Category Archives: Food

Reflection

I have time to write now, and of course it’s about food. SURPRISE!

I’ve been seeing a nutritionist for 3 months now, very helpful, but this only helps to reach my point.

I’ve done some reflecting over the past week, (in Miami nonetheless) and while I consumed my weight (guiltlessly) in pizza pot pie, hearty breakfasts, and Cuban food, I had a breakthrough. 

My binge eating disorder stems from reflection. Reflecting on memories of spaghetti dinners at my Nana’s house, or that one time at the Taste of Chicago when Jason knocked a slice of Eli’s Cheesecake out of my hand. Birthday dinners with my grandpa, holidays with family. Food is comfort to me. Food is nostalgia.

For the next 6 weeks I will be cutting back on foods I enjoy most. Bread, cheese, pasta, beer…carbs. I will be working out 3 times a week, while weighing in weekly to track progress. On September 14th I vow to be stronger, I vow to be healthier, but most importantly…I vow to not be afraid to be fit.

In my past, being “fit” came  with heartache. Today, I am the happiest I have ever been. I challenge myself to change, to say no, and to learn that I can maintain a healthy lifestyle while being HAPPY. 

Let the games begin. 

A Grilled Cheese Sandwich for the Soul

It’s not chicken soup, but you catch my drift.

I’ve been experiencing some life changes lately and I thought I’d do some reflecting. Nothing drastic, just pondering old relationships and fresh ones while trying to grab a brand new nutritional lifestyle change by the horns. 

Yea, that’s right. I’m buying zoodles, (zucchini noodles), dairy-free milk, and reducing my flour intake…god help me. 

I’ll just cut the shit and admit to you all, that for years, I’ve been lying to myself about having not just a passion for food, but an addiction toward it. This addiction also involves (only) binge eating. 

I will tell you that I am a foodie. This is because I am fascinated by what other cultures eat and the ingredients that fuse so well together when paired. But behind my passion for discovering new dining spots, I struggle with a balance. I don’t have a healthy relationship with food. 

I don’t need to dig down the rabbit hole and bore you with details, but I will say that it is so hard to break bad habits. It is so hard to let go of something that has comforted you for all of your life. It is hard to say goodbye to the routine.

Just writing this makes me realize why I binge. Because it’s so easy to reach for the one thing that has always made you happy and you are certain it will never let you down. (Except when the jeans don’t fit).

Since February of 2013, I have gained 35 lbs over the course of three years. Why? Because I suffered a loss from 3 of my closest grandparents and great grandmother that I seeked comfort for. But I need to realize that I am ok.

I am ok to lead a life without them, knowing that they will stay with me wherever I go. I am ok to thrive, in my career and in my personal life.

I am ok to say no, if it means taking time for myself. I am ok to live a healthier lifestyle that I deserve. 

And I am ok to let go of all of this weight.

Let’s Talk Coconut Oil For a Sec

What do you folks use it for? I read that it whitens teeth and when I tried it, they didn’t look whiter, but my mouth felt noticeably cleaner with a delightful aftertaste. When I looked up ways to cook with coconut oil I just found dessert recipes. 

I found this one on Instagram recently and I will definitely need to snap a picture of the finished product once I find time to make them. 

   
 

Trucks at the Taste

This article didn’t make it to Roaming Hunger this month, but I still wanted to share it! Here’s an article I wrote about the Food Trucks at the Taste of Chicago.

Trucks at the Taste of Chicago

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In 1980 a group of restaurateurs approached the Mayor of Chicago with the idea of a food festival on the 4th of July. Just like that, the Taste of Chicago was born. Originally held on Michigan Ave. between the Wrigley Building and Tribune Tower, this one-day festival drew more crowds than expected and in 1981 Mayor Jane Byrne decided it would be held in Grant Park.

It was a huge success, (250,000 attended the first “Taste,” and food and soda sales grossed $330,000). Due to the overwhelming response from the huge attendance records, the Taste was greatly expanded in size and scope, growing to a 10-day free event with more food vendors, as well as musical performances. This allowed visitors to sample Chicago’s finest cuisine while enjoying a variety of popular music.

In 2012, the Taste of Chicago ran for five days from July 11th to July 15th. The mayor transferred power over to the Department of Special Events and it was shortened to five days to help ease the overcrowding from the Independence Day fireworks.

In 2013, the Taste of Chicago turned a profit for the first time in six years with sales totaling $272,000. To continue off that success, the Rahm Emanuel Administration introduced food trucks to the Taste of Chicago, feeding off the popular craze and adding a new twist to a different type of dining experience.

Two years later, the food truck idea is still thriving.

When I recently visited, I met up with our friend John Nguyen at Chicago Lunchbox. His wife Tanya offered from their menu: Vietnamese Pork Tacos, Firecracker Rangoon’s and the popular Korean Beef Tacos.

As previously referenced, the Korean beef is marinated for three days before being cooked on the grill. I asked John how he didn’t sell out by 4pm, he responded, “We came prepared.”

Which is a good thing, because in 2007 unpreparedness caused an outbreak of salmonella that sickened many people. Today, precautions are being taken to avoid another occurrence.

At 8am, food trucks were already arriving at the scene of the Taste. Freshly delivering their common fare from their brick-and-mortar kitchens where they immediately prepared for a long day. Staffing could be a family event in itself where volunteers can include friends and relatives.

Among the food trucks in attendance were familiar names such as: The Yum Dum Truck, and The Fat Shallot.

Some unexplored truck names were Harold’s Chicken Shack, Jerk Modern Jamaican Grill, La Cocinita, Starfruit Café and Jack’s Fork in the Road. Another one included The Crave Bar, which sold out of Handcrafted Pretzel Ice Cream Bars and departed the festival by 5pm.

The 2015 Taste of Chicago was held July 8-12th. Food and beverage tickets are sold in strips of 12 tickets for $8.50 (includes $2.50 charge for Taste amenities). “Taste of” portions are priced at $2.50 or less. Food and beverage ticket strips are available at the festival.

Plenty of foresight and planning go into the organization for the Taste of Chicago, ensuring visitors a memorable experience when they visit America’s picnic in Chicago’s front yard.

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Chicago’s Freshest Food Truck: The Corner Farmacy

These underdogs are doing something wonderful for the Chicago community. Not only do Emily, Laura and Lindsay dish out delicious food that looks like this, they only use fresh ingredients from local producers. At the end of the day when the food doesn’t sell they donate their food to families in need. Spread the word of freshness and go support them if you are in Chicagoland area.

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Brittney Payton will be filming her Chicago’s Best TV Show at the truck on the 10th of July, so go and tell her why you love The Corner Farmacy!

Chicago’s Freshest Food Truck: The Corner Farmacy

What a Sh!t Storm of a Month…

I’ll say it again…this month felt like a complete sh!t storm.

At the beginning of it, my boyfriend and I decided to randomly road trip to Denver. All was fine and dandy until I  just so happened to book the Amtrak tickets hours before the one derailed in Philadelphia. Then one afternoon I got a phone call for a possible job opportunity, so naturally I pushed through as far as I could. To make a lengthy story short, there ended up being scheduling conflicts and after a lot of emotional stress for one week solid, I ended up turning down the job.

I applied for 5 jobs before I began my vacation and received an immediate rejection email…naturally.

On the bright side, today I got an email from a company that seems like the real deal and they want to follow up with me further about a possible copywriter position. I’m super excited because I might FINALLY get a job in my field and all of this waiting bullsh!t will be over with. I even negotiated a little, so I feel cool.

The transition is already much more comfortable, but I’m not jinxing it. I learned to just go with the flow and keep it on the down-low. Yeah, I rhymed on purpose. I’m keeping an optimistic attitude and usually when crap like this happens, my monthly article gets published for Roaming Hunger and suddenly I feel better again.

I love this job the most.

By the way, you folks wish you had french fries like these in your town.

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The Original Fries with house-made bacon.

Frite Street: Where Fries are the Main Course

Note to readers: I also want to encourage anyone and everyone to take a random road trip to anywhere they want to go. If you have the money and the time…just book it. You’ll be happy you did.

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Hiiiii.

I feel the need to shout “I’m back!” Since I haven’t posted in awhile, here’s some news.

I took a cooking class at Eataly with Lidia Bastianich. The woman is a remarkable soul who knows how to cook.

As of next month I will have an article that I structured/edited published in Special Parent magazine. It’s about a wonderful family of a child with Down Syndrome and its a project that’s close to my heart.

I just wrapped up my article for Roaming Hunger this month and today I got to eat some bad ass French fries or “Frites” as they are called at this establishment.

And I FINALLY got an update from my recruiter and have a phone interview for a FT job tomorrow morning. She’s going to prep me and everything, so…fingers crossed! 

I’m also taking a mini train trip to Denver next week to hopefully celebrate this new chapter!

Now stare at some French fries made with home made bacon, yes, bacon made in house, cheese sauce and scallions. 

  

Food Truck Extravaganza

 
(Inhaling a Döner Box with the bestie.) 

If you live in the Chicago area, check out Schaumburg’s Truckin’ Around Food Truck Extravaganza this year.

I attended one of the many that will be hosted every month until you start to freeze your ass off again and I also wrote an article about it for Roaming Hunger, so read it. 

 https://twitter.com/roaminghunger/status/590615827893846018