I should probably just call these the “let’s get back on track and stop eating so much chocolate” bites. But, I wouldn’t want to get your hopes up by including chocolate in the title. With the discovery of all my food intolerances, I’ve been finding comfort in the fact that I am not allergic to dark chocolate. Thank heavens! My saving grace! But when I found myself reaching for chocolate before noon, afternoon, and post dinner, comfort had slowly transformed into a bad habit that needed to be addressed.
This amazing travel we have been able to experience while living abroad has given me a whole new appreciation for food. Every country (and sometimes city) has their own special meals and particular ways to prepare them. I find it fascinating. At first, I just liked to try a few restaurants and street food while visiting new places, and then I started buying exotic spices to take home in attempts to recreate what I had tasted. These days, I have big plans to take cooking classes everywhere I go to truly learn what’s behind the cuisine. I don’t love museums, but I do love learning about food in relation to culture, so why not spend my travel time wisely?
My trip to Istanbul has been over a year in the making. My girlfriends and I had a week long trip planned along the Turkish coast last summer, but we changed it last minute due to the political unrest. Our replacement trip to Croatia more than sufficed, but I still had a flight voucher to Istanbul and an itch to check out the city.
The real reason I quit dairy was because I saw the proof on paper: I took an allergy test. Albeit, it should probably be called an “intolerance” test because it shows you on a scale from 0-6 how intolerant you are to over 500 foods. Being intolerant to a certain food doesn’t mean you are going to break out into hives if you eat it, it just means that your body has a hard time dealing with it. My goal is to eat how my body wants when I’m in control of cooking, but be flexible when I’m out to eat, traveling, or at social events. And let’s be real. If I’m dying for a cookie, I’m going to have a cookie.
Yet again, there have already been a few weekends this year that I wished it didn’t take a 20-hour travel day to get to the US West Coast. Had it been the usual 2 hour flight from SF to Las Vegas, I would have been at Colette’s Bachelorette party in a heartbeat. I was sad I couldn’t make it, but figured I could send a little something special for the bride-to-be. Plus I wanted to remind my friends that I do exist all the way over here in Switzerland and wish I could be there. I considered sending a glass statue of the infamous bachelorette party mascot that I found, but I worried about it arriving safely in one piece. I ended up going the more PG route.
I know, I know. I already did a chia seed pudding recipe. But, but, it is just that good! Especially for a non-dairy eater…like me. It’s sad but true. I gave up dairy for real this time (well, let’s say 90% of the time). The milk industry lied to me all those years. Milk products don’t do my body any good. I stopped eating and drinking most dairy about a month ago. The good news is that I have a lot more energy and have even lost a few pounds because of it. The bad news is that I still want pizza! Lasagna! Ice cream!
The wind is whipping, the rain is pouring, the leaves are falling, and the soup is on the stovetop. I just love autumn! But not in mid-August. I’m used to cold summers after living in San Francisco, but at least in San Francisco, a random gorgeous sunny day might be graced upon you in the middle of January. Meanwhile, January in Zürich, I was bundled up in my knee-length down coat during our proclaimed “warm winter”. Despite the bad weather, we have had a couple nice days, and I am still glad to be back in beautiful Zürich. Some highlights…
Between marrying into the Ball family and the recent Mason jar trend, I knew there had to be Ball jars at our wedding. I used most as vases to decorate the aisle and the tables, but that obviously wasn’t enough. I decided that every guest had to drink out of a Ball jar, so I bought one jar for each guest. Ahh the joys of being wedding crazed. Thank goodness it’s over.