Thursday, November 25, 2010

Before and After Peanut Butter Cookies

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Thanksgiving is a time to get together with family. We don't usually host Thanksgiving and end up traveling to extended family. So its always nice to bring a little something :)

It doesn't have to be something complicated at all! Sometimes the simplest recipes can make a big impression too! I have chosen Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies. This recipe has a big flavor for a small cookie, and plus, you can easily double the recipe so there is more to share!

Your family will love you for bringing these cookies because they are small enough that you can sneak a couple into your mouth without anyone noticing. Hey, I know I'm not the only one who likes to pick at the food before its actually ready. Its hard to resist with all the savory Thanksgiving flavors wafting out of the kitchen.

What I like about this recipe is that its very quick and simple, so if you're running around doing a thousand errands, this is one of those recipes that can be made at the last minute and you probably have all of these ingredients in your kitchen.

I modified this recipe to follow the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. The original recipe can be found here.

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
prep time: 10 minutes / total time: 20 minutes

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup honey (I use less, about 1/3 or 1/2 a cup, because I don't like my desserts too sweet)
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon baking soda


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease cookie sheets.
2. Beat together peanut butter and honey in a large bowl with an
electric mixer until smooth.
3. Add beaten egg and baking soda to peanut butter mixture and beat
until well combined.
4. Roll 1 teaspoon of dough into a ball and place on cookie sheet.
5. Place dough balls one inch apart on cookie sheet and flatten with
tines of fork making a cross pattern.
6. Bake until puffed and a golden pale, about 10 minutes.
7. Cool cookies on baking sheet about 2 minutes and then transfer with
spatula to rack to cool.
8. May be kept in air tight container at room temperature for 5 days.
9. Makes about 2 dozen cookies

And if you have room for dessert, just have one of these cookies. You won't feel excluded when everyone else is eating ice cream. :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fernpixel: The Come-Back Kid?

Hey guys... I'm really sorry for disappearing on you. I've had to disappear for personal reasons. Hopefully this time around I'll come back bigger and better than ever. Thank you everyone for your patience during these difficult times. Now lets explore the blogsphere together!

Friday, August 20, 2010

The CCFA has an online "library"

Hi All!

I have something exciting to share! The CCFA contacted me with some amazing news! They now have an online library of their brochures which are free PDFs to download! I've attended a couple of public seminars in the past to see some speakers talk about different issues regarding people with Ulcerative Colitis. At the end of each session, they always have a lot of helpful reading material to take home. Since everyone isn't able to attend the meetings in person, its nice of the organization to make this information available to everyone online. And if you prefer the hard copies, they're willing to ship them to you if you request them. I think this is wonderful! And guess what! Its free!

The brochures range in topics from fact sheets on Ulcerative Colitis, Crohns Disease & IBD to specific aspects of living with such conditions such as diet, emotional factors, surgery, pregnancy, guides for teens & kids... you name it! Its probably there. I have a lot of reading to do! I'm definitely going to download them!

Many thanks to Ariella Levine and the CCFA for continuing to raise awareness and build this community with grace and understanding.

Please read the press release below for more details about the library and where to download the brochures:



Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America Expands Library of Patient Materials. Updated brochures offer the latest on Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis

New York, New York—August 20, 2010—New information on the diagnosis of, treatment for, and research on Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis is rapidly growing. These chronic and often debilitating digestive diseases affect 1.4 million Americans. To help connect the Crohn’s and colitis community with this new information, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America has introduced a new brochure, Understanding IBD Medications and Side Effects; and has updated, Living with Crohn’s Disease; Living with Ulcerative Colitis; A Guide for Teachers and Other School Personnel; and A Guide for Parents.

“We are always looking for ways to introduce pertinent information to the public,” says Kimberly Frederick, Vice President of Patient & Professional Services at the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. “With the help of our newest brochures, we hope to provide patients, caregivers, and family members with the latest on Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis so they can most effectively manage life and take charge of their disease.”

Understanding IBD Medications and Side Effects helps patients learn as much as possible about life with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and goes into depth on medications that control these diseases. Since Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are lifelong illnesses, treatment with medication is the first therapeutic option.

Living with Crohn’s Disease; Living with Ulcerative Colitis; A Guide for Teachers and Other School Personnel; and A Guide for Parents; were all recently updated to capture the latest information in disease management and treatment. Both Living with Crohn’s Disease and Living with Ulcerative Colitis offer information on the diseases and allow readers to really grasp the causes, symptoms, and side effects of living with Crohn’s and colitis. The brochures discuss establishing a patient-doctor relationship; commonly used medications; disease management; and more. A Guide for Teachers and Other School Personnel provides these role models with a basic understanding of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and describes some of the challenges that pediatric patients may experience on a daily basis. It provides teachers and other school personnel with strategies that they can use to help guide children with Crohn’s or colitis so that they can achieve their full academic potential. Key points about Crohn’s and colitis and what to expect is explored in A Guide for Parents. This brochure includes valuable information on lifestyle modifications Crohn’s and colitis patients and their parents may need to make, and how to maintain a progressive relationship with their child’s health care providers and school personnel.

In addition, translated Spanish versions of the Foundation’s flagship brochures, Living with Crohn’s Disease and Living with Ulcerative Colitis, are coming soon. To access the brochures online, visit

About Crohn's Disease & Ulcerative Colitis
Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are medically incurable illnesses that attack the digestive system. Crohn's disease may attack anywhere from the mouth to the anus, while ulcerative colitis inflames only the large intestine (colon). Symptoms may include abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, fever and weight loss. Many patients require hospitalization and surgery. These illnesses can cause severe complications, including colon cancer in patients with long-term disease. Some 1.4 million American adults and children suffer from Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, with as many as 150,000 under the age of 18. Most people develop the diseases between the ages of 15 and 35.

About the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation
The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America's mission is to cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases. The Foundation ranks third among leading health non-profits in the percentage of expense devoted to research toward a cure, with more than 79 cents of every dollar the Foundation spends goes to mission-critical programs. The Foundation consistently meets the standards of organizations that monitor charities, including the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance ( and the American Institute of Philanthropy ( For more information, contact the Foundation at 800-932-2423 or visit Join CCFA on Facebook at and follow CCFA on Twitter at

Ariella Levine
Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Answers to Ask Fernpixel 7.15.10

Hey everyone!

For those of you just joining, sometimes I do something that's called "Ask Fernpixel". Its a freestyle Q&A that I started. Rather than asking any questions, I asked for questions regarding the topic of "friendship". Although I appreciate your enthusiasm, not a lot of them were about friendship. I still answered the non-related questions though. I don't mind so much, but I figured that over the past few weeks I was getting emails on to the topic, I decided to broaden the topic via this Q&A session. We'll try again next time :)

I hope you enjoyed this. These videos are fun to make.

and just in case you are wondering, the coconut cupcake recipe was adapted from Elana's Pantry. She has an amazing recipe for Coconut Cupcakes. It is gluten-free, but not specific carbohydrate diet legal. I just changed the sweetener and didn't add the icing. The cupcake batter was already sweet, so I didn't feel the need to add any icing.

If you liked the Q&A session but missed out, you can also ask me questions on Formspring.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I'm back from England!

Hey Everyone! I've been back for a little while. Some of you may have known this if you follow my Twitter. Just in case you're just joining, I vacationed in England sometime in June. I've been super busy and exhausted. Most of my projects are out of the way and I just got back from a different location: Lazytown. haha! But fear not, I'm definitely back and I miss blogging dearly.

I'm having another cool Ask Fernpixel event! I was inspired by the recent flow of messages that I've received on the topic of friendship. So I'm here to answer your questions on what you think about how Ulcerative Colitis affects the friendships in your life. Please leave your questions on this blog entry or in the comment box of this YouTube video. I will be posting a video response to this topic on July 15th!

I'm planning on making an in-depth blog post about what I ate in England. So please stay tuned for that :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Unstoppable Force and Traveling Abroad with Ulcerative Colitis

(At the Tower of London circa 2007)

I mentioned in a recent video that I will be traveling overseas to England very soon. Yes, this is true! I have been very fortunate to have traveled a lot. And guess what! I've done virtually all of my exploring with Ulcerative Colitis!

There are very few trips I have taken before I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. The one I remember best was the time I vacationed in Italy. This was a few years before the demise of my health. Back then I was not showing any symptoms, so I relaxed and ate whatever I wanted. I still remember the taste of chocolate gelatos and ham paninis! I was optimistic that this was the beginning of something great! Wanderlust creeped into the soles of my feet. I knew that this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to see the world. I would save money, and when I had enough I would spend it on adventures!

Then everything changed.

Two years after I went to Italy, I was starting to show signs that something was wrong. I kept quiet because I thought the symptoms would go away on its own. It escalated into my first major flare-up. After an official diagnosis, the future was bleak. How can I plan the future when I couldn't even plan my day? If a day is interrupted by urgent diarrhea 6-10 times daily... how can I fathom the idea of traveling abroad? In my case, I think it was a miracle, stubbornness, or maybe a little bit of both. My first trip abroad with Ulcerative Colitis was to Tokyo, Japan. And guess what, I was flying to a country where I didn't know the language or anyone there... all by myself! Crazy!

I somehow won a free trip to Japan. Back then, it was one of my biggest dreams to travel to Japan. I've taken a class on far Eastern civilization and also a short course in Japanese Language I. I know it wasn't enough to prepare me for a trip, but it was enough for me to know that my interest in Japan goes deeper than I originally thought. I'm fascinated by the culture and I love the rhythmic sound of the Japanese language. My dream was coming true and I didn't want to pass this opportunity! I know I would have regretted it! So you know what I did? I simply WILLED myself to get better. Its crazy, but that is the only explanation I have. Ok... maybe it was also the strong prescription medicine I had at the time. But I did it! When I think back to that time, I'm even shocked that I was able to plan everything by myself. I am invincible!

I believe that there is a lot of power in being stubborn. People will tell you to turn the other direction, but stubbornness will allow you to bust through walls. Then you can tell those nay-sayers, "HA! Well I showed you! Losers!"

A wise man once said, "With great power comes great responsibility". Ok that line was from Spiderman, but they are still wise words nonetheless. What I'm trying to say is that stubbornness has power, but it also allows for stupidity. Given the circumstances of my trip to Japan, there was so much that could have gone wrong and I wouldn't have been able to ask for help. I was lucky that everything went smoothly.

Let's fast forward to 2010. I am leaving for England very soon. My approach to traveling is different from my previous trips. Now that I have more experience, I don't allow myself to depend on stubbornness. I depend on meticulous planning and "feelings". I'll explain through a few examples and tips I learned:

1. If you are sick or have a "bad feeling" that you will get sick, than don't travel. There are no exceptions to this rule. I know I won't have a good time if I'm sick. Its not worth all the stress and the possibility of risking my life.

2. Don't get sick! A few weeks to even a month before my trip, I take extra care of myself. During this time I go on the introduction diet of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. I know that these foods are safe and the "results" are predictable. And when I mention "results" I'm referring to bowel movements. I know I'll be doing a lot of walking during my trips, so I have an exercise routine to build up my stamina. I try my best to sleep early because immunity is effected if you force yourself to stay awake past your bedtime. I know these things should be done every day, but we live busy lives and sometimes we neglect ourselves.

3. The first you should pack is your medication so you won't forget it. I always pack extra pills just in case. You never know what will happen. Actually, I might get stuck in England for a few days if the Icelandic Volcano continues to act up! Its one less thing to worry about if you know there is extra medicine on hand. Being on vacation means that your normal schedule gets disrupted, so its very important to also take them on time.

4. Bring your own food! At least in the beginning of your trip, you can control your food and have predictable "results". You never know what the food is going to be like in another country. If you can eat familiar foods at least in the beginning of the trip, than you'll less likely run into problems. The day before the trip I am going to be boiling eggs, steaming carrots, and grilling turkey burgers. I am also bringing packets of dried fruit. Kat, a fellow blogger, recently took a trip to China and had excellent tips on how she prepared for her trip. A lot of the things she did were similar to how I prepare. However, I picked up the tip about bringing the wax covered cheese. I really like that idea!

5. When you are at your destination, stock up on food that you know you can eat and carry it around. I have been to England before and I made frequent stops at markets, particularly a place called Tesco. I would often buy salads and fruit to snack on.

6. Just because you are traveling to another country, it doesn't mean that your disease will behave. An illness is a part of you and doesn't care if you change your location. It will act up if its triggered. As much as I would like to eat exotic things and foods that a place is famous for, I have to follow my diet. Traveling is a wonderful thing to do, so experience everything as a whole. Your vacation doesn't have to be centered around food. Don't cheat on your diet! You'll want to have happy memories when you visit a place, not "OMG! I had the worst flare up when I vacationed in _______". Go sight-seeing, take photos, and buy souvenirs instead!

7. If it can be helped, don't vacation too long. Being away from home makes it hard to control your food. I like to vacation between 4-8 days but no longer than that. I don't know about you, but even if I didn't have an illness, a two week vacation just seems too long to me. I would rather have shorter, frequent trips. That way, the year doesn't seem so exhausting while you're waiting for your "one big vacation". Shorter trips means you have more events to look forward to!

8. I believe that it was food that ruined my life, but it was food that also saved me. That said, there is one last tip that I have. When you get back home, go on the introduction version of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet again. I feel that this can "undo" any damage that the unfamiliar foods might have done.

With these steps, I traveled around the world and I didn't let my disease stop me. So if you're thinking about taking a vacation, I think you should! But do so only when your health is stable and after careful planning.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Paying it Forward

I have a friend who I've gotten to know pretty well over the past year. I've discovered that she's been struggling with her weight for years. She's a very sweet girl with big expressive eyes. She's quiet, but those eyes "talk". Its hard to hide your emotions with eyes like that. I can tell that she's unhappy with her weight.

Last year she moved away from home and everything she knew and had to make all new friends. I'm sure it must have been difficult for her to adjust. Besides her, everyone within our circle of friends are considerably thin. I only started to notice this when we went out to eat on New Year's Day. Everyone got sandwiches. I ate a salad. And she ordered a chocolate pancake with chocolate chips with whipped cream and butter and syrup! Boy was I jealous! I would trade places with her in a heartbeat if I could eat that! But anyway... after the meal, she started to fill with regret and then later felt sick. A couple of times after that outing, it was the same thing, she would eat sweets for dinner. I know she doesn't do this all the time, but it was worrying. I couldn't be quiet anymore. I had a feeling that she wanted to eat better but just didn't know how. So I offered to help.

I'll tell you a secret. I was never a skinny girl. Before I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, I self proclaimed myself the "Queen of the Buffet". I love to eat! Going to the all you can eat buffet is an event! I would wear my roomy "fat pants" and take in three plates of food. Everything was my favorite, especially junk food. I have been guilty of eating pizza, hot pockets, microwave burritos, left over Chinese take-out, or even ice cream for breakfast. It wasn't all the time, but it was enough to know that it was a very bad habit of mine.

I lost all of my weight from horrible bouts of diarrhea due to Ulcerative Colitis. Which might, in a sense, be considered cheating. But because of my new dietary lifestyle with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. I haven't gained back the unwanted pounds and I've been able to keep my weight stable for three years. This tells me that I'm doing something right! If I had never gotten diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, I probably would eventually be diagnosed with a heart condition or diabetes at the pace I was going. I know I would have gone from overweight to obese because my weight wasn't going down. Only on the up, up, up!

If you see as you see me now, its hard to believe that I've ever been heavier. I went to a wedding a few months ago. It was almost a reunion for me because the last time anyone saw me was before I had gotten sick. I was a chubby kid then. My pant size used to be 9 or maybe 11. Now I fit comfortably into a size 4 and sometimes a 2. The guests at the wedding almost couldn't recognize me. I didn't want to tell them that I've been sick. Instead I told them, "I turned into a Swan".

My friend gladly accepted my offer to help. She was shocked to find out that I too struggled with weight. I didn't want her to feel alone. I would be a bad friend if I knew how to eat healthy and didn't share what I know.

Part I: Writing things down.
We started with a food diary. I asked her to write down everything she ate for two weeks so I can evaluate how she's eating and what we can change.

I've discovered a few things about her:

1. She never skips breakfast.
2. She eats healthy when she tries, but she doesn't try every day.
3. She's addicted to candy. I was mortified that sometimes she would eat candy for breakfast or dinner.
4. If only she drank water the way she drank soda...
5. She knows how to cook.
6. Although she knows how to cook, my friend and her boyfriend would frequently eat fast food because they don't know what to cook.

I've found a lot of parallels between her diet and my "old diet". I used to be just like her. I would try to eat healthy, but would gladly eat junk food instead.

Part II: The Science of H2O
For the next week, I asked her to only drink water or tea with no sweeteners. She started well... but unfortunately it was a losing battle. We're still working on this.

Part III: Finding things that are green
The most valuable information that I found from her food diary was figuring out what she likes to eat and what her favorite flavors are. Diets are already hard and I don't believe that a person should deprive themselves of things that they like. It gets discouraging to keep working without a reward.

Without a doubt, I know she likes sweets. So I needed to incorporate some of her favorite flavors into healthier choices. I went to her house and took a look in her refrigerator and cupboards to see what we can work with. She had some basic things to work with, but it was time to get some supplies.

I took her to her local Farmer's Market. She told me she's never been to a Farmer's Market before! I was happy to introduce her to one. Its a magical place! Not only are the fruits and veggies fresher, they are cheaper too!

1 bunch of spinach
1 huge Spanish onion
1 carton of grape tomatoes
1 bag of baby carrots
2 cartons of blueberries
1 head of broccoli
1 bunch of grapes

total = $10.37

If we bought the blueberries at a regular grocery store, the two cartons of blueberries would already cost us $6.

Also, I don't even think my friend and her boyfriend could get 2 extra value meals from McD's for $10.37. Junk food may seem cheap, but it actually costs more money than its worth. What I'm trying to do is to show her how easy and exciting it is to get healthy food. She loved being at the Farmer's Market. She was taking in all the smells and colors and picking things up. I don't know about you, but there's something pleasing about being hands on with your food.

Part IV:
Let's Cook!
We headed to her place and I showed her how to make a few simple dishes.

This was our menu:
Spinach and Cheese Puff
Broccoli Coleslaw
Pineapple Cheesecake

She absolutely loved the Spinach and Cheese Puff!

I'm not putting her on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Unlike me, she can still eat her brown rice and her wheat breads because her intestines aren't messed up like how mine are. I'm not forcing her into my mold. This isn't what its about. I'm trying to have her make healthier choices with a little help from me.

Its a rough beginning, but I think she'll do fine. I got her excited about taking responsibility over her own health. When you have that kind of passion, its hard to take it away.

She's already looking forward to finding recipes on her own and making substitutions. I have high hopes for her.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

World IBD Day and CONTEST! --CLOSED--

Hey Everyone with IBD! Guess what! We have our own Day now! How cool is that? This means that our community is getting recognized! Maybe we'll be closer to finding a cure! If you are not familiar with IBD it stands for "Irritable Bowel Disease" and it is as uncomfortable as it sounds! Everyone with an illness struggles, but not all illnesses make you struggle with shame! Who wants to be the one to admit that they farted? Or wet their pants with diarrhea? Not I, and I'm sure you wouldn't. This is the silent struggle that people with IBD are suffering from. I'm sure everyone in their lifetime has experienced diarrhea, but try to imagine having diarrhea FOREVER! It sounds absurd, but its true. Unfortunately, IBD is virtually unknown because everyone keeps it a secret. A shameful secret. Recently there have been a lot of exciting medical advances in the world of IBD and with your help, there may be a cure within this generation!

May 19, 2010 is the first World IBD day! This is a huge step forward for the IBD community! We are slowly getting recognized and at a global level too. In celebration of this day, I decided to spread awareness by hosting a contest to raise money for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA).

Super cool prize to the person who donates the most money to the organization that I am supporting Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America.

Level 1 prize: If I receive $20 in donations or more, you'll get a super neato heating pad that is handmade by me.

Level 2 prize: If I receive $40 in donations or more, you'll get a Pocco Revoltech action figure! (This prize is not suitable for children under 10 years of age. There are lots of small pieces) OR a heating pad. Its your choice.

One prize will be given to one winner!

1. Must be 18 years or older of have permission by a parent or guardian.
2. Contest open to U.S.A. only. No exceptions!
3. Donate online
4. When you donate, make sure that you put your name or a name that I can identify you with on the donation form. Nicknames are ok! (do not donate anonymously, or else you will be disqualified from the contest)
5. Email me with the name you used for the contest and the amount that you donated. Please do this right after donating, this is to verify who you are, and also I'll be able to contact you if you win!

for more information on World IBD Day, check out the official site:

Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America:

Friday, April 30, 2010

Coconut Flour!

I recently ordered from Tropical Traditions and it arrived yesterday! I'm so excited! I heard that coconut flour results in a really fluffy consistency, very much like white flour. I was never a fan of almond flour, so I'm extremely happy that this may be a substitute that may actually agree with me.

Check it out! Tropic Traditions has some really great deals and reasonable shipping rates, plus they are fast!

By the way, this post wouldn't be possible without Kat. She was the one who introduced me to coconut products. She has a pretty nifty food blog. So please be sure to check her out too.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Its sad being sad

Sunday, March 28, 2010

SCD Butternut Squash Fries

This is one of my favorite recipes! Very delicious, and a healthier choice than traditional fries! Its savory and slightly sweet. I love using this as a side dish for turkey burgers.

This video is actually a re-make. I wasn't happy with the original video because at the time I was just starting out with YouTube and didn't feel like I planned my cooking videos well enough. I've been meaning to do this for a long time.

What got me to do this was that a few people asked to feature my cooking video on their websites but I had my pet rodents in a blooper section! I adore my pets, but rodents + food isn't exactly a recipe for success. Its kind of gross actually. If you've ever seen the movie "Ratatouille" you'll know what I mean. I look back and laugh at my amateur attempts at video blogging. I'm still an amateur, but a little more conscious when it comes to showing food. ;)

So here's the new version with complete instructions and rodent-free! hahhahaha

For kicks, this is the original video. I will be taking it down sometime in the future.

The complete recipe came from a book called Eat Well Feel Well
by Kendall Conrad

Friday, March 19, 2010

Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America Event!

They guys! There's a really cool event happening at the end of the month that I don't think you should miss. Its completely free and you can watch it from home :)

Check it out!

Breakthroughs in IBD Research: Helping You Today

Date: Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Time: 1:00 PM Eastern (10:00 AM Pacific)

Breakthroughs in IBD Research: Helping You Today

Join this FREE live teleconference/
webcast to hear nationally recognized expert Stephan R. Targan, MD, discuss research advances in IBD and participate in an interactive question-and-answer session.

I am not affiliated with the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America. I was not paid to make this video. This video reflects my own opinions.

To register for the event please use this URL:

Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America official website

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Life happens sometimes

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hello its tea time!

I finally got my computer back from the repair shop. My iMac computer was part of a generation that was known to have problems with its power supply. With my luck, I ended up with one of the buggy machines. It was only a matter of time before the fuse blew and I had to get some innards replaced. The good news is that I didn't have to pay for the parts or labor. Hurray!

A week without a computer was strange and made me think about what a crutch I have for technology. There were times when I would reach for my desk looking for tomorrow's weather, a recipe, or new messages only to realize that there was a big space where my iMac used to be. My computer was my phantom limb!

So now that I have my machine back, I'll share something that I've been meaning to try! Before I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, you could probably find me hanging out at tea houses, Dunk!n Donuts, St*rbucks... Examples of my orders would be a mocha frap, ice coffee with a shot of coconut or cinnamon, chai latte, Thai iced tea... pretty much anything that sounded exotic.

I miss pleasure in the form of hot cups of caffeine. But I think I may have found a substitute. But before I get to that, of course I need to review with you some helpful tips for java and tea that complies with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.

If you are just starting or are a beginner of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, only drink herbal teas such as Chamomile or Peppermint. You can drink as much of this as you like because it is beneficial to your body in any amount. Chamomile and Peppermint have natural healing properties that soothe and ease digestive problems. They have been used for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years (wow!). Herbal teas are the most gentile of all the teas which makes them perfect for you SCD'ers out there. Just be careful because some herbal teas are also known to be a laxative. If this concerns you, stick to peppermint or spearmint only and weaken the tea by adding more water. And of course read the labels to make sure there is no sugar added if you are buying tea bags)

Black and Green teas are allowed on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, but use caution. I don't remember where I read this, but please don't have more than 1-2 cups total per day and prepare your tea very weak. If possible I like to brew decaffeinated tea because caffeine tends to give me headaches. And please do not add any milk, cream, or sugar. Not only are they illegal for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, but more importantly, real tea connoisseurs appreciate tea their tea plain. In fact, in Japan, if you add sugar to your green tea, it is considered rude.

Coffee is allowed on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet only if it is prepared very weak and black. I have been on the SCDiet for a little over four years now and I still haven't been able to enjoy a cup of coffee. It ALWAYS gives me problems. And knowing that I can only have coffee black... yuck! I've tried it with honey and it just has a strange floral note to it. I'm better off not drinking coffee. If you can handle coffee, than more power to ya!

If you've considered all of the above and think you can advance to another level of the SCD diet, I've found a chai tea recipe! I am modifying it for the SCD diet, but the original recipe can be found here.

Chai Tea

Boil 5 minutes, then steep 10 minutes:

1 Tbsp fennel or anise seed
6 green cardamom pods
12 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1/4" ginger root, sliced thin
1/4 tsp black pepper corns
2 bay leaves
7 Cups water

Add, 2 black tea bags, bring to a boil, and simmer 5 minutes, then add 6 Tbsp honey

note: Chai tea usually has milk added, but this recipe seems delicious without it. I was never a fan of adding milk to my tea anyway. Once upon a time before ulcerative colitis, I had a bad experience of the milk curdling in my cup! Ew!

And here is another modified recipe that uses less ingredients. Original recipe and credits are here.

Masala Chai

1-1/2 cups water
1 inch stick of cinnamon
8 cardomom pods
8 whole cloves
6 tsp. honey (or to taste)
3 teaspoons any un-perfumed loose black tea

Put 1-1/2 cups water in saucepan. Add the cinnamon, cardomom, and cloves and bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the honey and bring to a simmer again. Throw in the tea leaves, cover, and turn off the heat. After 2 minutes, strain the tea into two cups and serve immediately.

I haven't tried any of these out yet, but I am planning to sometime soon!


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

No Wednesday

Hi guys, I'm sorry to say that my computer died last week and I won't be able to do anything until I get it back from the repair shop. It isn't very serious, but the place said that they're pretty backed up and won't get to my machine until the end of the week :(

I won't be able to post blogs, videos, twitters, or emails for a while... how sad!

Not to worry though. I'll definitely be back.


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