Coco-what?

Smoothie topped with coconut butter

Ah, coconut. So delicious. So controversial.

Some people love it. Some people hate it. Whether you fall in one camp or the other likely has something to do with your belief in one of the following:

  • Coconut is a miracle food that will save my life
  • Coconut is a fat bomb and will surely kill me
  • Coconut tastes good, suckaaaa

Me? I hover somewhere in between unwilling to make a firm statement for or against since, well, we don’t have any solid research that makes me feel comfortable doing so right now. But it does taste good. This is scientific fact.

The deal with coconut is that it is a saturated fat. Highly saturated. Of the 18g of fat in one serving of coconut butter, 16 of those are saturated. The average person on a 2,000-calorie diet would want to limit saturated fat to about 20g a day.

Lovers of coconut argue that the medium-chain length of the fatty acids in coconut are more easily broken down in the body and, therefore, healthier than the long-chain fatty acids in saturated fats from animal products (meat and dairy). The jury’s still out on this claim so coconut (and other tropical oils like palm) are shunned by many, including the American Dietetic Association.

My take? Personally, I don’t consume much saturated fat. I never eat meat, rarely consume dairy and reserve fried foods for drunken nights. So yes, I do eat coconut on occasion. I don’t think it’s a miracle food. I just don’t see anything wrong with it. Plus, I like it.

SO. If you want to eat coconut, perhaps you have some questions…

What’s the difference between coconut oil and coconut butter?

Consider something more familiar: a peanut. Peanuts can be used to make both butter and oil, correct? Yes. Peanut butter is made simply by grinding nuts into a paste. Creating oil involves extracting it from the nut in a far more complicated refining process. But it happens. Peanut oil is a good choice for frying as it has a high smoke point. Fun fact. You’re welcome.

Similarly, coconut can produce both butter and oil. The butter is made by grinding the meat (white flesh inside the nut) into a paste. Again, oil involves a more complicated process. Both are solid at room temperature and will melt when heated.

When heated, coconut butter is thick, opaque, spreadable and FREAKING DELICIOUS. When it cools though (say, when poured atop a smoothie) it will solidify again. Kind of like that magic shell ice cream topping from your childhood. But better.

When heated, coconut oil will be clear and runny like, hello, oil. It can be used in cooking (think sauteeing, roasting, etc.) the same way other oils are.

Coconut butter

Coconut oil

 What’s the difference between coconut water and coconut milk?

People ask me this all the time. When I tell them I chug coconut water after 90 minutes of hot yoga they look at me like: WHATEVER YOU ARE GROSS. This is because they assume I’m drinking coconut milk. Some people who have never heard of coconut water even try to tell me I’m drinking coconut milk. I’m not drinking coconut milk.

Coconut water

Coconut milk is made from the flesh of the coconut. It is white like regular milk, high in fat and often has sugar added to it. It’s usually sold in cans. Coconut water, on the other hand, is the water from inside the coconut. It’s high in electrolytes (like potassium), fat free, lightly cloudy, slightly sweet and so damn good.

So there you have it. Now you know more about coconut than you ever cared to.

And It Was Good

Broccoli slaw, spinach, rice, cashews, tempeh

MAN. Have I ever been perky today. I am eerily at peace in my life right now and it makes me want to hug everyone. It’s like I’m skipping through the day all: I love YOU and I love YOU and YOU and YOU and CAAAAAATS. And I’m not even on uppers or anything. Maybe I am. I call them vegetables. Look ‘em up, sucka.

What a day. Long, long day. I finally took my first ever ashtanga class at six in the freaking morning.

[What the hell is ashtanga, you ask? "Ashtanga means “8-limbs” and is described in the Yoga Sutras as the 8 step path to true yoga (union of mind, body, and spirit). Many forms of yoga were adapted from this traditional sequence."]

I’ve been avoiding it for about a year now and in the meantime my practice has kind of plateaued. So it was high time for me to move on to more difficult postures. Ask and ye shall receive. I got crammed into some crazy pretzel shit.

What?

Where is that foot in his stomach coming from? You don’t know.

It was a great class. All I can say is ABS. Good lawd.

So I rushed from there to work/school stuffing PBJ toast in my face on the way:

Inhale

And dressing like a MF adult:

Bam.

I strongly suggest investing in one pair of amazing black pumps and two or three pencil skirts. I bought those shoes for three hundred freaking dollars back when I apparently thought I was a billionaire. I don’t even have $300 to my name right now… Truth.

But I do believe in investing in shoes, purses and outerwear* (when you are not poor) so that you can pair those things with crap from Target and Forever 21 (when you are poor) and no one will ever know you’re completely broke. Promise.

Plus, hello, pencil skirts make you feel invincible. (See also: white jeans)

Fajita bowl desk lunch

I ate lunch at my desk. Peppers, onions, black beans and rice over greens and topped with feta.

So there’s that. I now have a raging headache and my Internet (that is not really mine) is slow as Weaz on a jello pool (huh?) so I’m out.

Something that never gets old:

“This was her life. Not the life she had once dreamed of, not a life her younger self would ever have imagined or desired, but the life she was living, with all its complexities. This was her life, built with care and attention, and it was good.” – Kim Edwards, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter

Preach it.

*Don’t you dare ever do this with a credit card when you are poor. What are you even doing with a credit card? Trying to ruin your life? Get you some Keds, girl. It’ll be alright.

NYT Vegan Banana Cookies

New York Times' vegan banana cookies

When your bananas look like THIS:

AH!

Then gather your cats and give them a big celebratory hug because it’s time to make banana bread!

But wait! What if you don’t want banana bread? What if you’re on a bit of a cookie kick because bread is so 2010? I hear you. And so does the New York Times. Presenting: New York Times vegan banana walnut cookies.

Made by Weaz, with love.

These cookies are flawless. Simple staple ingredients. Quick, easy prep. Dense chewy oats. Sweet subtle banana flavor. WALNUTS. Just.so.good.

Make these!

 

Chickpeas are My Everything

The cure.

Oh. Hello. I’m Katie. (You can call me Tater.) You may remember me from such healthy living habits as:

  • Sleeping.
  • Daily yoga
  • And ensuring optimum hydration that excludes alcohol

I remember that person, too. I think she’s have a little quarter-life crisis. I’ve rediscovered my love of vodka and there’s nothing you can do to pull me from its warm embrace.

Although I’m a tad out of control as of late, I like to at least think my love of leafy greens will keep me alive until December. That and chickpeas.

While eating this lunch–steamed kale, broccoli, carrots and chickpeas–I said out loud (to myself):

CHICKPEAS ARE MY EVERYTHING.

This is a big (TRUE) statement.

Balance

The way I see it, life is a big balancing act. Little leafy greens here… lotta vodka there. Up. Down. It’ll even out.

As Emma Stone put it beautifully in a recent interview:

“You are a human being. You live once and life is wonderful. So eat the damn red velvet cake.”

Amen.

Contains Alcohol

Vodka.

Man, oh man. I haven’t consumed this much alcohol this frequently in years. This is now back-to-back weekends during which I’ve consumed significantly more than the “two drink max” everyone always claims to uphold. You know… how allegedly respectable young women are somehow supposed to alternate alcoholic drinks with glasses of water and then switch entirely to water after two drinks. Who actually does that?

Not me. No. I feel like I need one of those “Contains Alcohol” warnings tattooed across my face.

What better way to say: Happy existence!

Last night we celebrated my brother’s birthday a few days late since I was in Philly last week. I bought him Sparks and Cheez-Its. Needless to say we do not have similar eating habits. One of these days I will make him eat healthy food. He is my Everest. One day…

White jeans for one more week...

I wore my white jeans because they make me feel invincible and also because apparently I’m not allowed to wear them any more after next weekend. Clearly I still will. Who makes these rules?

The following is a list of hilarious and/or horrible things that occurred last night:

  1. Someone who shall remain nameless said “testicle fortitude.” Context is irrelevant.
  2. I flat out denied someone my number. It was a glorious feeling.
  3. No one should ever start a pickup with: “Yo girl, you got a man?” It just makes me laugh.
  4. Nor should anyone ever start a pickup with: “I love you.” It’s terrifying.
  5. Never ever call me your ”girl” unless you are absolutely positive that I am as a result of having previously cleared this with me in some way. Perhaps by dating. If you have any doubt whatsoever, I am not.
It was a delightfully entertaining little evening that resulted in a not so delightful little morning and full day of work. I’m off to enjoy my “weekend” now.

My brother and me circa 19eightysomething

Those ruffles aren’t doing my chunky little body any favors. Am I right?