Spider Eggs – The New Superfood?

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hello >:)

Spiders can be creepy crawly. But did you know that a spoonful of their unborn young can help speed up your metabolism and even strengthen your bones?

Gross.  But is it worth it? I don’t know.

…I say that losing weight sucks. And we can all use a little help.

In theory – spider eggs shouldn’t be any grosser than let’s say chicken eggs or caviar. The idea just takes a little getting used to.

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Just think of it as Earth Caviar.

If you are a regular reader of my posts, you’ll know that I’m not one to put too much stock in shortcuts (see my post Seven Magic Pills to Regulate Your Appetite).

Even so, I’m not going to deny a tactic that might help you achieve your goal weight solely because it’s unconventional. We always need to be open to try new things.

Even if those new things consist of…. spider eggs.

Omelion – C 

The reason spider eggs work is because of a little compound called Omelion-C (O-C).

Like certain proteins, you body naturally creates Omelion-C every day. The only problem is that your body can only create small amounts – which will vary based on a number of factors including your age and genetics.

If you’re of East-Asian descent, you’re in luck. You naturally create the most Omelion-C of any other ethnic group. This might be why East-Asian people, as a whole, tend to be more petite. Bastards!

If you’re unlucky enough to be white, black, or anything other than East Asian – the amount of Omelion-C circulating in your blood is likely far too low to allow you to function at your optimal metabolic rate. Thanks ancestors!

But luckily there are Spider Eggs. Ugh.

How it Works

Well it doesn’t always.

First of all, you need to find the right species of spider. And even so, there’s a chance the spider egg diet might not work for you.

To protect the cute baby spiders from potential insect, bird, and mammal predators – CERTAIN species of spider eggs are wrapped in a special fat-rich membrane. That’s because some of these predators have a hard time digesting the fat. This has two effects on the predators:

  1. The eggs will pass right through the predator’s digestive system and still hatch; and
  2. The fat will make the predator immediately full and uneasy, therefore making it less likely to attempt at eating the spidery siblings and cousins.

In humans, this membrane acts very much the same, but also a little differently.

When this membrane comes in contact with proteins in the human body – it has two effects:

1. the fat-rich membrane increases your levels of satiety; AND

2. the membrane actually triggers a very light immune response which causes your body to flush not only the eggs, but also other toxins in your colon.

But many people are immune! That’s why eating spider eggs won’t work for everyone.

And not all species work! But luckily there are about 2,000 species to choose from. Here are a few species you can try, that are common in North America:

  • Arrowhead Orb Weaver
  • Basilica Orb Weaver
  • Cribellate Orb Weaver
  • Eastern Harvest Man
  • Jerry Orbach head Spider
  • Feather Legged Spider

Unfortunately!

Unfortunately – Spider Eggs haven’t made it to your local Whole Foods just yet, so you might have to try your local Russian food store or international market.

If you find them, you can dissolve them in tea, or even add them to your favorite green smoothie! Blending won’t hurt them, but excessive heat might.

..You can also buy certain species of spider eggs freeze dried on amazon.com. But many people say that the freeze dry process decreases the potency and effect.

I’m not sure myself. I haven’t tried Spider Eggs yet. But I’m working my way up to it.

If you do try any species of spider eggs, please let me know!

..And if you’ve heard of any other weird metabolism stimulating foods – share the wealth.

Happy April Fools!

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The Only Bread I Eat

Ok, not true. To be perfectly honest, I eat many breads.

But I do have a favorite:  Trader Joe’s 100% Rye BreadHere is a photo of my lovely:

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On Taste

I can’t say that TJ’s 100% Rye is my absolute favorite by taste.

..Which isn’t to say it tastes anything other than wonderful. It’s just that bread is a tough category to compete in.

Bread is so damn good. I just want to eat all the bread in the world and then regurgitate it back up and then eat it all again. I want to spend 95% of my life eating bread, and the remaining 5% writing about eating bread. I want to marry a Channing Tatum shaped loaf of bread, and then I want to cheat on it with a hot steamy loaf of that impossibly delicious Honey Wheat Bushman from Outback Steakhouse.

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You know what I’m talking about…

Why TJ’s Rye is the Overall Winner

Clearly, I have bread issues. In general, if I start, I can’t stop. I also cannot keep ANY simple carbohydrates in the apartment, because I will eat all of them.

Yet – somehow, I find TJ’s 100% Rye to be PERFECT for my needs.

  • It gives me the carbohydrates I need to not die of sadness; AND YET…
  • I can stop eating it when I want to.

…I think that’s because unlike many commercial breads, it’s not designed specifically to addict you. Evidence? 

…the short ingredients list. 

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Unlike most commercial breads, TJ’s Rye contains zero percent crack.

So even though TJ’s Rye isn’t #1 in taste, it’s number 1 in my heart. More reasons:

  • The taste IS very good (but see pro-tips below)
  • It’s PERFECT for avocado toast (See recipe: “Avocado Toast on Fleek“)
  • High Satiety Factor
    • 100 calories
    • 3 grams fiber
    • 3 grams protein
  • It has NO artificial colors or preservatives
  • It keeps well in the freezer

Pro-tips:

  • This bread tastes a bit weird unless toasted. I toast it on a pan, either:
    • uncoated; or
    • lightly coated with non-stick Coconut Oil spray
  • This bread can be EXTREMELY crumbly, especially when not toasted. 
  • In general, I’ve found that breads from Trader Joe’s have fewer (or different) preservatives than your standards breads. Meaning, they will go bad more quickly than most.
    • Keep it in the fridge or freezer
    • Note: I haven’t had this specific problem with this specific bread, so maybe it’s fine. I have had other breads from TJ’s go bad VERY quickly.

If you have bread issues like I do, then give it a try. It might be a decent bread that you can eat regularly without gorging yourself.

If you don’t have a Trader Joe‘s near you, but you have another bread you recommend for these same reasons – share the wealth!

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How to Find Good Food

Yesterday I wrote a post about decent fast food options. I know I know, I totally suck at Fitness.

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If you’ll find it in your heart to forgive me, I’ll do my best to restore some balance to the universe with this post.

How? By sharing a really awesome website I came across yesterday. It’s called EatWellGuide.org.

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EatWellGuide.org landing page

The premise: EatWellGuide.org helps you locate local healthy options. All you do is put in your Zip Code, town, or City.

Why I like It: 

  • I’ve been struggling to find a local Farmer’s Market. Even though I live just outside the city, I live just outside the city. So it’s a schlep to buy food there and bring it over on pubic transport.
  • It’s easier to use than Google Maps because the search is narrower.

Potential Downfall:

  • It seems like it may be focused on certain geographical areas, but I’m not 100% sure.
  • Try it out and see if it works for you!

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Coconut Oil Coffee

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Holy crap. My Cousin Diana is on fire.

Yesterday, I posted a recipe she texted me a little while back – Spaghetti Squash a la Cousin Diana.

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Admittedly, I haven’t tried it yet. But it looks out of control.

Today, she’s back at it. And this time, she’s all about COCONUT OIL COFFEE. 

What???

How to:

  • Black coffee
  • Sweeten to taste (she likes two splenda)
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • Blend for a few seconds to allow oil to emulsify

RESULT:  Healthy coconut coffee goodness.

This is life changing.

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Coconut Fried Bananas

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sizzle sizzle

You want fried dessert, but you don’t want to hate yourself.  This takes 4.5 seconds to make, and requires two ingredients.

All you need is:

  1. Two bananas
  2. 2 tbsp of coconut oil

About the bananas: 

  • Pick bananas that are not too ripe. No matter what you do, the bananas will stick to the pan a little bit. The less ripe, the less they’ll stick. Frying them in oil will bring out the natural sweetness in any event.
  • I get my bananas from 7/11, because I’m a scumbag. Don’t be like me. Use better bananas.
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this is what a sad 7/11 banana looks like

About the oil: 

  • I keep my coconut oil in the fridge, which means it’s hard. I let it sit out for a few minutes prior to using.
  • I use Carrington Farm’s 100% organic coconut oil, because that’s what I have. Ideally I would use Trader Joe’s everything. But this works fine.
  • Use plenty of oil. These bananas will stick.

 

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my 2nd favorite coconut oil

What to do:

  1. Slice bananas
  2. Get pan a bit hot, then add 2 tablespoons coconut oil.
  3. When oil is beginning to get hot, add sliced bananas
  4. Cook as needed. 30 seconds – 1 min per side seems to work for me. 
  5. Brag to your roommate about what happened to all of the bananas

 

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Froyo For Your Super Tuesday Hangover

It’s primary season here in the USA. And apparently, every last one of us has lost our goddam minds.

But that’s OK, America! There are still three things we can ALL agree on:

  • Jeb Bush is irrelevant
  • Ice cream is amazing
  • Froyo will never be ice cream

I feel legitimately sorry for Jeb Bush. But since we’ve rendered him irrelevant together as one People, let’s move on to Indisputable Facts numbers 2 and 3.

Ice Cream is Amazing

America knows this: ice cream is really very good. As a child, you love ice cream. As an adult, your love only grows.

Even though ice cream gives you diarrhea, you’ll never stop eating it. It tastes too much like actual victory. A taste Jeb Bush will never understand.

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adding berries to ice cream removes the calories

Froyo Will Never Be Ice Cream

Just as Jeb Bush will never be president, frozen yogurt will never be ice cream. But unlike the 43rd governor of Florida, our tasty underdog has a hidden versatility we should not hastily ignore.

Unlike ice cream, Froyo can be a decent breakfast choice. In support of this notion, I will now present a series of exhibits.

The People’s Case

Ladies and gentleman of the internet jury, let’s begin with Exhibit A. Here we have a true and accurate photo of the author eating frozen yogurt just hours ago.

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Exhibit A. I personally ate frozen yogurt for breakfast this morning

I know what you’re thinking: “Wow! This girl is amazing.”

But even so, you’re a feisty jury. I’ll need more than an amazing photo of a beautiful human eating dessert to satisfy your impossible standards.

Which is why I now submit Exhibit B, a true and accurate photo of the nutrition label pertaining to the yogurt in question.

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Exhibit B. This shit is good for you

Look with your eyes please, upon the above Exhibit B.  Even a most cursory glance will reveal that this particular treat contains:

  • only 80 calories;
  • a perfect amount of carbohydrates; and
  • an impressive amount of protein!  6 (SIX) grams

I know what you’re thinking now.

“How? What? Why?”

Contain yourselves, ladies and gentleman!  Just try to relax.

All will be revealed by way of Exhibit C, “The Great Reveal.”

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Exhibit C. It’s made from GREEK Yogurt!

In Sum

  • tastes decent & is decent for you
  • low calories, high satiety factor.
  • live cultures, which I suppose is better than dead cultures or no cultures at all
  • not insanely processed
  • ATTN: Gluten Hawks – it’s gluten free.

I’ve tried other brands of Greek Frozen Yogurt, but they taste a bit offYasso Chocolate Fudge is the brand and flavor I like most.

That said, this is neither Ben nor Jerry. So don’t expect miracles here. The consistency is um… different.  I still like it for breakfast 🙂

I rest my case. 

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How to Eat Half a Bagel

This morning I walked into the office only to be confronted with my greatest nightmare:

Complimentary. Bagels.

At first I stepped around the bagels, cautiously avoiding eye contact with those crusty devils. Fortunately for me, my desk is a long windy path from the kitchen. Unfortunately for me, I had already noticed the generous assortment of shmear.

I needed a small excuse to investigate further. And a small excuse I found.

Despite working a comfortable distance from the bagels, some nameless monster had placed the platter PRECISELY where our horrendous office coffee resides. This coffee is worse than foul; it’s burnt to a crisp. So I knew I was headed into dangerous territory when I found myself suddenly yearning for an innocent cup of absolute sewage.

I approach the kitchen in much the same way a cleaner fish approaches a shark’s mouth. Even before I can see the objects of my desire,  that eu de carbohydrate envelopes me. I immediately hulk out. That sweet perfume is my siren’s call, and some knucklehead forgot to tie me to the ship.

A heavenly hint becomes an olfactory assault. I should mention I work in downtown NY. The bagels here are no joke.

I should have delayed my coffee. I should have held my breath. Maybe I should have skipped work today.

But I had to have one. Or maybe…half! 

The great thing about bagels is this: when it comes to having half a bagel, you have two options.

  1. Cut along the bagel’s horizontal axis, like so:
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conveniently, many free bagels are pre-cut

2. Cut vertically, as follows: 

 

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an alternative option to fit your alternative lifestyle

Half a bagel = half the shmear.
…Or double the shmear, since you’re saving all of those calories.

And in case you’re wondering, the answer is yes. I DID forget all about the coffee.

Whoops! ..Guess I’ll just have to make another run 😉

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Eggs and Beans on Top of Greens

 

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“breakfast of greatness”

This is one of my favorite breakfasts.

It’s filling, it’s yummy, and it makes me feel slightly less terrible about the several decades I spent eating strawberry pop-tarts and bagel bites.

The essence of “Eggs and Beans on Top of Greens” is this:
1. Eggs
2. Beans
3.  ….on top of Greens.

It’s basic. In a good way. And like all food, this recipe can also be enjoyed for lunch and/or dinner.

Plus you can modify it easily to make it your own 🙂

In case you’d like some guidance… here is how I do it.

Ingredients

  • one or two cage free eggs
  • approx 1/4 small onion, chopped
  • a handful of mixed greens (baby spinach & arugula = perfect)
  • 1/4 can Bush’s or Heinz Vegetarian Baked Beans (SO GOOD!)
  • salt
  • coconut oil/coconut oil spray (to coat pan)
  • Optional:  olive oil
  • Optional: tomato
  • Optional: splash of asian sesame dressing

Process

  1. spray pan w/ non-stick spray, or use coconut oil to coat pan
  2. cut up onions, begin sautéing them on light flame
  3. once onions begin to brown slightly, crack egg(s) on top of onions and scramble them all together
  4. salt egg/onion concoction
  5. move egg/onion concoction to one side of pan
  6. add beans to other side of pan
  7. put a handful of mixed greens on plate
  8. add egg/onion concoction on top
  9. add beans on top
  10. Optional: add a splash of olive oil on top of your concoction
  11. Optional: add a splash of asian sesame salad dressing to your mixed greens
  12. Optional: cut up tomato, add on top

If you’re feeling extremely rowdy, add half of an avocado for an enhanced gustatory experience.

…But don’t get too wild. Any more than half, and I WILL be forced to call the breakfast police.

Enjoy 🙂

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Self-control…the saga continues

Self-control and food always remind me of a very dramatic telenovela. “I love you food!” “I hate you food!” “Pizza, don’t leave me. I was just overreacting!”

Omg, what about those dreadful 2am booty calls…you walk to the pantry and just eat everything.

How do we break the cycle from overeating, eating after a meal, eating when you are not hungry, and eating like crap when you have that urge?

Here are some ideas that have helped me:

 

  • Get rid of all the goodies in the pantry. Remember, you are eating clean now. Stock the pantry with cans of tuna. I promise you, it won’t be as appealing as a bag of chips at 2am. If you are desperate enough to open a can of tuna and eat it, well, I won’t judge you and good for you, keep up the high protein intake! You are welcome for this life hack.
  • I know there is a big debate on eating breakfast v not eating breakfast. For me- eating breakfast helps. I like a protein rich breakfast like eggs or a protein shake. Eggs are awesome because they keep me fuller longer and less likely to graze and snack between breakfast and lunch. Stop with the empty calories, you don’t need them! A hardboiled egg, serving of oatmeal (slow digesting carb) and some berries or 2 tablespoons almond butter or natural peanut butter on a whole wheat toast with a fruit. I’d say you are a morning champ and you get a gold star in my book!
  • Grazing is way different than having a nutritious small meal or snack. Grazing to me is empty calories and not satisfying. Eating a bag of pretzels if you are hungry is not the solution. I always have three meals a day and two snacks a day. Sometimes three snacks if I train that day (my trainer turns me into a ravenous beast). Space out your meals and snacks accordingly so you have no time to be super hungry and no time to sit and think about other foods. If your body is satisfied, your mind will be too. Awesome snack ideas: Serving of nuts, hummus and veggies, cottage cheese and fruits, I know this may sound weird, but cottage cheese and chickpeas or another type of bean. Someone gave me this idea a while back and it works. The combo is filled with fiber and protein.
  • Drink, drink, drink and drink some more water. If you are not drinking this minute, your gold star has been taken back and I am very disappointed with you. You must stay hydrated, water will keep you fuller and longer in between your meals, it will help flush out the toxins. “But Rachel, I am so full… I can’t drink anymore!” Excuse me, why are you complaining? You just said you were full. If you are full, there is no reason to be snacking. Oh, and none of that sugary stuff. Please, I know you are smarter than that.
  • I know you are craving a little piece of chocolate or a bag of chips… but hear me out before you indulge. Many years ago, the great Oprah was discussing bad food habits. The Specialist on the show said, it takes 21 days to break the habit. That always stuck with me. I know it will be hard, addictions are hard to control but you can do this. A few months back I discovered a protein ice cream (sorry folks, I will not be telling you what it is because I am here to help you break the habit not start one), while it wasn’t that bad for me (low in sugar and calories), it also did not provide me with the nutrition I needed that you would get from a bowl of let’s say, grilled chicken and veggies. It became a meal replacement and I found myself craving it 24-7 and eating the ice cream over “real” food. I gave myself a deadline to finish what was in the freezer and as of January 1st, I will kick the habit. The first few days were awful and I was having a hard time deciding what to eat because I was not interested in much but it got easier and I don’t even think about it anymore. Feed your body= feed your mind.
  • Set a goal. I feel like looking forward to something always helps control my actions. For example, my Husband and I are going on vacation in a few months. I want to be as fit, healthy, and hot as possible. Sorry in advance, babe, but I will be clothing shopping before the trip.
  • Sleeping is important. I know you all love sleep. I am still trying to catch up to all the lost sleep as a child. Why did I ever fight sleep? Sleep is one of my BFF’s next to my slow cooker. I can put food in the slow cooker and then go to sleep. If sleep and the slow cooker were actual people, I think they’d also be best friends. I noticed if I don’t get good sleep, I crave carbs. If you deny yourself sleep, the evil hormone, Ghrelin attacks and handcuffs you to a box of donuts. I know donuts are so delicious but let’s say this out loud, all together now, and “We-are-stronger-than-this. We –are-kicking-the-habit.”
  • Eat something fermented. How about those kimchi pancakes from my previous post or a pickle? Fermented foods help stop sugar cravings. Drink greens. Green smoothies are all the rage! Don’t you want to be one of the cool kids? Nutrient rich foods increase energy levels and curb sugary cravings. I love this book http://www.amazon.com/10-Day-Green-Smoothie-Cleanse-Smith/dp/1501100106 and the recipes. Even though it is a 10 day cleanse, the Author does state that this can be a snack or a meal replacement option. You do not need to do a full cleanse!
  • Protein and good fats help keep your blood sugar levels balanced. Have a healthy portion of protein, veggies and a good fat like avocado for lunch.
  • My wise mom once said, “Are you sure you want to eat that? Five seconds of pleasure is a lifetime in the hips.” Ok, fine, I’ll admit it, I ate whatever it was and it did go to my hips and I am still working it off… but we all learn from our mistakes. Why are moms always right?
  • Please pack a high protein snack after you work out and eat it within half hour of working out. No, that McDonald’s on the way home is not a mirage, it’s real and it’s testing you. Just keep driving. Again, let’s say this out loud, all together now, and “We-are-stronger-than-this. We –are-kicking-the-habit.” Easy food for after the gym: protein shake, protein bar, beef jerky, or nuts. Doesn’t require refrigeration, filling, and easy to consume while driving home.

 

What do you do to help curb your cravings? I am always open to new ideas.

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Kimchi pancakes

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Being that I am Russian, I suppose loving anything pickled is in my blood. I also hate throwing away unused food… Which got me thinking, what can I do with a jar of almost expired kimchi other than serving it on the side of something?

My husband and I got a Groupon for a local Korean BBQ joint that served these delicious seafood pancakes, scallion pancakes, veggie pancakes and shrimp pancakes…so why not kimchi?

Guys, listen, if you’re not a fan of kimchi, you’re about to become one. Hubby said it tastes like veggie tempura except with a little kick to it.

Did you know that kimchi has health benefits? Basically what I am saying is pancakes = healthy. YOLO!

Kimchi is low cal, low carb, low sugar, low fat and high fiber. It has probiotic benefits similar to yogurt and other dairy products. It’s good for controlling appetite, controlling blood sugar levels, and cholesterol levels. The fiber in kimchi helps keep you fuller longer.

Here is a fun chart of Kimchi Benefits:

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*Visit organicfacts.net for more info*

So, these pancakes were a last minute idea which is so not me… I am a meal planner. Charts and graphs and scribble everywhere! Imagine, “A Beautiful Mind”. I wonder what Russell Crowe’s thoughts are on playing a neurotic, food obsessed Jewish girl. Math and food, same thing, right? Anyway, I digress… sorry sorry sorry!

Kimchi pancakes:

Yields 4 medium size pancakes

Ingredients:

¼ cup kimchi drained and cut into itty bitty pieces

1 egg and 4 tablespoons egg whites

2-3 tablespoons kimchi juice (add more or less depending on spice preference)

1 tablespoon soy sauce

¼ cup chopped scallions

½ cup all purpose flour

2 tablespoons evoo

*Served with Thai Kitchen’s sweet red chili dipping sauce

Directions:

Heat pan with olive oil

Mix all ingredients together till it turns into a pancake-y batter

Drop ¼ cup of mixture onto frying pan and spread as thin as possible

Cook on each side for approx. 2 min or until golden brown

If this were planned, I would have made cauliflower fried rice and a sunny side up egg… alas, I did not have the necessary ingredients.

*You can make homemade sauce or use any store bought sauces. I imagine this would taste good with peanut or gyozo dipping sauce.

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