Back Online

February 27, 2010

Went home last weekend, and on the bus back to NYC, my computer up and died for no apparent reason. Neither the Geek Squad at Best Buy nor my nerdy father was able to fix it, so I have been more or less unplugged for the past week. So much for “I’m going to post about the cool new milks my mom got for me to try sometime this week”. I’m still in setup / try to save all the music on my iPod / relocate the code for my Microsoft Office (again) mode, but once I finish I’ll be back to update you on hazelnut milk, coconut milk, hempmilk, ricecream, coconut milk ice cream, and hempmilk ice cream. Depending on when I actually open it, I may be able to include whole grain milk in this review as well- I just found it at Trader Joe’s this week.

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Final Report

February 19, 2010

Today I feel: alright. Bussing (does that have 2 s’ in it? It “bussing” even a real word?), so taking it easy in terms of food.

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Bus time is a good time to blog. Internet access and I can’t get up and go do something else? Check. Let’s go.

This morning I opened up a new quart of soy milk to make myself a cup of hot chocolate (caramel- yum…). I’ve come full circle on my milk search and decided to try soy again from my new perspective. Didn’t like the hot chocolate :(. The flavor of the soy was too strong and didn’t match the flavor of the hot chocolate at all (I don’t think it was the caramel, it’s not that strong a flavoring).

Here’s my final report on milk, by type:

Cow’s Milk – I thought I should include this just for the sake of completeness. Obviously, I like cow’s milk best. It tastes like love and childhood, and if the world were perfect, I would drink milk five times a day. But it has become extremely clear to me now that my body just can’t handle cow’s milk. I feel the effect before I’ve even fully digested it- the moment my body starts trying to break it down I have a big Crohn’s emergency. Too bad.

Soy Milk – The flavor is a little strong for my preferences, so I really only like soy milk in other things that either cover or really nicely complement the soy flavor, like coffee. That being said, it tastes incredible in coffee, and although I wouldn’t go as far as some who say that it tastes better than cow’s milk in coffee, it is undoubtedly my favorite alternate milk for my morning (or afternoon) brew. So it’s a good thing that this is the alternate that Starbucks (like most other coffee shops) keeps around.

Almond Milk – My hands down favorite. The nutty flavor is really nice and also light enough that I can put it in almost anything without being overwhelmed by it. Like the woman in Trader Joe’s said, it’s great for cooking. Also hot chocolate. But it also has enough body to it to stand up to coffee, and although it’s not quite as good as soy milk, it’ll do for waking me up before class. This is probably the best overall package for me, and the one I’ll be keeping in my fridge most regularly from now on. I’ll just have to be careful of friends with nut allergies.

Vanilla Almond Milk – Honestly, I would just as soon do without the vanilla flavor. It’s nice, but only when I specifically want the extra flavor. I use milk for too many different things, not all of which go with vanilla. Really good in coffee and hot chocolate.

Rice Milk – Ultra light flavor, but very thin. I like this best for cooking because it allows the flavors of whatever I’m making to come through unhindered. I also love it with hot chocolate. Like, love. But since I like my coffee pretty darned creamy, it doesn’t quite get the job done on that count. Other than that, it would be a draw with almond milk. I would probably get this if I was doing a lot of baking or throwing a dinner party with possible nut allergies. I still haven’t tried rice milk ice-cream, but it’s been a little cold. I’ll experiment with that in a couple of months.

That ends my milk search, so now I have to think about something new to blog about. The cogs are turning, and I’ll have something else up for your reading pleasure by next week.

Satisfying

February 15, 2010

Today I feel: awesome. Read on.

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So a couple of times I’ve gotten an unusual reaction to my Crohn’s: “That’s sweet! Pooping is great, and you get to do it all the time!” Well. I suppose it might be great if I got to have those satisfying poops like most people do. People talk about taking poops that feel like you gave birth, and then you look at it with a sense of awe and accomplishment and think ‘Wow, that came out of me?’. I don’t think I’ve ever had one of those, which is too bad because it sounds magnificent, and with the number of poops I have to take on a regular basis you’d think I deserve to have a few that are fabulous, every once in a while.

My suitemate told me about a book, What’s Your Poo Telling You?, which names and describes every imaginable type of poo you could encounter. There’s even a Poo Log that goes with it, and a companion book for pee. Too bad the only ones I get are the “sorry, dude, better luck next time” types.

But today, I was walking up 6th Ave, when it hit me. Great, this is New York City, nobody lets you use their bathrooms (you know those moments, where you start desperately casting about for a Starbucks and trying to calculate how long it would take you to get home from here?). But as it came on, I realized that this was not my ordinary poo emergency. This one was going to stay put as long as I wanted it to. And it really wasn’t a convenient time for me. I was almost done with my shopping expedition, so I thought, ‘okay, let’s do this.’ If it got bad, I’d have to stop, but I was determined. I was going to take this like everybody else and not let the poo interfere with what I was doing. And I beat it. I found the perfect blazer, waited in line at the register, and then walked four blocks home before finally taking my poo. And it was very satisfying. Not as much as I’d hoped, but really, I still have Crohn’s, that’s not going to change.

Aren’t you glad you read a blog where some girl tells you in detail how her poop was today?

Injustice is what it is.

February 9, 2010

I have a story. it is quick, but there is a little bit of background. The story basically goes that I was getting breakfast on my school meal plan this Monday morning (coffee, a banana chip muffin, and a banana), and they charged me $.37 extra for soy milk.

Now that’s not so bad if I was paying for this meal in dollars and cents, but I was paying for it with a “meal swipe,” which is a voucher for one of whatever each dining location on campus deems a “meal”. If you do out the math, each meal swipe in my school’s meal plan comes out to about $10. Some meals are buffet style, all you care to eat in a sitting, but most are a la carte, and you get an entree, a drink, and a side (ie chips or fruit). Entrees are the most variable, but usually they’re something like chicken and rice, a burger, or a salad bar bowl. My entree was a muffin. If I had gotten the same items at any coffee shop, it probably would have cost me about $5-7, depending on the place. Which leaves an extra $3-5 that the University gets to keep. Now. Why are they charging me extra (that I have to pay for separately, with cash) for soy milk in my coffee? Especially because I am drinking it, as are most other soy milk drinkers, because I cannot drink standard milk, not because it is so much more delicious and special. It would be awful for them to have a fraction of a dollar less extra money per lactose intolerant (or vegan) student’s breakfast. Because they aren’t already making enough money off of me.

I’m in the process of writing a letter of complaint to the school. Also, I am having fewer breakfasts with my meal plan, instead saving my meals for lunches and dinners, from which I suspect there will be less cash per meal going back into the school’s pocket.

The best part? The barista was as indignant as I was.

This was going to be a mini-post, but as usual I wax verbose. Apparently I cannot get anything said in just a couple of sentences. (except for that)

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I’ve been sick for the past week or so. Sorta. You know that “I’m about to get sick in like a day and a half” feeling? I had that for a week. Occasionally I’m able to put off getting sick by sheer force of will, and I just didn’t have the time for it last week. Then the weekend rolled around and I got a chance to sit down for a moment, and on came the sickness full force. Which was bad news for my throat and for my digestion. So little fun, I can’t even tell you. Anyway yesterday morning I woke up miraculously cured and now I’m all better! Mostly, you know how it is. But this time I got better significantly faster than I normally do. At 3:30pm I was too sick to get up and go to class, and at 8:30 the next morning I felt fine, which is especially odd for me because I usually feel worse in the mornings and get better as the day progresses. Anyway I’m thrilled to be back on my feet.

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Today is grocery day, and if you’re keeping up with my adventures in alternative milks, you know what that means: rice milk! While I was sick I wasn’t drinking any milk of any sort so as not to stuff up my nose (although I’m not sure, do soy/almond/rice milks cause congestion as well or is that just cow’s milk?), so I still have a good amount of almond milk to use up before I get started on the rice milk. I’m thinking Annie’s Mac and Cheese for lunch today, made with almond milk! I honestly have no idea how the almond taste is going to work with the rest of it, but I don’t see why it shouldn’t be delicious. The girl at Trader Joe’s told me almond milk is great for cooking, and she works at Trader Joe’s so she’s gotta know her stuff! I feel sort of silly for having Mac and Cheese with my almond milk, but so far cheese has been just fine for me, so long as it’s in small quantities. And there probably isn’t much actual cheese in there anyhow.