Friday, September 13, 2013

Early Preparation and Late Night Experimenting

A few months ago on a Saturday night (okay more like over a year ago at this point), I sat with my knees to my chest, painstakingly thinking of something to do.

The Boy and I had gone around all day visiting different gyms. A nearby MMA (mixed martial arts) gym, a karate studio, and the YMCA down the road. While I MUCH prefer the MMA and karate studios, due to lack of funds at that moment, I stuck with the YMCA. However, I don’t mind much. I figured I’d just workout, build up muscle, strengthen my cardio, and then when I am able to join karate again I’ll be even better than I would be then.

(I sort of have this slight competitive streak…)

During one testing for a new level of black belt, a requirement was 50 push-ups. Now, I have terrible upper arm strength in the first place, and the rule of no modified push-ups didn’t help. However, my mom told me “Oh Hannah, don’t worry about it. You know most of those boys can’t make 50 either.”

You’d think that would help right? Calm me down a bit?

The fire only burned harder. Why join the boys when you can beat them? My goal no longer became to make 50, but just to be better than the boys (as it was most of the time, since in our age group I was just about the only girl).

For your information, no I did not make my 50, and by far, I did not beat the boys.

Now I’m at a rock climbing gym and completely obsessed with it.

Anyways, after our gym extravaganza, my mother and I went shopping for a few last Christmas gifts. Lucky me scored a couple more baking pans!

Between the gyms and the shopping, my brain had been set to active. It was like a Jell-O; it refused to sit completely still. I had to do something. Of course I thought of food.

The local grocery store doesn’t close till midnight on every day except Sunday’s, when it closes at 9.

On this particular Saturday it was about 10:30pm and it comforted me to know that if I wanted, I could fulfill my wish of walking the isles of food, food, and more food. Though, as relaxing as looking at and planning vacations can be, this time, I much rather wished to actually escape my world into the joy of food for a bit, instead of just staring at all the tasty dishes I could one day possibly cook.

So by 11:20ish, I’d made my decision to experiment.

I justified the oddity by creating a dish I could eat for dinner the next night.

In the end, this is what I came up with:


- Tri-colored pasta (I don’t know how much, I measured with a small bowl, but basically as much as you want to eat)
- 2 celery stalks, chopped in half and sliced thin
- Baby corn
- A small spoonful of natural peanut butter
- A small spoonful of natural almond butter
- 1 tablespoon of PB2 powered peanut butter
- 1/2 tablespoon of soy sauce (plus a splash more for the sauce)
- Water, as needed

- Cook pasta as directed, but do not overcook, then drain and set aside.

- Place celery and baby corn in a saucepot, pour enough water to steam them. Add 1/2 tablespoon of soy sauce. Cover until veggies are tender. Remove from pot and set aside.

- Mix peanut butter and almond butter in a bowl, add the mixture, a splash of soy sauce, PB2, and enough water so sauce can form and peanut butter doesn’t burn. I eyeballed it, if I had to guess I’d say somewhere between 1/2 to a cup, added as needed.

- Once the mixture has become a bit liquefied but still thickening, add in pasta and veggies. Stir to coat.

- You can either eat as is, or (as I did) place it in an airtight container, store overnight, and eat it cold. The taste and texture will change, but it is still just as delicious.

This whole, cooking the night before, has become a sort of ritual for me. I love cooking the night before now. It makes the next day so much less stressful to know my food is nicely packed away in the fridge ready to be eaten at any moment.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Back to School, Back to Blog

Today is my first day of fall semester, junior year, at a college I’d really rather not have to step foot on at all. It’s 12:14 and as usual I’m about an hour early for my class. Which means I’ve already been here for at least half an hour to ensure I’ve got decent parking (funny story about that actually).

So far, today hasn’t sucked too badly.


1. It’s a beautiful day, so at least I’m not freezing my way to class.
2. Over the summer The Boy bought me a Nalgene (a.k.a. fancy water bottle) so neither am I carrying around a load of water bottles to fulfill the mass amounts of water I drink.
3. I do only have one class.
4. I don’t have classes on Fridays which makes this only a 2 school day week.
5. I don’t totally hate the way I look today.


1. My university added new commuter parking (yay!) at the bottom of campus and proceeded to diminish one of the only good commuter parking lots there are (suck).
2. I’m here with a bunch of people I still don’t like.
3. My class for today got messed up somehow and now I have none of the books I need for it.
4. I didn’t sleep well last night.
5. Because I’m here, I had to cut back on my job hours; therefore, I’m making much less money.
6. Today is the first day of a long semester that I don’t want to be in.

As you can tell, I’m not too excited for the start of school. I love learning; I just wish I didn’t have to do it here. Or in any school-type environment. Either way, I’m happy to get my blog back up and running. I took a break for the summer. With not being on any real schedule, it was tough to get my butt in gear and keep writing. Though I did enjoy some great food in the last few months. I’m sure you’ll all see it eventually.  For now, I’ll be sitting here, enjoying the my Clif Builder’s Bar (Chocolate Mint), wishing it had the power of ruby slippers and that if I took three bites repeating “There’s no place like home,” it’d take me there.

I don’t think it’s up for the challenge.

Half an hour till my class starts. I guess I should stop writing and remember what classroom it’s in.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Ways A Dairy-Free, Hypoglycemic Stays Cool in the Summer

Welcome to Rhode Island summer. Down pouring, switching between raining and hardcore raining, day in and day out. Next week? Down to the 60’s, cloudy, some sun, a few showers now and again. The weekend? Hot. Hot and humid.

Gotta love summer.

One of my favorite parts of summer as a kid?

Ice cream.

(Okay, well it was one of my favorite parts of the other four seasons as well…But it’s a staple for summer.)

Not being able to eat ice cream is kind of a downer. I don’t just avoid it for the dairy (it’s a big reason though); I also stay away from it because of the sugar. In my opinion I don’t need to eat something that high in calories and fat and then 15 minutes later need to eat MORE to keep my blood sugar up. The sugar is the reason I don’t eat many substitutes, like almond milk or coconut milk ice cream. They’re really good if you get the right brands, but I run into the same issue because of the sugar.

So the Peanut Butter Queen (as I’ve been dubbed around here) went to work finding other ways to cool down. Frozen steak on the back works pretty well too, but it’s not as filling. (The Boy thought he’d try being funny at a Memorial Day cookout.)

1. Sorbet.

Preferably homemade sorbet or a decent store bought brand so you’re not taking in more ingredients than you need. But even with this, I have to deal with the sugar issues. Silly hypoglycemia.

Mango and peanut butter is my favorite.

2. Veggie Salads.

Cold vegetable salads are a great way to keep cool. They tend to have the exact opposite of sugary foods. Being full of fiber they keep you pretty full. Also, since you’re not cooking it at all, the veggies retain all of their nutrients. I usually dress it with just it with peanut butter, but I’m sure there are many other acceptable alternatives.

3. Fruit.

Fresh fruit and peanut butter are a match to be rivaled. My favorites are strawberries and raspberries. For anyone who loves chocolate and berries, try these with Dark Chocolate Dreams stuffed inside. SO GOOD. For strawberries, just core them, and fill them with whatever peanut butter you want.

4. Frozen Peas.

People think this particular dish is especially weird. I’m so sure why though. Frozen peas and peanut butter. (Or just frozen peas). I have yet to do it, but frozen grapes (as I’ve heard) are also quite tasty. I used to chow down on frozen peas when I was a baby, so I figured why not.

5. Cucumber.

There are two ways you can cool off with cucumber. A classic way and a Hannah way. The classic way is to slice it (peeled or not, your choice) and then soak it in vinegar with salt and pepper. The Hannah way, slice it and top it each slice with peanut butter. Either is acceptable and quite yummy.

These are pretty much my five favorite ways of staying cool (and healthy) during the summer time. I could probably think up more, but in all honesty, I just don’t want to. Plus, if it’s five it makes a nice alliteration with favorite.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Thank God for Peanut Butter

The other night I was at Pyro’s. Him, his mother, a couple friends, and myself were sitting around and making conversation. One of them mentioned how remarkable it was that with all my food allergies (intolerances, whatever you want to call it - I can’t eat a lot of stuff) that I could still eat peanut butter. She had a point by saying that peanuts are one of most prevalent food allergies. 

It got me thinking. 

A lot of rough times have hit around here lately. But I sure am thankful I have peanut butter.

It sounds silly; it may sound a little vain. 

But first off, of all the things I can eat, peanut butter is one darn tasty food. 

Second, peanuts and peanut butter are quite nutritious. 

Third, throughout all my issues with food (physically and mentally) peanut butter got to stay. 

It helped me a lot physically. Brought me vital nutrients, it helped keep my weight up when there wasn’t much I could or wanted to eat. 

Peanut butter is a small pleasure (okay, that I may have exploded a bit) in the grand scheme of things.

I take my food very seriously, and sometimes people around me don’t understand why. My mom would sometimes ask me why I wondered so much about what I was going to eat, or if I’d be able to eat what I wanted. Why I thought so much and planned out every meal, to make every meal count. 

Some of that might have been the mental struggle I faced towards food (and still do now and then). However, besides that, I think what it came down to is actually quite simple. There was a time where each food seemed like an enemy in the way my body reacted to it. Until my body began to get on a more healthy level, the foods that I could eat, that weren’t trouble for my system to digest, were things to celebrate. Each meal that I could eat without either my brain or my stomach bothering me afterwards was a reward. I still get that thrill now when I find new foods (good tasting new foods) that I can eat without issues from my body. 

What I went through (and still go through) with food seems major in my life and to my close circle of friends. I guess, in a way it is. But then I have to remember the fact that I do still have food to be thankful for. Also, there are foods I can eat. I have a friend, I haven’t actually seen her in a while, but we talk over Facebook or Twitter now and then. She’s often in and out of the hospital for stomach problems; her diet is much more restricted than mine, and her reactions much more severe. But she finds strength in God and her family and friends, she continues on. My friend is someone for those with food issues to look up to. 

I cherish my food. I am lucky to live in a part of the world where I can find food to fit my diet, and I am grateful. 

Especially for peanut butter.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

God, Heat, Pain, and Turtles.

It’s Friday night.

It’s hot.

I’m sick.

I’m in pain.

My eating hasn’t been the best lately.

First time climbing in two weeks, didn’t go too well.

I haven’t been keeping up with Tumblr.

I’ve been doing an awful lot of complaining lately.

I need to boost up my time with God.

Illness seemed to invade the people around me (Dad went into the hospital, drove The Boy to the hospital for a mild concussion; a few other instances as well. All are doing much better now).

I’m tired.

And now I’m trying to write a blog post. My brain apparently hit summer and thought “Why do anything anymore?” That’s not how it’s supposed to go. I mean I’ve been doing things, hanging with The Boy and Pyro like every day. But my climbing has been lacking. My morning devotions haven’t happened in a while (though I am determined to change that soon). And although one of my favorite foods is a peanut butter sandwich, even I will admit I have been reaching my limit per week.

I will say that I have been eating a decent amount of veggie salads. So there’s a plus. Also, all those I know who got sick, are healing rather quickly. Tumblr will go on another day without knowing what I ate for lunch and dinner. I will keep going back to the rock gym. I have proven time and time again that I can control and change my eating. Pain is weakness leaving the body (though I’m not sure a possible actual injured shoulder counts in that rule). My nose will clear out.

On top of all of these good points, God will always love me. He will never leave me, or forsake me, no matter how many peanut butter sandwiches I eat or how many days of climbing I miss. He’ll always be there, waiting, hoping, for the next morning I wake up and take some time to be with Him.

Eventually, I will learn to complain a little less and enjoy life a little more.

Oh, and how can it be a bad two weeks when you’ve seen and pictured two different turtles? I love turtles.