Tag Archives: Food

Food Diary

I ate a lot of interesting things over the weekend, all in an attempt to cleanse my system. Sadly, I think I did the reverse. My stomach felt like a toxic waste dump up until about an hour ago (ahem…). Anyway, after eating like this, I think it’s safe to say that a detox diet is in order. The book I’m reading above offers hope! I’m going to try to stick to Miso Soup, brown rice and few veggies. Keeping it bland at least for a couple days. Then I may move into just raw foods. I’ve been reading some recipes from Ani Phyo’s website, as well as Alissa Cohen. I particularly like the desserts of Ani Phyo’s like the oatmeal raisin cookies and the peach and pistachio cobbler (see recipe on her video homepage). I think tomorrow, it’s off to Wholefoods to buy some ingredients.


Oatmeal with Raisins and Natural Applesauce

½ Hummus Wrap with Lettuce, Tomato and Shredded Jack Cheese

Carrots, Celery, Pepperoni, Cheese, Crackers, Shrimp Cocktail
Turkey, corn, salad, string beans, corn casserole, bread, stuffing (all in very tiny portions, but a wide variety nonetheless)
One slice of apple pie, one cup of tea, couple sips of regular coffee


Green Smoothie
(Kale, Banana, Blueberries, Fresh Squeezed Pomegranate Juice)

Couple bites of pie (???)

French Fries
Cole Slaw
Bites of a Brownie Sundae (my son’s bad influence and his close proximity to me at the table)

Bailey’s Irish Crème over ice
Popcorn (Movie night!)
(this was more of a diet disaster than Thanksgiving!)


Green Smoothie
(Kale, Spinach, Banana, Blueberries, Fresh Squeezed Pomegranate Juice, Chocolate Whey Protein)

Miso Soup
Korean BiBimBap
(Raw egg, Beef, Rice, julienned cucumber, zucchini, mu (daikon), mushrooms, doraji (bellflower root), and gim, as well as spinach, soybean sprouts, and gosari (bracken fern stems).
Banana, Strawberry Sherbet Smoothie

Shrimp Tempura Sushi Roll (4 pieces)
Sweet Potato Tempura Roll (4 pieces)
Popcorn (Movie night with kids part II)

Oatmeal with Raisins and Natural Applesauce

Tabouli with Hummus and Pita

Hummus Wrap with Lettuce, Tomato and Shredded Jack Cheese

mental stimulation


I had teacher training yesterday. Coming up from the shore, in the middle of my vacation, took a bit of time for my brain to start working again. I haven’t thought about anything other than sex, food and shelter for an entire two months. Maybe longer.  More like years. To top it off, I feel like I have a mild onset of Alzheimer’s. I was talking to J and J the other night over a glass of wine and I had no vocabulary. I lose or forget the simplest of words. It’s like, “what’s that word? Oh…it’s on the tip of my tongue…ummm….oh, yes! DREAM. That’s the word I was looking for. Dream.”

So very sad.

This is my fear when it comes to teaching. That I’ll get up there and have nothing to say. Completely blank. I have become more and more dependent on writing as my brain cannot really handle the capacity for lecturing, talking or discussing. It’s been virtually wiped out. Could be stress, too much coffee, not enough stimulation. Most likely it comes from stagnation. I never challenge myself on topics other than boys, sex, food and kids. Oh! How I’ve drowned myself in a small, spiraling pool of mundane facts. Reptilian brain taking over. Well, thank god for grad school. Hopefully that’ll give me a cold hard slap across all that unused gray matter.

Tapas & Wine Party

Table of Spanish tapas and wines

Next Tuesday, I’m planning a little wine and tapas party for a few of my friends. I wanted to share what’s on the menu:

I’m hoping to have a nice Spanish, Argentinian, and Chilean wine. Maybe a summer white. These are my hopeful picks:

Marqués de Riscal (Spain)
Sangre de Toro (Spain)
2006 Montes Alpha Series Syrah (Chile)
Cuvelier Los Andes Gran Vin 2004 (Argentina)

Calamaries Fritos
One of my all time favorite tapas (although I don’t recall ever eating them “as” tapas in Spain, Calamaries fritos are fried squid. Love to eat them with a chunky marianara sauce or with nothing but a little mayonnaise and a chunk of baguette.

Tortilla Espan~ola
Possibly one of the most popular and simple tapas in Spain is what’s commonly known as the Tortilla, or potato omelette. When I first lived in Spain, I must have made this every day for an entire six months. They’re very addicting. Basically just potato and egg. That’s it.

Jamon Serrano con Melon
This is a perfect mezcla of sweet with salty. Jamon Serrano is a thinly sliced deli ham, akin to the Italian Prosciutto. Wrap it around a thick slice of honey dew and it’s perfect flavor.

Chorizo con pan y Queso de Manchego
Bread, cheese, sausage. Can’t live without this combo! I’ve chosen Manchego, which is a hard cheese and chorizo sausage, which, despite a million varieties, I will have no choice but to pick up whatever the supermarket carries at the time. hopefully sweet and not too smoky.

My mother-in-law makes a great gazpacho, or cold tomato soup. Most people are surprised when it comes out looking so “pink” as opposed to the classic red. This is usually due to the variety of tomatoes used and whether or not she’s added watermelon.

Sardinas y pan
More bread, but this time, I’m pairing it with sardines and maybe even mussels. We’ll see… But these are very popular tapas in Madrid.

A little Paco de Lucia, Carmen Paris, Lola Flores, Jose Mariano, etc.


The City

I went over to the University of Penn tonight to have a coffee with Maggie and then go to this info session on a “master’s of applied positive psychology.” I’m glad I went, but..i was largely apathetic. I need something a little more concrete, and no one was really talking in terms of “action words” when it came to discussing the actual application of this knowledge. Sure they said things like, “I created a company that teaches corporations the skills of positive intervention.” But, please. Get out of the ivory tower and describe the WORK of positive psychology.  Give me a title. A name. I “coach.” I “teach.” I “counsel.” “I help people get along better in the workforce.” But nothing like that. Which led me to believe that “positive psychology” is one of those amorphous niches that you must create for yourself, and that Marty Selegman is merely looking for an army of salespeople to go out and sell his amorphous ideas.  

Sure, I’m all about happiness (see Authentic Happiness, Seligman), but these people were just too damn happy, almost to the point of shoving it down your throat. That may sound hostile, but perhaps I am jaded. It’s not the happiest time in my life. But come on already with the fact that we should ALL be HAPPY. Buddha makes more sense: he did not deny that there is happiness in life, but he pointed out it does not last forever. Eventually everyone meets with some kind of suffering.

And speaking of which, I was given a fleeting glimpse, a little gem of a gift, as I noticed a look of absolute frustration and disgust on the director of the program, Dr. Pawelski. He was rather annoyed that his colleague wasn’t following along the format quick enough as he had designed it. You could almost see him mumble under his breath, what are you doing, you stupid fuck. It was kind of funny and really added to his sickly, pale, worn out professor of philosophy look. 

So…it’s back to the drawing board for me. And once again, a change of plans. Perhaps a master’s in creative writing. Much more concrete. Writer. 


KVM called me afterwards. There was a launch party for a new food and culture magazine called Table Matters, and of course, it’s right near 13th and Locust. I wasn’t very comfortable with that. So…we parked in an obscure lot, put our dark glasses on, took a back road down Samson to 13th and made it to Apothecary unseen. Shockingly, who do we bump into but Frank Sherlock, heading in the opposite direction. With signature scarf.

Anyway. It felt good to get out. To be in the city. To see weirdness. I had some horrible drink made with gin. I hate gin. But the people were happy. The food was great. And KVM and I laughed out asses off over the usual. I was home by ten. And now I am bleary-eyed and tired and know that when I wake up, I will pay.

This one is for you


I have seen the look of want in your eyes and so i took you to my room last night where i dreamed up dreams of devouring consequences. We were out to dinner. You in a suit. Me in a vintage cocktail dress, heels with straps around my ankles. You ordered french wine for the table because you recalled that I lived in France back in the eighties. Cliche. But polite.

It was mention of the fact that you knew tiger lilies could be eaten that undid me.

I suddenly saw you in a new light. Not that deadpan, emotionless, punctured soul you come off as being, day by day, in the drabness of your conventional life. But a sensual man. Unafraid of the world and the knowledge that we are all so delicate. 

Besides, your eyes screamed: I am lonely. I haven’t had a home-cooked meal since last December when she left me for that fuck. 

We didn’t go out dancing. Or see a movie. We ate and talked and talked and talked, sitting across the table from one another. I watched your lips, mostly, glide across a set of perfect teeth. I measured the possibility of your kiss.

And when there was that moment, late into the night, sitting in your car listening to Grace Jones’s La Vie en Rose, parked outside my house, the burden of newness no longer upon us. When we arrived at that place that comes instinctually between new lovers, to kiss or say good night, I reached out the tips of my fingers and drew an imaginary line toward the door, and said, come in.

From the over-stimulated mind of a coffee drinker

I recently realized I am nothing without coffee. That’s a hard pill to swallow being that I am so anti-drug and into real, real, real. Handle the pain of life without any life-lines or methods of escapism. Of course, I judge myself lightly. I make great excuses for my habit. Coffee doesn’t kill brain cells (or does it?). Coffee doesn’t cause miscarriage and birth-defects (well…miscarriages yes). Coffee doesn’t change my brain or my way of thinking (hmmm…when I don’t have it I can’t hold a conversation longer than 3 minutes and quite frankly, I have no motivation to do anything without it. Not to mention that one double-espresso at the right time of day can turn me into a Super Hero.) 

But, despite not causing hallucinations or leading me to believe I can fly or that the walls are moving, coffeeis a drug. A powerful one. Possibly a dangerous one.

“Within five minutes after you drink your morning coffee, the caffeine begins to stimulate your central nervous system, triggering the release of stress hormones in your body, causing a stress (“fight or flight” ) response. The stress hormones are useful if you need to prepare yourself to fight or flee a dangerous situation, but if you are simply sitting at your desk you may feel a short charge of alertness, quickly followed by feelings of agitation. Within the next hour or so, after the stress response dissipates, you will probably feel more tired and hungry. At these low-energy times, many people reach for another cup of coffee, or eat a snack that is often high in sugar to “pep up” and stay alert. However, both caffeine and sugar only give you temporary feelings of increased energy, which quickly dissipate. For some people, this cycle of low energy followed by an infusion of caffeine or food continues the entire day — leaving them feeling exhausted and unable to focus by 3:00 p.m. because they are drained from the ups and downs in energy their body endured throughout the day.” 
Active Wellness By Gayle Reichler MS RD CDN, page 12

According to Stephen Cherniske MS in his book Caffeine Blues, “‘Caffeinism’ is a state of chronic toxicity resulting from excess caffeine consumption. Caffeinism usually combines physical addiction with a wide range of debilitating effects, most notably anxiety, irritability, mood swings, sleep disturbance, depression, and fatigue.” Of course, this leads to the paradox of thinking you are increasing your energy when in actuality you are depleting your natural energy stores. 

Coffee has been associated with, among the above listed issues, miscarriage, psychological affects such as hyperesthesia, ulcers, gastric problems, hyperactivity, heart palpitations and adrenal exhaustion. (http://www.garynull.com/documents/CaffeineEffects.htm).

So, that being said, you might want to re-think that morning cup of joe and switch to decaf. I know I’ve been brewing the idea for quite some time. And if it weren’t for my pesky addictive behavior,  I just might be able to brave the world without that hit of escapism.