Kathy started out last week with two solid days of sponsored posts, the first one by her pals at General Mills, the awesome people whose supplies overseas rely on child labor and the hacking away of the last bits of orangutan rainforest for dumb palm oil, and the second by Celestial Seasonings.
She starts out with a post she hashtags “#Happysnacking,” returning to those
homemade Cheerios-like toasted oats cereal
that it took 90 minutes to construct. She wanted to figure out how to make them into something that would take her a long time to eat. She could have easily frozen them in a gallon of water, the way people do with a credit card they don’t want to be tempted to use, but went with “morph”-ing them into “snack balls” so that her “homemade efforts [would] last longer.”
You put Cheerios in a bowl, sprinkle them with spice,
(or cinnamon or nothing!)
honey, seeds, oats, and “blob in” the nut butter and coconut butter before rolling them into balls, and putting them into the fridge.
They might not be perfect, but who cares!?
The balls “are full of nurients [sic], from healthy seeds, hearty oats, crunchy O’s and creamy coconut butter.”
In day one of this week’s latest tepid commenter rebellion, Nicole pipes up to say she’s kind of over the sponsored stuff, because those discussions always end up so well.
As usual, Kathy has an explanation: It’s all Toddler Carbz’s fault, duh.
Celestial Seasonings gets Kathy’s magical touch on Tuesday. The company flew out a bunch of bloggers so they could tour the company’s headquarters:
Celestial Seasonings’ holiday teas are my all-time favorites (Candy Cane Lane! Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride!) so this was such a special trip.
Oh, but Kathy has complaints!
This was my first visit to Colorado, and I hate that most of it was spent indoors! …. I flew in late in the afternoon, and sadly my suitcase did not make it with me. So I had to trudge around in my airport clothes the first night. My suitcase was delivered at 5am – just in time for the trip to officially begin!
Kathy loved the accommodations at the St. Julien Hotel, her “new favorite hotel” because of the live music and something that, honestly, sounds terrifying:
The lobby had a stunning gas fire
But it sounds like the staff (they gave her “toiletries” since her suitcase was delayed) and bathrooms were so interesting they took Kathy’s attention clean off the raging inferno downstairs:
A soaking tub with bath salts, minty spa products, a glass shower, robes and a four-poster bed.
All that in one bathroom! Golly.
They went out to a beer place for a flight of beers, a pumpkin beer, and a not-Niçoise Salad
at West Flanders Brewing Co.
Matt was so jealous that I was in Colorado in the company of so many craft beers, especially since the Great American Beer Festival was going on that weekend!
Kathy completed a 5K on the treadmill the next morning, ate a breakfast of yogurt, fruit, granola,
And hot tea of course!
Then, they got in “a LIMO” (yes, she writes it like that) and arrived to find all the company’s employees hustled outside to wave signs.
They went in, sampled tea, looked at box design, learned how to set a timer so you don’t oversteep your tea, and then listened to
the history of Celestial Seasonings as well as a bit more about the company’s mission and ingredient sourcing …. We learned that Millennials actually lead the growing tea population, and tea is becoming increasingly popular in the USA …. My biggest take-away from our visit was the realization that I am totally underestimating tea’s role in wellness. When I think of tea, I think of a warm beverage. But Celestial Seasonings will tell you that tea is the second healthiest beverage – second only to water. I have to agree, and I would like to add more teas to my life for their ability to calm, sooth, destress, aid in digestion and encourage sleep. Not to mention all those antioxidants!
Giddy with thoughts of antioxidants, Kathy piled up a few plates at this “BYO salad bar”:
Kathy and pals then donned “space suits and hair nets” for “the famous behind-the-scenes tour of the factory.”
She had what she decided was “the best” kombucha she’d ever had, sampled “some of the secret new products” she’s not allowed to talk about, heard a cute spiel about box design and “all the names that Jammin’ Lemon Ginger almost became,” drank tea with bourbon and sugar and stuff in it, and walked around Boulder with Caitlin of Healthy Tipping Point. Miss Beach Cottage decided:
Their pedestrian mall is much bigger than Cville’s!! I want to live here (except for the snow and the distance from the ocean!)
The sponsor’s final dinner, in the “swanky” confines of The Kitchen, included “tea-marinated” peppers, “tea-infused” flatbread, salad with “tea dressing,” “tea-brined” chicken, “tea + pepper shrimp,” tea sorbet and tea cakes.
They went back, got in the hot tub, went to the fakery’s cousin at Great Harvest Boulder, and Kathy set her sights on getting Bath Matt to try and wheedle the recipes for two kinds of “hearty muffins and a raspberry cinnamon roll that was to-die-for” from Boulder fakery dude.
Kathy returned home with some swag to give away to her readers and a new promise to “add more tea to [her] routine,” now that she has a new corporate sponsor breathing down her neck about it.
The trip appeared to have exhausted her so much that she was only able to type out half-responses to her commenters — the kinds you type from your phone during a second’s pause at an intersection.
Lori’s actually correct. Celestial has been blasted recently after Glaucus Research sent their teas to the Eurofins lab to be tested and found “dangerous levels of pesticides” and carcinogens in 91 percent of them.
Propargite, sold by Chemtura, is a mite-killing pesticide that causes fatal intestinal tumors in lab animals. Propachlor is a delicious Monsanto herbicide that hasn’t even been manufactured since 1998.
Glaucus, a short-seller that makes no effort to hide the fact that it stands to benefit from any damage to the company, says Celestial Seasonings is “masquerading as a healthy/organic food company,” and recommends people ditch the stock before the company tanks altogether.
With scandal far too spicy for Kathy’s palate, though, such issues are obviously not her cup of tea:
Wednesday’s post is a gross combination of bad food and Kathy being glad to have her 2-year-old away at “preschool” so she can get back to living her life:
Preschool is way, way underrated y’all. I can’t even describe how nice it is to have a consistent two days a week where I know I can schedule appointments, work on the blog and actually create again.
Sure she had babysitters, but they only tended to her child. Preschool gets rid of him!
Unlike having a babysitter, I can actually be at HOME while Mazen is out. (It’s so surreal to be home alone after having a baby!)
She doesn’t have to teach him songs or colors or words, she doesn’t have to introduce him to other children, and she doesn’t have to watch him paint! (She does have to do something with all his “kiddo art,” and has deigned to hang up a piece of string and a few binder clips.)
But other than that, it’s amazing!
….and I have a little time to really focus on the blog without fear of his nap ending at any moment.
Newly fearless Kathy has “gotten busy in the kitchen!” Oh? Do tell.
I had a giant bowl of leftover lentils and a stack of corn tortillas in my fridge and figured the two would go well together.
Now, look. Lentils are awesome in Indian dishes and French soups and Middle Eastern mujadaras. Every one of these recipes (and these) looks delicious and easy.
But Kathy put leftovers in tortillas. That’s her definition of “busy”?
What’s worse is that this is her definition of “rock and roll”:
She cooked bell pepper and garlic “in some cooking oil,”
As opposed to the garlic-infused 5W-20 synthetic?
She added her leftover lentils, “spices,” (a half teaspoon each of chili powder, cumin, paprika, coriander, and salt) and a quarter cup of water, which “kept things moist.”
Shadowy tacos and a smeary countertop. Appetizing!
Top with cheese, then avocado, then hot sauce, then yogurt, then mixed greens.
It’s the hot sauce she calls it “the secret ingredient,” and notes that you need
freshly grated, really good sharp cheddar cheese. Do not buy bagged cheese ever again!
Kathy, you’ve been ranting about that for four years. (“The process of grating cheese sucks”!) Are you sure you’re not a harried character from an infomercial?
Kathy had her friend Alice and Alice’s kids over “after school” and I guess everyone had to awkwardly portion out four tiny tacos for five people. There are no photos of this event.
Tacos for everyone! And three cheers for preschool.
What a great use of your free day, Kathy. Maybe next time you can put leftover pasta on a scuffin, or leftover rice on a piece of bread.
Thursday’s post is a guest post by Lauren Fowler,
Not surprisingly, considering the title of her blog, her guest post is about how to, in Kathy’s words, “slow down and listen to your body” so you can lose weight.
What does Fowler suggest?
Stop being so busy! Create time so you can eat slowly! And chew and chew and chew. If you don’t, it’s not that you have too much to do, it’s just that you really don’t care enough:
Taking time to eat a meal is a beautiful act of self-care, and it lets your body know that you value it enough to make eating as important as work or sleep. When you eat on the go in a rush, your body is stuck in a ‘fight or flight’ mode, and you won’t digest or enjoy your food as much.
Oh shut up. The bag of Cheetos next to my computer right now isn’t prompting an acute stress response. The fight or flight response is a real goddamned reaction to real or perceived danger, a panicked state of tension, dissociation, and other things that are just a little bit more unpleasant than not being able to enjoy your massaged kale salad.
What else should you do? Talk to your stomach and ask it if it’s still hungry. After another bite, do the same thing. Maybe you can leave food on your plate and not eat it, fatty! Hooray!
They’ll [sic] always be more food later when you’re hungry again. By honoring your hunger and fullness, you can start to build self-trust around food.
But wait! There’s more talking to your stomach to be done. Stop eating cheapo M&Ms — they don’t taste fantastic.
Instead, I’d rather enjoy the best dark chocolate, eat it slowly, and let it melt in my mouth to enjoy it.
With all this chocolate-commercial savoring, talking to your tummy, chewing and chewing and chewing, and sitting down with plates, you might not think you’ll have any other time in the day for things. Guess what? You should figure out how to make it! Especially because there’s more talking to your stomach to be done.
Notice if you feel energized after eating a big salad for example, or if you feel drained and tired after eating sweets. Notice if any foods make you feel bloated or give you headaches.
Okay, well, what if I feel awesome after a 10-cent ramen noodle soup, and it makes me really happy to eat an entire box of Yodels?
The Downward Facing Conch pose
And how much time should I really be devoting to thinking about all this and figuring out my feelings about what I eat? Does Fowler realize that people have shit to do and things to get back to after they finish lunch? What crowd is she going for?
This is sort of a serious question, because her last piece of advice is that you should make your life awesome:
Just find other parts of your life that give you pleasure and fun as well, like your job, relationships, hobbies, traveling, movement, and more. You want to make your life full of joy, so you don’t have to turn to food to find a quick boost of happiness when you’re bored or feeling emotional.
Book that trip to Tulum! Stop working that office job and start working as a Personal Ferrari Shopper!
Go land that sexy boyfriend! Take up aerial fabric dancing!
Unfortunately, Kathy’s readers are less than inspired by all this mindfulness:
Kathy ends her week with an actual post she wrote herself — the list of most of the stuff she ate over a recent week or so — where she’s not talking about free crap she got from a company and pretending to be in love with. She starts by mentioning the “paint with water” stuff she got for Toddler Carbz. I think she probably only likes it because there’s no paint to get anywhere.
She starts by mentioning this homebrew a reader sent her.
It’s named after the reader’s daughter, which gives Kathy all the more reason to adore it, because if there’s one thing she likes more than drinking alcohol she thinks is fancy, it’s complaining about the child she’s always wanted at the same time.
Beer Professor Bath Matt liked the beer too. He even took notes on it, which Kathy hashtagged “beernerdsunite.” Apparently, this is how a “beer nerd” writes:
Aroma – Nice citrus upfront in the classic navel orange/tangerine zone. There’s a little vanilla or bubblegum in there too.
Flavor – Great bitter/sweet balance hitting the tongue at the same time.
Overall: Great American IPA, excellent balance of malt and hops, the finish is dry enough to make it refreshing but there’s still enough body to know it has some oomph.
What else did she consume besides beer?
• Pancakes with “drippy” nut stuff and, OH NO! maybe the last peach of the season:
• That coffee cake thing called “Apple Scrapple” that’s not scrapple and just looks like someone tried to make bread out of an apple pie and fucked it up.
• A salmon, cheese, and spinach omelet, grits, and “a toasty biscuit” at Bluegrass Grill with “girlfriends.”
Worth getting my workout in at 6am so I could enjoy the morning!
• Eggs, toast, berries, and coffee. Somehow, this deserves shouting:
Standard American Breakfast these days!
• Toast and yogurt and another peach:
No plate necessary.
Why would one need a plate? One has a bowl and a cup and a tray and a tray liner and a table. It’s not like this meal is being eaten off the floor, for fuck’s sake.
For lunch, Kathy ate
• Kale and red peppers, and “the prop” from a recipe she spent “a whole preschool morning making.”
• Nothing! You guys! After her restaurant omelette,
I wasn’t hungry till dinnertime!
• She calls this “a mixed plate” and apparently “drizzled” her sprouts with “EVOO and honey.”
• Whole Foods deprivation box with “a picnic lunch” with “some friends.” It was so unsatisfying that she had to supplement with
a few bites from the toddler PB&J box : )
• Beans and more kale salad. Okay, actually, she just talks about her child and her husband eating them. Well, more accurately, she says Bath Matt ate them and she details the sneaky mama tricks she had to use to get Toddler Carbz to eat them:
I knew if I put these beans on M’s plate he would have turned up his nose, but on Dada’s plate they were all the rage! He was quoted saying “More beans Dada!!” several times.
He was “quoted,” Kathy? By whom? The society editor from the Charlottesville Pennysaver?
He did not, however, go for the kale.
Of course he didn’t, Kathy. It had sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, blue cheese, and avocado on it.
She also writes,
The beans were a mix of pinto beans and leftovers from a crockpot short ribs meal that Matt had when I was out one night. It worked!
First of all, the beans were a mix of beans? Secondly, what worked? The fact that it functioned as food? And why does Bath Matt look so furious at his son forking one of his beans? Go eat a cheese bunny. Read some fangirl comments. Something.
Another night, Kathy had dinner out during a “Ladies night.”
I, of course, got the chili relleno pepper and ate the whole dang thing! Best entrée ever!
“Of course”? “Chili relleno pepper”? Good grief.
The last meal she mentions is a “soup” from Gimme Some Oven. On Gimme Some Oven, it looks delicious — it has onion and homemade enchilada sauce in it, as well.
Kathy’s version doesn’t even compare:
And she ends by hoping her readers have weekends that are “pumpkin-licious.” Do you guys remember Second Life? Did you know that there were nearly naked Halloween costumes you could obtain for your avatars in Second Life?
I kind of wish I hadn’t Googled “pumpkinlicious,” because now, I know that exists.