Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Happy Whole30 Day!

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Today’s the day we start a Whole30 food challenge… more like detox, really.  Considering I’m competing in the CrossFit Open and a Tough Mudder in the next few months, it’s time to buckle down and get my nutrition back on track.  I’m allowing for a few modifications so that my husband won’t strangle me with all these new food rules, but otherwise it will be a pretty strict 30 days of eating clean.  I’m hoping to keep a log here of recipes and what I’m taking in, just to have a little more accountability.  And we end just in time to go meet Joy and cause some trouble in the Windy City!


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Melissa over at The Clothes Make the Girl posted this video this morning.  Sums up my take on 2012 completely.

Do what you love and do it often.
If you don’t like something, change it.
If you don’t like your job, quit.
If you don’t have enough time, stop watching TV.
If you are looking for the love of your life – STOP.They will be waiting for you when you start doing things you love.
Stop overanalyzing.
Life is simple.
Open your mind, arms, and heart to new things and people.
We are united in our differences.
Some opportunities only come once – seize them.
Travel often; getting lost will help you find yourself.
All emotions are beautiful.
When you eat, appreciate every last bite.
Ask the next person you see what their passion is – share your inspiring dream with them.
Life is about the people you meet and the things you create with them, so go out and start creating.
Life is short – Live your dream and share your passion.

In other news, I’m back! And also, happy one-year CrossFit anniversary to me! 🙂

Summer So Far

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AKA why I haven’t posted in months:

Pretty much all of my free time is spent at North Ave Beach

Or at Black Dog Gelato, my new favorite

I joined a CSA! So there will be actual food posts at some point

Banana Nutella Crepe from the Farmer's Market on the way to pick up my CSA box

Chicago Air & Water Show-just one of the many summer events I have enjoyed

And Danae got married!! It was beautiful 🙂 And an awesome party!

Overall an awesome summer!!  So not ready for fall!


Bacon Friday: Crif Dogs

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If you have never had a bacon wrapped hot dog, you are definitely missing out!

I had my first one in December in NYC at Crif Dogs.  I would highly recommend the Chihuahua which comes with avocado and sour cream, but they all looked good!  Definitely worth the trip if you are in New York!

Deliciousness in a bun!! Ignore the hat hair-it was freezing that weekend!


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This has nothing to do with food or travel, our usual subjects around here.  But it is finals which means making myself eggs for dinner is a chore, so I haven’t done much cooking lately.  But yesterday I was bored after my 8am final and too burned out to study for my (last!) final on Monday, so decided to work on some of the DIY projects I have been saving for months.  Here is what I made:

From left to right:

Jersey Knit Bracelet with material cut up from an old t-shirt.

Leather Lanyard Bracelet made with white and brown leather cord.

DIY Rope Bracelet using a Stainless Steel S hook (which is why it looks different-steel doesn’t bend) and leather cord.

DIY Braided Hex Nut Bracelet.  I made this a few months ago and love it, but had to re-do it with an actual clasp, the ends were too frayed to keep tying it.

Washer Bracelet.  This is actually a necklace tutorial, but I just used 5 washers and made a bracelet.  Also used leather cord instead of ribbon.

I just kept putting them on my arm after making them so figured I may as well take a picture and share!

How I Kicked a Cold in 48 Hours

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As I mentioned before, I got sick last weekend and wasn’t very happy about it.  I know it is going around, but it was the end of April and I am too busy to be sick!  I decided that I was going to get rid of this cold as fast as I could and used several different methods-with success!!  I had a bit of a sore throat Thursday and by Thursday night did not feel well at all.  Friday was miserable, and so was most of Saturday, until about 9pm all of the sudden I felt better.  I had a small amount of lingering drainage for a few days(though that could have been allergies).  But I think that only 48hrs of feeling really sick is pretty good, especially considering the current bug seems to be pretty nasty.  Here is what I used, hope this helps someone else!


Zinc lozenges are usually my first line of defense when I am getting sick.  As soon as I feel like I am getting a sore throat I start taking them.  And they usually work, but this time I still got sick.  They have an antioxidant effects and help in tissue repair and virus resistance.  A pharmacist I used to work with recommended them a few years ago and I have sworn by them ever since.

Chicken Stock

Chicken soup as a cure for the cold may be seen as an old wive’s tale, but there is some truth to it!  Chicken stock is an easily absorbable source of nutrients-including calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, silicon, glucosamine, chondroitin, gelatin, collagen, and glycine.  It has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.  If you have never made your own, you seriously have to!  It is sooo easy and very cheap.  I always make sure to keep my freezer well stocked, especially in the winter.  I made Spicy Sweet Potato Beef Soup, which was delicious!


My uncle told me that he takes elderberry when he feels like he is getting a stuffy nose and it works like a charm, so I decided to try it.  I couldn’t find the syrup, which is what he uses, but I got capsules because that was all I could find.  According to these studies elderberry can treat influenza A, B, and H1N1 (swine flu!).  It has been used as a folk remedy for hundreds of years, and has proven anti-viral properties.  It activates the immune system, so is perfect for cold and flu season!  I took 4 capsules a day until I felt better, then switched to 2 a day for a few more.

Licorice Root Tea

Not everyone will like this one, but I am obsessed with black licorice so I was more than happy to drink a few cups a day!  Tea always makes me feel better when I am sick, but I think this one helped even more than normal.  This was used in Chinese medicine to relieve cough and is supposed to be a decongestant and expectorant.  I was drinking 4 cups a day and I swear I noticed a difference.


Lack of sleep decreases the function of your immune system, which was probably part of the reason I got sick.  Luckily I was sick over the weekend so made sure to get PLENTY of sleep-about 10 hours a night.  I’m not usually a big sleeper, but I was tired all the time so listened to my body and slept.  I think this really helped my recovery.


I am normally pretty good about following The Primal Blueprint, but I have been slacking a little lately.  Especially being home for Easter weekend with tons of candy around, I had consumed a ton of sugar.  As soon as I started not feeling very well I got much stricter with my diet because sugar may have an immunosuppressant effect.  I focused on eating as healthy as I could to aid my immune system and help my body heal faster.

Nasal Rinse

Another item that was recommended by a pharmacist, I have been using this on and off for a few years when I get sick or have allergies.  At first it is a little gross to use and it feels really unpleasant, like when you get water up your nose while swimming, but you get used to it.  It promotes mucociliary clearance (which gets rid of all the bad stuff) and thins mucous.  I used this a couple of times a day, especially if I was really stuffed up.

Other than one cup of Theraflu while at a friend’s house and some Zyrtec (which I had been taking for allergies anyways) I didn’t take any meds.  I swear this is one of the shorter colds I have had, so hopefully some of these tips will help someone else out too!

Bacon Friday: Baconnaise!

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It’s true.  I made mayonnaise with bacon fat.

And it’s awesome!

I had been craving egg salad since Easter, but you can’t have proper egg salad without mayonnaise. So I had a conundrum: make my egg salad with store-bought mayo (yuck!) or make my own.  After searching my cookbooks, recipe archives, and online forums, I decided to use bacon fat as the fat source.  Many recipes called for olive oil, but then a lot of comments said it leads to a bitter taste and overpowers the rest of the ingredients (which I think is actually true for most olive oil dishes, I’m not a huge fan.)  Bacon fat, however, was an unprocessed fat source I had readily available and isn’t associated with any flavor other than bacon.  YUM.

It was pretty intimidating, thinking about emulsifying fat with acid and egg yolk to make a tasty, creamy spread, but it turns out I had nothing to worry about.  This was SO EASY.  And did I mention delicious and bacon-y?

Bacon Fat Mayonnaise: adapted from the NYT

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3/4 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • S+P to taste
  • 1/2 c bacon fat, liquid but not hot!

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except for the bacon fat and whisk together really well.  Pour into a food processor or blender, and turn it on.  Very slowly start to pour in the bacon fat, over the course of a couple minutes.  As the fat cools, the mixture will start to thicken – just keep it mixing!  My bacon fat was too hot when I added it, so I would occasionally pull the whole lid off and let it cool for a few minutes, then start to mix again.  It thickened up quite well, you just have to be patient!

And voila – you have baconnaise!  And yes, I made egg salad, and yes there was also bacon in that – what else was I going to do with all the bacon I fried up to get 1/2 c of bacon fat?

Happy Friday! Go eat some bacon!