you ask why a concerted effort is not being made to require the labeling of GMOs.

Ignorance is bliss? Not for us. We'll keep trying to buy all organic, despite the difficulties (price, availability, non-local, etc.).


One of my favorite snacks when I loved bread was toast with butter {loved is inappropriately used; of course I love -present tense- bread, but it is not just the carbs which forced its excommunication from my grocery list}. Or toast with peanut butter. Or toast with jam. Since kicking that delicious white {and whole wheat} bread to the curb, I've tried a few gluten {and corn} free bread recipes. [You'll find that "gluten free" recipes often contain corn...] Some were disastrous. I'm pretty sure one un-cooked overnight, which I didn't even know was possible {I think that may have been baker's error, not the recipe}. I've also tried my own substitutions (1/4 c of applesauce for an egg, etc.), but sticking to this recipe has proven successful every time. 

out with the mold.

We cut peanuts out of our lives about two years ago. Peanuts, one of the most common food allergens, are not nuts, they are legumes (this has been confirmed by the Mayo Clinic). Thus, an allergy to peanuts is distinct from a nut allergy (children allergic to peanuts are not necessarily allergic to tree nuts such as almonds). No one in our household is allergic, but we've sworn off peanuts for a different reason entirely. The culprit? Aflatoxins. While opponents resoundingly state - aflatoxins are naturally occurring (!) - I personally do not want to eat something, naturally occurring or not, containing the word "toxin." The aflatoxins are in the soil, not the "nut," and, as a result, you may also find it in grains, hay, etc., as well as in dairy produced from a cow which consumed contaminated food. The FDA allows aflatoxin contamination at "low levels" because aflatoxins are considered unavoidable contaminants. The issue with this naturally occurring toxin? It's linked to liver cancer (according to this study, high levels of aflatoxin exposure have been shown to cause hepatitis necrosis) and has been shown to cause cancer in animals.  This apparently requires high levels of exposure, but what exactly is high?

friday smiles.

{Sunset on Honeymoon Beach, St. John}

My husband and I were recently married (3.23.13) and honeymooned in St. Thomas a couple of months after our wedding {I had trial}. In addition to our honeymoon, we've been traveling a fair amount this summer. {Lexington, KY; Newport, RI; Captiva Island, FL}

the first pitch.

(I know this video is old news, but it's two year anniversary is practically new-news.)

As all of my family and closest friends (as well as those who eat within earshot of me) know, I've developed an increasing fear (for lack of a better word) of what exactly it is I'm consuming on a daily basis. This has led me to torture my husband with copious amounts of information I'm sure he occasionally wishes he never learned (i.e., peanuts are contaminated with carcinogenic mold).  Although I also love to "educate" my co-workers, family, etc., I realize I may be alone in my zeal for reading food labels. Every now and then I catch myself and I realize I probably sound like Debbie Downer just as someone is really enjoying their "delicious" ham and turkey sandwich (nothing against sandwiches) {just kidding, sandwiches are horrible since most contain processed meat}.