The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers! So, what is a Liebster? The meaning of the name:liebster is German for sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. Isn’t that sweet? Blogging is about building community and it’s a great way to connect with other bloggers and help spread the word about newer bloggers/blogs. If you’re nominated for a Liebster, it’s an opportunity to answer the questions of the blogger who nominated you, and pass the fun on to someone else with nominations of your own.
I was nominated by Rachel at www.grokgrub.com, and here are the 11 questions she asked me
- What’s your all-time favorite blog? http://dailybunny.org/
- If a movie was made about your life, which actor/actress would play you? Nandita Das
- Sweet or salty? Sweet!
- If you could invite anyone for dinner, past or present, who would you choose? Noam Chomsky
- What is one thing you’ve always wanted to learn? How to sing well, haha
- Where is your favorite place you’ve lived? Chicago (only place I’ve lived)
- What’s the best mistake you’ve made? Working in IT consulting and IT recruiting
- What do you eat for breakfast? Eggs, avocado, bacon, and sauerkraut
- If you could make anyone the President of the United States, who would you select? Cookie Monster
- What’s your favorite sport to watch and/or play? Watch: football Play: None really
- What two words best describe you? Caring and Determined
Now here are 11 random facts about myself:
1. I used to eat a LOT of Flintstone’s vitamins when I was a kid (see #3 above).
2. I’m obsessed with Swatch watches.
3. I really want to raise chickens and have bunnies.
4. I have never broken a bone (knock on wood!).
5. I met my husband online.
6. I HATE washing my hair (and drying it afterwards).
7. My favorite ice cream flavor is Mint Chocolate Chip.
8. I can never wear socks to sleep. If I do, I will wake up with them magically removed.
9. I played badminton in high school – I was bad.
10. I can read and write in my native tongue (Gujarati) better than I can speak it.
11. I used to have the biggest crush on David Copperfield.
The bloggers I nominate are (it’s supposed to be blogs with fewer than 200 followers, but I just picked some blogs I enjoy):
4. Felted Nest
My questions for them! Tag, you’re it:
- What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
- What job do you wish you could have even though it would drive you crazy?
- Do you have a favorite sport’s team? If so, who?
- What is a talent you have that most people don’t know?
- Do you dream in color or black and white?
- Morning person or night owl?
- What food/recipe do you make the best?
- What did you start learning at some point in your life, abandoned, and wished you finished learning?
- Do you plan ahead or carpe diem?
- What is your favorite book?
- If you had 24 hours to live, what is the first think you would do?
The Liebster Award rules are:
- Acknowledge the nominating blogger
- Answer 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you
- Share 11 random facts about yourself
- List 5-11 bloggers you believe deserve some recognition and a little blogging love
- Post 11 questions for the bloggers that you nominated to answer
- Let all of the bloggers know that they’ve been nominated
I’m so excited to post about my recent experience Paleo Pen Pals! They match you up with another member of the Paleo community which provides such a fun interaction with someone you don’t know! Basically, all you have to mail each other a Paleo ingredient and make a recipe from it! I remember having pen pals in grade school and being so giddy when I would receive a letter from them. This giddiness was felt again when I received my Paleo ingredient from Tanya at Feed the Clan :) Her recipe using the star anise that I sent her is here.
I was pretty nervous to do this because, while I love sharing recipes, I haven’t exactly really created many on my own. Sure, I’ve deviated from other recipes by adding or changing some ingredients, but I haven’t really come up with anything from scratch. After stressing out about this (#firstworldproblems), I realized that maybe I can still tweak something I know about. After all, isn’t that how people come up with some recipes in the first place?
So…here is what Tanya sent me:
Tanya told me the Hatch Red Chile Infused Honey was from a local source in her area, which I loved! I was so excited to see how I could use this in a recipe! When I tasted it, I was reminded of the red chili powder that my mom often used in her many delicious Gujarati (state in India) dishes. I’m not sure if it’s very different from what we get at the supermarket in the states, but that was my experience with it. So basically, this powder was infused into honey and was quite yummy
I had some home-grown cabbage at home, and my mom had brought some beautiful purple and white carrots from a farmer’s market. So I decided to make a Spiced Honey Sautéed Cabbage and Carrots based off a Gujarati dish I ate growing up. Usually, my mom never added any type of sweetener or carrots, so I was curious about how this would taste. This recipe can also be made without the carrots.
Spiced Honey Sautéed Cabbage and Carrots
1.5 tbsp coconut oil
1 cup shredded carrots
3 cups shredded cabbage
2.5 tsp Hatch Red Chile Infused Honey
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp sea salt
Dry roast the mustard seeds in a pan until they pop – this increases the mustard flavor in the dish. (You can also add sesame seeds to this if you’d like). Heat oil in another pot or wok, and add mustard seeds and turmeric. Let it sizzle for a little bit so it’s mixed in well. Add cabbage and carrots. Mix this thoroughly so the turmeric covers the cabbage and carrots completely. Add the honey. Then cover until the cabbage is cooked but still a little crisp – about 10 min. Add salt.
And VOILA! You are done. At first, I didn’t feel like I tasted the chile flavor. And it still isn’t as strong as my mom’s, but the point is that it didn’t NEED to be spicy. What’s really cool is that the honey flavor really makes it yummy and the spicy kick comes at the end. This can be a great side dish with any meal. You can also add some chicken, pork, or beef to this dish as well. I’ve never done it, but I think it would be really great!
I hope you enjoyed my first real recipe Paleo Pen Pals was such a fun experience that pushed me to be creative. I will definitely be doing it again!
No, I’m not re-launching my site or anything yet, but as my thoughts and experiences with my health journey evolve through the way I eat, move, and think, my vision for “Cutting the Cheese” has evolved as well.
Initially, my thought was to create a blog name that would be refer to Paleo and also be punny. I think I succeeded. I do have to give credit to a close friend that helped me out, so thank you Jasmy Cheese is something I LOVE, so I thought it was a perfect fit! However, as I learned more about Paleo, I realized that, yes, in the strictest sense, dairy isn’t “allowed”. But, as time went on, I stopped thinking of Paleo as a diet of restriction, and I started to see it as using food for nourishment. So, given this change, I started introducing dairy in my meals. While I do feel some effects from dairy, I am unaffected in moderation. So, I haven’t always had to “cut the cheese” out of my diet…however, that doesn’t mean I haven’t had to do it figuratively
As I have I started looking at Paleo from a different perspective, I decided to re-brand my blog through a different lens. I believe most of us know what “Cutting the Cheese” means as an idiom. If not, feel free to find out here. The the meaning is funny in the sophomoric sense that many hate to love. It provokes laughter with a bit of discomfort – literally and figuratively
Recently, I started a Facebook page to go along with my blog. I tend to post a few times a day to this page by sharing some personal experiences as well as sharing information that I find helpful from other blogs/pages. Sometimes I share recipes or just general information about the Paleo way of eating. However, as I have mentioned before, I do see Paleo as a lifestyle. At the same time, I see eating processed foods and treating certain physical ailments with drugs, and not nutrition, as a lifestyle too. Paleo aside, I feel there are obvious sociopolitical conflicts that serve to profit companies that the modern world just accepts. This makes me uncomfortable…very uncomfortable. I didn’t want to believe it. I don’t want to believe it. But I have to believe it. The Food Pyramid, FDA guidelines, GMO’s, yadda yadda are all politically and economically motivated and most of us either want to ignore it, minimize it, or simply believe that the government and big food companies have our best interests at heart. As an individual, I cannot solely change the current political, economic, or food systems. However, it would be silly for me to not recognize the motivation and manipulation of these systems. If everyone realized how they were being manipulated, they would probably be uncomfortable.
Another area I have felt passionate about is self-love when it comes to body image and what we think about ourselves. I have definitely struggled with body image in many ways that I hope to share in future posts. In the past couple months, I have been able to move past a lot of my insecurities and get to a point where not only do I love myself and my body more than before, but I have also realized that I was making excuses about why I didn’t think I was insecure in the first place. Again, this was uncomfortable. Loving who I am, as I am, is uncomfortable. Do I have a Victoria’s Secret model body? NO. Have I lost as much weight as I would have initially liked? NO. A year ago, these answers would have made me very uncomfortable. But, I’m happy to say, that I’m much more happy in my skin, as is, than before. Does that mean I don’t want to lose weight or that I don’t think I would be as attractive if I lost more weight? No, not at all. My priorities have just changed. My goal is health first, and, as Jason Seib says, to look “hot by accident”.
Lastly, I have started to make some changes in my daily routine to include meditation, prayer, and asking for help when I feel I need support in my life. Stress management is a huge part of lifestyle and if affects our bodies immensely. Here is a great summary about stress and adrenal fatigue: The Real Deal On Adrenal Fatigue by Robb Wolf. Making changes to daily habits is difficult. After all the Merriam-Webster definition of a habit is “a usual way of behaving : something that a person does often in a regular and repeated way”. So making changes in our busy, stress-filled lives, especially to slow down and let go of certain outcomes through mediation, prayer, or what have you, is hard and uncomfortable, but it is also very beneficial. I’m not talking about being a yogi and sitting on a mountain in lotus position. These are changes you can make throughout the day in the comfort of your home, but, to do so, priorities have to change.
I’m evolving/re-branding this blog by pushing through uncomfortable barriers and becoming more aware, accepting, and comfortable being uncomfortable! I still do plan to post recipes, etc to have some balance and fun
Enjoy and feel free to comment about this change!
I used a random number generator to pick a winner for the It Starts with Food giveaway!
And the winner is….Rachel Ball!
Congratulations Rachel! Send me a message on Facebook or email me at email@example.com so I can send you the prize
Thanks for entering everyone!
My birthday is Friday (yay!), and I wanted to do a giveaway to celebrate I was trying to think of the best thing to offer you all, and I realized I needed to go back to my roots…my Paleo roots that is So…I’m going to give away a copy of It Starts with Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, which outlines how to do a Whole30 which I did last year. This book literally changed my life, inspired me to start this blog, and has gone so far as to inspire me to learn more about biochemistry, permaculture, meditation, and farming practices! (WHOA!) And this all comes from a person that grew up in the suburbs of Chicago! Now, Dallas and Melissa clearly state that the basis for the book is health, not necessarily the ancestral/paleolithic way of thinking. So if you’re not interested in that angle, which is fine, this book is still a great way to think differently about your overall health.
I returned from Europe about a week ago, and I had an amazing time! Here are my top 10 takeaways from the trip:
1. Restaurant service in America is incredible (as compared to London/Paris).
2. Dairy and meat quality in Europe (at least London and Paris) is phenomenal, and most food was very fresh.
3. London is expensive!
4. But visit the Borough Market in London anyways
5. Paris is beautiful!
6. French food is rich, simple, and delicious.
7. Don’t eat French food if you need to compulsively use Sriracha (or insert other hot sauce) on everything.
8. While, the service in Paris is mostly crappy (compared to the states), most Parisians seem to be ok with it. Maybe it’s because they aren’t always in such a hurry like Americans.
9. It’s hard to stay Paleo in Paris and avoid baguettes, croissants, macaroons, and crepes
10. Biking around in Paris was one of the most adventurous things I have ever done in my life!
Overall, it was very, very difficult to stay Paleo, especially because of #9. All the gluten, grains, and alcohol I drank definitely had a negative impact on how I felt physically and mentally. I also did not have the best quality of sleep because of it. However, since I have returned, I have a renewed passion for the Paleo lifestyle. And I feel great!
On to some changes! As I mentioned in my last post, I am excited to start sharing different material on the blog and just expanding in general. One change is that I have a Facebook account exclusively for this blog, yay! So please like Cutting the Cheese on Facebook! I also made a new twitter account to really focus on primal/paleo/real food nutrition and lifestyle. My new handle is @cuttingthecheez, so please follow me there
That is all…for now!