Grapes are in season!

Oh summer, you are killing us with your early heat. But then again, we planted these grapes a few years ago and we have never yielded such an amazing crop. The winter rains really helped… We’re enjoying the fruit wallet really lasts which is while it’s in season! Watermelon, berries and peaches, woohoo!

But we will be willing to give it up to get under a hundred degrees pretty soon.

Gluten Free Bakery in Los Angeles

Well, it wouldn’t have been a week off without some deliciousness.  So while we were out…

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Karma Baker is out in Westlake Village, but I think they are also carried at markets like Erehwon. Gluten free AND Vegan, they are a favorite of some of the Kardashians. So if you want to see one of their assistants (or them, who knows), drop on by and try this excellent peanut butter and chocolate brownie. This is just half. Because we like to share. Silly, that’s not why. It’s just so we could have half of something else!

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What? Karma Baker makes DONUTS?! Yep. That one in the back is a Unicorn donut. They’re vanilla underneath, but you can also get chocolate. My favorite, and only if fresh, is the cinnamon sugar. My boss brought me these, because she is extraordinary and thoughtful. We returned for more. Because we are little piggies.

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Flower Child in Santa Monica has BOSS brownies (not vegan, but gluten free), and really excellent chocolate chip cookies. They’re about $3 each, and huge, which is a pretty good deal. They also have $5 coconut chocolate pudding with optional coconut and almonds. You might think it’s too expensive to try but don’t be a cheapskate, because it’s excellent. Then take a trip upstairs to sit, or get up there and see the awesome bathroom whether you need to go or not. You need to go. They have other stuff here, but, uh, we didn’t look. If you go on Wed. or Sat. there is a swell farmer’s market and you can eat something on the shore like we did. Or just come here. It’s always good to have choices…

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20170612_151310~2 Winner of the Gluten Free doughnut category: FONUTS on 3rd and Crescent Heights near the Farmer’s Market (You can walk.  Really.). They’re DEEELICIOUS.  Try the lemon.  We are massive chocolate lovers, and we recommend the lemon.  It’s THAT good.

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Fonuts are delicious but here’s some guidance from them: All Gluten Free and Vegan Fonuts contain Almond flour and are made on premises which contain nuts, dairy, flour and other products containing gluten. We are not Gluten Free Certified, however we take the utmost care in preventing cross contamination.

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Littlejohn’s is in the Farmer’s Market, and has been there since…forever, roughly.  Know why?  Fresh fudge, that’s why.  That 1/2 lb. hunk of Rocky Road is for my mother, who informed me upon hearing that I secured some for her: “Ooh, that felt like a big hug.”  Right.  Now you know where I get it from.  Because the other slab of peanut butter and chocolate is for us.  Duh!  Not dairy free, but gluten free, thank heavens.

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The last breakfast hurrah (eggs on toast with cheddar, white potatoes, easy homemade stuff to avoid Sunday Funday lines at..anywhere in L.A.) before the inevitable week-long sugar restriction to recover from this week.  But remember, I did this for you!

Thank you, fruit season

… And no thank you, early summer heat.

Dinner. Because how else can I balance out the freshly baked cookies?

Hello weekend.

Eggs on toast, coastal cheddar, home fries, tea #heaven

How long does milk last? Until the expiration date?

There seems to be a lot of confusion about how long milk (cow’s, soy, almond, etc.) will last in the refrigerator once it is opened.  Before you whip out the usual argument that you’ve had milk in the refrigerator for two, three, or whatever weeks and survived to tell the tale, let me remind you that you are in fact worth more than the $3.50 or so you paid for your beverage.

I opened this today, 3/27/16. It won't be good until that expiration date listed above. A Sharpie keeps me informed.

I opened this today, 3/27/16. It won’t still be good on 4/18, the expiration date listed above. Using a Sharpie allows room to store other things in my head.

That expiration date at the top there reflects…either a sell-by or use-by date. And I couldn’t tell which, because of the three types of milk in the refrigerator, NONE of them distinguish which type of expiration is printed.  The Western Dairy Association says:

  • If properly cared for, milk generally stays fresh two to three days past the “sell by” or “pull-by” dates on milk cartons.

So let’s assume the dates are “sell by” dates.  So we know that unopened, the date on the carton pictured above gives us until 4/20 or so before we need to start using our noggin and moving on to the next carton.  But what about once you’ve opened the carton?

silk milk expire

This is true for cow’s milk too, but you won’t always find it on the label. GRRR.

As you see, milk — soy, almond, or cow — expires 7-10 days from the date you open it.  So get out a Sharpie, keep it in a kitchen drawer, mark up your leftovers and milk with the date you opened them, and don’t drink milk  if it’s 2-3 days after the printed expiration date.  Just don’t.

Go to the bottom of this page for the chart from the FDA showing cow’s milk and other stuff you can store properly so you don’t hurl.

 

Sell by, Best if Used By and other such expiration explained here.

Can a store sell food past the expiration date?  Yep.  Not great practice, but it’s done.  That’s why you should be aware when you shop so you get the freshest food that will last the longest by reaching to the back because of the First In, First Out (FIFO) rule.

One Less, One More

Here’s how I lost 30 pounds.  It’s advice I still have to remind myself to take sometimes (I’m talking to you, See’s Candies).  There’s no way I’m giving up chocolate.  Maybe there’s no way you’re going to give up your burger and fries.  Everyone feels differently about their food.

So this is what I do: I eat one less.  One less chocolate.  One less handful of chips.  One less cookie.  One less chocolate kiss (Not just one.  One less.).  One size down on the fries OR one less piece of cheese OR one less piece of bacon on the burger (I’m a vegetarian, but you see where I’m going with this).

You don’t have to deny yourself all of the joy of eating until you’re left with a sad (Veggie?  Beef?) patty wrapped in lettuce with no fries.  That’s the kind of behavior that leads to eating a box of cookies in the car of the grocery store parking lot under cover of darkness like a wide-eyed lunatic.  Ask me how I know.

After you’ve taken away one, add one more.  One carrot.  One apple.  One mandarin orange.  One Persian cucumber that you can eat mindlessly at your computer before lunch to fill you up just a little and take away the biting hunger.  Any watery fruit or vegetable will do nicely.

Have the one more before the one less.

It couldn’t hurt, and you won’t find yourself suffering or obsessing over it, driving your family or colleagues insane.  You won’t see results in a week, either.  But over time, you will see change, and you won’t even know how it happened.

This is how good eating habits are made.

The workout routine that can save your life

I could have hurt myself this morning, but I decided against it.

I wanted to stay still, to drift back into sleep after the alarm sounded at 4:30 am because my husband thought that he needed his travel-alarm foghorn to start his morning shift.  Next time I’ll set my own, less jarring alarm and give him a brief slapping around instead.

Instead, I wobbled down the hallway as I usually do, made a strong cup of tea and got down to business.  I work out every day for 45 minutes before my incredibly sedentary 10+ hour shift.  It’s a four-day marathon, but it’s Monday, so I have a bit of sleep in the bank, and I promised myself that tonight I could brush, cuddle the kid and promptly stumble back into the Land of Nod.  (It’s likely that reality will prove this to be a lie.  Sometimes I live on a steady diet of delusion.)

I never used to work out in the morning.  I never used to get up early either.  Maybe you don’t want to do that, and who could blame you.  I didn’t either.  But you want to have the body and movement of a child, like my 65-year-old yoga teacher, who whips the hell out of us once a week.  She makes me feel both inferior and inspired.

Try five minutes.  Wake up five minutes early.  Just five, don’t get crazy and aim for more than that.  Do 5 minutes of exercise.  I do 60 crunches in that time.  Do 10 jumping jacks.  Reach up with both hands into a gentle stretch, then touch your toes (or knees).  Breath deeply.  There.  You’re all done.  Tomorrow curl a couple of soup cans for 5 minutes while you watch what the weather will be.  You can build your biceps while you decide what to wear.

I do my stomach exercises before bed, for five minutes or less.  I have great abdominal strength, and I know because in yoga class people 20 years younger than me were groaning when Ms. Lee beckoned us into a V, arms stretched forward, until time stood still.  I got to feel superior, if only for one moment.

Five minutes.  Do it tonight.  Do it tomorrow.  Who knows where it will lead?