Monday, December 29, 2008

Kansas City

If you couldn’t already tell, my husband and I make our home in the wonderful city that is Kansas City.  Here’s some things we love: local restaurants, food in general, people, art, modern design with a vintage twist, and exploring! 

Below are just some of our explorations in the form of restaurants, places, and events:

Some Kansas City Restaurants/Coffee Shops

  • Port Fonda: Mexican Airstream trailer food truck turned into awesome restaurant
  • Swagat: This is our favorite Indian restaurant! Located in Zona Rosa in the northland. Worth the drive a little bit north!
  • Quay Coffee: Coffee shop in the River Market that has amazing coffee
  • Jasper’s: Authentic Italian that is beyond amazing!
  • Lulu’s Thai Noodles: Delicious Thai restaurant in the Crossroads
  • Little Freshie: Soda fountain and espresso bar located in the Westside. We love Little Freshie!
  • Café Gratitude: Vegan restaurant, delicious food, best desserts!
  • FUD: All vegan, amazing local organic ingredients, absolutely delicious!
  • The Westside Local: Focus on local ingredients, always superb!
  • Blue Bird Bistro: Awesome food, awesome atmosphere, local ingredients.
  • Fresher than Fresh snow cones: Awesome all natural snow cones. ‘Nuf said. 
  • Eden Alley Café: KC vegetarian/vegan restaurant located on the Plaza.
  • Mud Pie Vegan Bakery & Coffeehouse: Awesome bakery with a lovely patio and comforting décor, all vegan!
  • Chez Elle: Another great 17th & Summit restaurant.
  • Waldo Pizza: Kansas City pizza place. (They have a full vegan menu!)
  • PizzaBella: A delicious spot for downtown KC pizza.
  • The Farmhouse: Emphasis on local, fresh ingredients, and I love their veggie burger.
  • Grinder’s: Featured on several Food Network shows, Grinder’s is a great local place to get some NY style pizza (among other classic foods), and enjoy a concert outdoors
  • Good You: An organic food truck serving up delicious food!
  • Yogurtini:  One of the many frozen yogurt places.
  • Kona Grill: Kona has never let us down.
  • The Mixx: Great place to get quick salads, soups, and sandwiches.
  • Spin! Neapolitan Pizza: An excellent place to stop in for a quick lunch or dinner.
  • KC Juice: Great place to get a delicious smoothie with an emphasis on local ingredients. 

Kansas City Events

Kansas City Businesses

  • LocalBucha: Kansas City’s local kombucha made by Get Real Food Company.
  • Urbavore Urban Farm: Urban farm created by owners of BADSEED farmers market. It’s awesome!
  • BADSEED Farmers Market: Farmers market located in downtown Crossroad Arts District. Our favorite farmers market!
  • Conveniently Natural: Kansas City’s first and all-vegan meal delivery service.
  • Door to Door Organics: One of several organic produce delivery services.
  • City Market: A giant farmer’s market to explore (especially in summer) for fresh, and abundant produce

Kansas City Pictures 
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Sunday, December 28, 2008


Back to work tomorrow already ... it feels like it's been such a long weekend and yet it's gone by fast. I'm at least thankful that I have a job that I like going back to after a wonderful long weekend. It was fun going back to Nebraska for Christmas ... it makes me wish I lived closer to my sister. A few Christmas pictures ...
My parents had a lot of animals around. We brought our two dogs, Rocky and Adrian, with us and my sister and her husband have two dogs, Charlie and Norm, (they live in the same town as my parents but bring the dogs with them when they go to my parent's house), then, they have their own dog, Harley and cat, Wilbur. Adrian and Norm were inseparable while we were there, I think they fell in love (and with neither of them being fixed we had to keep a close eye on them or we would have Yellow Lab, Husky puppies that we don't want!)

Wilbur the cat and Charlie, who is the size of a cat, have to be tough around all those big dogs ... it can make for some funny moments. It was a good Christmas. We ate at Panera with Erik's mom today after church and exchanged presents and tonight we're going to McCormick & Schmick's with Erik's dad and girlfriend. I'm excited to eat good fish!

In other news, I'm currently undergoing Operation Yogurt Making, Part Two and still have my fingers crossed but it's looking like it's going to be successful. I will report back later with more info.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Moroccan Stewed Chicken

I finally got all my Christmas shopping done yesterday ... hooray! It's crazy how busy places are this close to Christmas, and it can really test your patience at times.

So, last night after I got all the shopping done I made Moroccan Stewed Chicken ...

I got it from this recipe, but changed some things:

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs 1 large zucchini, cut into cubes (I used zucchini squash)
1 can garbanzo beans (I also added some pinto beans)
1 can diced tomatoes (I didn't have any diced tomatoes so I just put a little bit of tomato sauce in it)
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish (I used kale)
1/2 Tbsp olive oil 1 c water 1/2 ts cayenne pepper 1 ts ground cumin 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 1. Place oil in a large saute pan or side pot over medium-high heat 2. Season chicken with pepper and cook in pan until browned, 2-3 minutes per side. Add zucchini and continue cooking, stirring often. 3. When zucchini pieces have browned lightly, add garbanzo beans, tomatoes, water, cayenne, cumin, and cinnamon. Turn heat to low and simmer until chicken is tender and cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes. Season to taste; garnish with chopped cilantro.

I actually cooked the chicken breasts on our George Foreman seasoned with Mrs. Dash's spices because we like it better that way. I just added the cooked chicken breasts into my pan for a few minutes and mixed it all together so the flavors would mix. I also added some chopped sweet potato, green pepper, and some kind of hot pepper that Erik had bought (I don't typically like things too spicy:s). And, we ate it with brown and wild rice. Here's Erik's plate ...

P.S. It's too cold outside!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Heathly Foods That Aren't

I didn't really know any of this until Erik told me and until I started getting interested in health and nutrition myself. Now I love to read things like this. So after doing a bunch of reading on my own and learning from Erik, I decided to compile some healthy foods that aren't: (more to come later) ...

Most granola bars ...
"Most granola bars are simply candy bars in disguise, with very little fiber, lots of processed carbs, and a ton of sugar. You're better off making your own healthier version from raw oats, chopped almonds, cocunut flakes, raisins and a dollop of raw organic honey" -- I don't often eat granola bars these days but when I do, it's usually Quaker chewy granola bars with proten or with less sugar.

Supermarket Cereal

"Most supermarket cereals are fiber lightweights and are also loaded with sugar. Check the labels and choose cereals that have fewer than 5 grams of sugar and more than 5 grams of fiber per serving." -- (Not to mention the fact that most servings sizes of cereals are actually usually aonly about half a cup). I personally love Original Fiber One cereal with some frozen berries, cinnamon, and almond milk.

Apple Juice, and other fruit juices

Most apple juice and other fruit juices is nothing more than sugar water with apple flavoring. One cup of apple juice has no fiber, 117 calories and 27 grams of sugar. And most peopel consume way more than a cup at a time. Stick to fiber-rich apples and skip the juice. -- (You can enjoy the real fruit for longer and it seems like you're getting more anyways.)

Diet Pop

"When it comes to misleading consumers about weight loss, one the worst offenders is diet soda. Sure, there are 0 grams of fat, carbohydrates and cholesterol, but there are also 0 grams of protein and dietary fiber, nutrients essential for maintaining good health. The sole item with any value listed on the nutrional label is sodium, and most diet sodas have around 30 milligrams of it. Experts believe a diet high in sodium may contribute to developing high blood pressure. And some research has inked diet soft drinks to weight gain. As on occasional treat (or to wean yourself off the regular stuff), diet soda may be okay, but the best beverage for weight loss in general is water."


"Bran muffins are comprised of two things your body doesn't want in the morning: sugar and refined flour. Both will work to spike your blood sugar, which signals your body to start storing fat and sets you up for a mid-morning crash. And with only trace amounts of fiber, there's nothing healthy about this misunderstood muffin. "

Yogurt with fruit at the bottom

"You wouldn't start your morning with a can of Coke, would you? Then you should pass on these troublesome yogurt cups, since they contain as much sugar as a soft drink. Almost all of that comes directly from the "fruit", which is mostly high-fructose corn syrup. Yogurt and fruit can be a great way to start your day, but do it by mising a cup of nonfat plain yogurt with a half cup of mixed berries."

Caesar Salds and Other Restaurant Salads

"Caesar salads suffer the consequences of two natural disasters: a flood of fatty dressing and a blizzard of Parmesan cheese and croutons. Even a Caesar side salad before a meal can cost you up to 500 calories. Skip the emporer treatment in favor of a simple grilled chicken breast tossed in a bed of mnised greens tossed with a balsamic vinaigrette. The vinaigrette is a vast inprovement over the treacherous Caesar dressing, and the absence of a Parmesan sea means that you'll save nearly and entire meal's worth of calories by making this simple swap."

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ahi Tuna Burgers

Tonight we tried Wild Grill brand's Ahi Tuna Burgers

(Erik had a wild salmon burger). Erik ate one at his

dad's house the other day and thought they were

good so we got some. It was very fast and good!

Cooks in seven minutes from being frozen and we

ate them on toasted Ezekiel bread with stir fry veggies.

Here's Erik's plate ...

And here's my not quite as exciting smaller plate

(but it tasted just as good).

After we ate, I finished addressing Christmas cards, made

my lunch for tomorrow and now I'm about to go to bed!

Tomorrow is Friday and I'm very happy about that. I have

to do some last minute Christmas shopping this weekend

and I'll be glad to have it all done. Erik gave me and early

Christmas present and I'm really excited about it. He got

me a food dehydrator. Right now we're dehydrating some

grapes that we didn't really love, so hopefully they'll make

better raisins, haha. I'm excited about making things with that!

If I have time, I'm planning on making some greek yogurt

this weekend. It's my first time, so I'm sure I'll be posting

about it ... we shall see : )

Monday, December 15, 2008


Since it's so cold out, we've been letting the dogs in the house in the evenings with us and here's them on the couch where they're not supposed to be ...
Erik is getting licked by Rocky and Adrian is growling at Rocky because she doesn't want to share the couch or Erik. We decided to get chips put in them this past weekend because Rocky can be an escape artist when she wants to by jumping the fence. So just in case it's ever needed, and 80 dollars later (40 per dog) they now have chips in them just in case ...

Cold outside, and quick dinner

I think winter has officially hit. It's eight degrees right now. It

started yesterday with a couple inches of snow and about

12 degree weather. That being said, Erik and I had to return

a Red Box movie last night so we stopped at Hyvee and

picked up a few things we needed. Upon getting home,

we were both hungry but didn't feel like cooking much so

Erik just had some leftover soup and I had this ...

Not very exciting at all ... just some green beans

with chicken (it's canned organic chicken, I'll admit ...

we had it in our cupboard and the canned part isn't

very tasty) with a little bit of Ezekiel pasta and some

pomegranate on top. Then I sliced half an apple.

I made chicken breast patties tonight with Smart

Chicken ground chicken breast with rice and stir-fry

veggies ... maybe I'll post that tomorrow night.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Salmon and Ezekial Bread

I have a huge frozen salmon fillet in the freezer that I decided
to finally break it into pieces so that I could eat it. I bring my
lunch to work everyday so I decided to use part of the salmon
for a couple days worth of lunches. I put the salmon on a skillet
with the juice of half of a lemon, added some chopped red
peppers, chick peas, kale, pepper, a few other Mrs. Dash
seasonings and wild rice that we already had made. (The
date on my camera is off, sorry!) Yum!!

I'll either put it with a salad or on an Ezekiel wrap.
(My husband and I love Ezekiel bread, wraps and pastas!!)

10 Ways Sugar Harms Your Health

10 Ways Sugar Harms Your Health
By Lynn Prowitt-Smith

How could something so sweet leave such a bitter mark on your health? Here are 10 ways sugar harms your health.

1. Sugar causes blood glucose to spike and plummet.

Unstable blood sugar often leads to mood swings, fatigue, headaches and cravings for more sugar. Cravings set the stage for a cycle of addiction in which every new hit of sugar makes you feel better temporarily but, a few hours later, results in more cravings and hunger. On the flip side, those who avoid sugar often report having little or no cravings for sugary things and feeling emotionally balanced and energized.

2. Sugar increases the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Large-scale studies have shown that the more high-glycemic foods a person consumes (those that quickly affect blood sugar), including foods containing sugar, the higher his risk for becoming obese and for developing diabetes and heart disease. Emerging research is also suggesting connections between high-glycemic diets and many different forms of cancer.

3. Sugar interferes with immune function.

Research on human subjects is scant, but animal studies have shown that sugar suppresses immune response. More research is needed to understand the exact mechanisms; however, we do know that bacteria and yeast feed on sugar and that, when these organisms get out of balance in the body, infections and illness are more likely.

4. A high-sugar diet often results in chromium deficiency.

It's sort of a catch-22. If you consume a lot of sugar and other refined carbohydrates, you probably don't get enough of the trace mineral chromium, and one of chromium's main functions is to help regulate blood sugar. Scientists estimate that 90 percent of Americans don't get enough chromium. Chromium is found in a variety of animal foods, seafood and plant foods. Refining starches and other carbohydrates rob these foods of their chromium supplies.

5. Sugar accelerates aging.

It even contributes to that telltale sign of aging: sagging skin. Some of the sugar you consume, after hitting your bloodstream, ends up attaching itself to proteins, in a process called glycation. These new molecular structures contribute to the loss of elasticity found in aging body tissues, from your skin to your organs and arteries. The more sugar circulating in your blood, the faster this damage takes hold.

6. Sugar causes tooth decay.

With all the other life-threatening effects of sugar, we sometimes forget the most basic damage it does. When it sits on your teeth, it creates decay more efficiently than any other food substance. For a strong visual reminder, next time the Tooth Fairy visits, try the old tooth-in-a-glass-of-Coke experiment—the results will surely convince you that sugar isn't good for your pearly whites.

7. Sugar can cause gum disease, which can lead to heart disease.

Increasing evidence shows that chronic infections, such as those that result from periodontal problems, play a role in the development of coronary artery disease. The most popular theory is that the connection is related to widespread effects from the body's inflammatory response to infection.

8. Sugar affects behavior and cognition in children.

Though it has been confirmed by millions of parents, most researchers have not been able to show the effect of sugar on children's behavior. A possible problem with the research is that most of it compared the effects of a sugar-sweetened drink to one containing an artificial sweetener. It may be that kids react to both real sugar and sugar substitutes, therefore showing no differences in behavior.

What about kids' ability to learn? Between 1979 and 1983, 803 New York City public schools reduced the amount of sucrose (table sugar) and eliminated artificial colors, flavors and two preservatives from school lunches and breakfasts. The diet policy changes were followed by a 15.7 percent increase in a national academic ranking (previously, the greatest improvement ever seen had been 1.7 percent).

9. Sugar increases stress.

When we're under stress, our stress hormone levels rise. These chemicals are the body's fight-or-flight emergency crew, sent out to prepare the body for an attack or an escape. These chemicals are also called into action when blood sugar is low. For example, after a blood-sugar spike (say, from eating a piece of birthday cake), there's a compensatory dive, which causes the body to release stress hormones such as adrenaline, epinephrine and cortisol. One of the main things these hormones do is raise blood sugar, providing the body with a quick energy boost. The problem is, these helpful hormones can make us feel anxious, irritable and shaky.

10. Sugar takes the place of important nutrients.

According to USDA data, people who consume the most sugar have the lowest intakes of essential nutrients –– especially vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, vitamin B-12, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and iron. Ironically, those who consume the most sugar are children and teenagers, the individuals who need these nutrients most.

Slashing Sugar

Now that you know the negative impacts refined sugar can have on your body and mind, you'll want to be more careful about the foods you choose. And the first step is getting educated about where sugar lurks -- believe it or not, a food needn't even taste all that sweet for it to be loaded with sugar. When it comes to convenience and packaged foods, let the ingredients label be your guide, and be aware that just because something boasts that it is low in carbs or a "diet" food, doesn't mean it's free of sugar.

Goji Berry Green Tea

I love tea! I don't know what I would do without it, especially in the winter ... I like to try different kinds and I think I have a new favorite. Stash's Goji Berry green tea with Matcha.

Friday, December 12, 2008


I like reading random articles on the internet about health, food and nutrition so I have my lovely Mozilla Add-on Stumble! and I have my interests set the health and find all kinds of articles I love reading. Here's a "Best 20 Superfoods" list.

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