Longboards Tap & Taco

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Several thrilling things happened yesterday, one of which was eating my first ever fried Oreo. I don’t know who decided that Oreos could or should be fried, but now I feel pretty strongly that this is the only way they should be served.

If you read this blog on the regular it should come as no surprise to you that I don’t write much anymore, let alone about my life. This is mostly because–with the exception of my herd of cats–my life is mind-numbingly boring and not worth writing about. And the parts that are not mind-numbingly boring can’t be written about. So. Here we are. Would you like an Oreo that has been battered and deep fried? Of course you would.

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Last night was surprisingly action packed considering my standard existence lately, but mostly I just want to tell you what I ate.

We stopped by Longboards, a recent (and worthy) addition to Charlotte’s dining scene. We’ve been dying to get in there because a friend and fellow yogi owns it and is cranking some serious magic out of the kitchen.

I walked in the doors claiming to be “not hungry” but was quickly convinced otherwise when Eric started flinging plates of food our way. He started us off with tostones–plantain cups filled with black beans, guacamole and cotija cheese.

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I got a margarita (obviously) and, as is par for the course, was super obnoxious about how they should make it. This is not on their menu but if you want a real-ass, damn good margarita just ask for tequila, fresh lime juice, soda water and a splash of pineapple juice. No sour mix allowed. And tell them Katie sent you.

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We both got tempura-fried avocado tacos for dinner, which Eric was please to announce he has finally perfected in a vegan, gluten-free version. (He knows how to feed yoga teachers.) We passed on that and brought on the cheese.

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My side was cabbage and radish slaw (I LOVE MAYONNAISE-LESS SLAW) and Adam had Mexican street corn (CAN’T EVEN DEAL).

I was prepared to curl up in a ball and take a nap at this point, but Eric was prepared to feed me deep-fried Oreos and ice cream so I was all, “I am not opposed to this.”

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If you’re curious (and you are), a deep-fried Oreo is a gift from God and it tastes like a deep-fried brownie. Try to wrap your head around that. Adam is lame and can’t eat chocolate so he got key lime pie, which I’d probably have been impressed with were it not in the shadow of two deep-fried Oreos.

So basically what happened here is I ate fried plantains, fried avocado and fried Oreos for dinner. Dietetics school dropout.

Definitely what I wanted to do after a meal like that was sit in a hundred-degree room with 80 of my closest friends and listen to music. So that’s what I did.

We had a very special charity benefit concert at Y2 featuring Andy Grammer.

Andy actually played at Y2 back when it first opened and before he went platinum and performed with the likes of Taylor Swift. So, you know, getting him back in there was no big deal.

He was such a great sport to play in a small, humble space especially considering the crowds he’s seen and the fact that we couldn’t get the temperature below 90 degrees. Once a hot yoga studio, forever a hot yoga studio.

Great show. Super talented guy. He and his wife don’t know it yet but I’m pretty confident we’re going steady and I bet he likes deep-fried Oreos, too.

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3-Day Juice Cleanse, Sorta.

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I eat chocolate every single day. I consider chickpeas kind of worth celebrating. My favorite three hours of the day are breakfast, lunch and dinner. (And I usually give myself that much time for each, yes.) I carry snacks everywhere because I get grumpy when food is not readily accessible. This one time I may have lost my mind when Adam didn’t order Chinese food as expected and we didn’t get to eat until 10pm. Last night I went to dinner “not hungry” and left after a 3-course meal saying the words: “Yes, all Oreos should be deep fried.”

This should give you a pretty good idea of how I fared on my first (and last) 3-day juice cleanse.

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The fine folks over at Skinny Limits in Austin, TX offered to send me a free three-day cleanse to review (and after this post I assure you they will regret it). That’s eighteen color-coded, numbered juices overnighted from Texas with detailed instructions on how to succeed (and thrive) without food for three days. People ask me all the time if juice cleanses are nutritionally sound or even a good idea and while science does not support any of the “detoxifying” claims, I figured personal experience would help me form an opinion. Plus, how hard could it be, right?

I started day 1 off on the right track with a pancake and coffee. To be fair, the juice wouldn’t arrive until 10:30am and I wasn’t about to just sit there and wait.

When the juice arrived at my doorstep, I neatly arranged the bottles one by one in my fridge so all I had to do was go down the line and follow the instructions and not eat any more pancakes.

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That night Adam and I went to see World War Z and had to sneak in two of my juices so I wouldn’t cry the whole time about the fact that I couldn’t have Diet Coke and Lemonheads. (I did anyway.) Also for the record, the Z in World War Z stands for zombies. I am terrified of zombies and did not know this. You have been warned.

The next morning I was scheduled to speak to a group of middle school students about PlateShare at a summer tech camp. (Let it be known that any kid who answers “Learn Java script!” to the question “What are you doing with the rest of your afternoon?” will one day be a millionaire.)

It had been 24 hours since my last bite of solid food (the contraband pancake, of course) so imagine my surprise (and horror) when my stomach turned on me, quite literally, and landed me in the bathroom minutes before the presentation. This is my life.

I did succeed to sound like a professional and not poop in my pants so that’s great. But by noon I was up to my eyeballs in errands–oil change, gas station, car wash, etc.–and already plotting my juice cleanse escape route by way of three shots of espresso.

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I went to Starbucks and got the biggest iced coffee you’ve ever seen, graciously accepting the third shot of espresso they’d “accidentally” already pulled. There are no accidental espresso pours when someone hasn’t eaten or been caffeinated in a day. It was divine intervention.

“I quit the juice cleanse,” I said to my friend Tanya behind the counter. “Right now.”

“Yeah girl, I wasn’t gonna say anything,” she said, sliding the coffee across the counter. “I know it’s tough. My longest cleanse was 30 days.”

THIRTY DAYS. I clocked out after precisely 30 hours. Can’t win ‘em all.

To be fair, Skinny Limits‘ juices are really good. My favorites were the Green Firefly (kale and pineapple), Scorpion Lemonade (cayenne lemonade), and Crescent Moon (cashew milk). But they are probably a whole lot better as a beverage alongside a plate of actual food. They also have very prompt and courteous customer service and the juices arrive on time and in perfect condition. Nevertheless, I will never do it again.

So with this little adventure we have learned several things:

  1. I hate juice cleanses.
  2. I love food.
  3. Juice may or may not make you poop a lot.
  4. Always drink coffee.
  5. Beware the zombie apocalypse (which is probably better than a 3-day juice cleanse).

Watermelon Limeade

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Pink and green can be pretty atrocious, huh?

My college roommate Kristen and I decided we’d do the pink and green thing in our freshman dorm, and I’m not going to pretend like we did it well. With the exception of drinking lots of bourbon, we didn’t really do anything well. So this is kind of a wash.

My aversion to this color combo is compounded by the fact that I live in the south where someone somewhere (probably Charleston, ugh) decided that this is an acceptable way for grownass women to dress:

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Stop it, Lilly Pulitzer. You just stop.

One pink & green combo I will never argue with, though, is a watermelon.

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This morning I had to get some blood work done for a wealth of obscure, intangible problems with the inner workings of my body. I wouldn’t say I’m scared of needles necessarily, but with some guy in the room next to me screaming (I mean screaming) uncontrollably, I was a little unhinged. Add to that the fact that I had to fast for the test and hadn’t had coffee and perhaps you will see what led me running straight into the arms of this watermelon limeade and a little sunshine this afternoon.

This drink is the product of a shameless “I deserve it” moment. I hate and love those.

Watermelon Limeade
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 1
 

Ingredients
  • 2 cups watermelon, diced
  • juice of two limes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup ice

Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and process until smooth

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I just slammed this drink so hard. It’s lightly sweet and perfectly tart, refreshing and rewarding enough to make up for being stabbed with a needle. I should put some vodka in it next time. See how my blood work comes back after that.

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Pink and green I don’t hate…

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<24 Hours in Chattanooga

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If I write a relationship how-to book one day (this will never happen), chapter 1 will be entitled: How to Not Plan a Trip Well. At All.

The secret to successfully not planning a trip well is to book it without your significant other’s consent. This is an excellent way to ensure that your travel plans don’t align with either person’s schedule. At all.

This is how Adam and I found our way on the road to Chattanooga at 4 o’clock in the morning on Saturday.

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I booked us for an all-day Saturday acro yoga workshop with Scott Cooper without taking into account that Adam was already teaching his annual rooftop yoga charity event Friday night. (Want to use yoga in unique places as a fundraiser for your charity? Check out Big Horizon Yoga.)

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With complete disregard for geography (and perhaps our health, wellbeing and sanity), I shrugged it off and assured everyone who doubted my itinerary that Chattanooga was a quick and easy four hours away.

FALSE. Chattanooga is actually six hours away. Who am I, Magellan?

So after a late night tearing down the rooftop event and shoving vegetarian diner food into our faces at midnight, we woke up at 3am to hit the road to Tennessee so we could make it to the 11am class on time.

Once you’ve already ruined everyone’s lives by planning your trip on a terrible day, you should then definitely not get gas when you need to. This step is even more effective if you are driving on E in the middle of the Smokey Mountains with no exits on radar for miles around, all the while saying, “I live life on the edge, baby.”

When you finally roll into the podunk-est gas station on the planet on fumes and in seriously hot water, make sure you pick the pump with the broken credit card machine. This is very important because it ensures your significant other has to go inside and deal with the angry cashier whose backwoods Tennessee slang practically needs a translator.

If you survive the gas station escapade, it is best at this point to force your gluten-free, vegetarian significant other to eat at Cracker Barrel for the first time in his life. He will definitely not love it as much as you did as a kid.

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After tiptoeing around a meat-heavy menu, make sure you’ve allotted juuuuust enough time to park your car after your 6-hour drive and walk straight into the studio for 6 hours of acro yoga. No dilly dallying.

The workshop was actually amazing and worth the ridiculous trip to get there. I didn’t even get flustered and start yelling about my arms being too long to pike into an inversion on Adam’s knees until hour 5 of being tossed around in the air. I consider this a victory.

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As is true with basically every aspect of my existence (including this sentence), I am exaggerating the agony that was our horribly planned trip. We had a surprisingly delightful time despite a severe lack of sleep and excessive amount of time together in a vehicle.

As can be expected, we crashed hard in Chattanooga but not before eating a meal that on its own could have warranted such an excursion as absurd as ours.

We ate at Sluggo’s, a vegetarian cafe just over the bridge from downtown Chattanooga. We started with the vegan wings. (I know.) If I’d ever had a real wing in my life I would tell you if these were comparable, but I’ve never had the real deal so all I can say is these are too spicy for me.

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Adam had the sweet potato enchiladas, which would have been incredible on their own but they kind of dipped into the shadow of my mind-blowing plate of pecan-dusted seitan with garlic mashed potatoes, collard greens and corn muffins.

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We stocked up on candy at the gas station before bed only to hit the road home again at 6am.

I suspect Adam will be planning the next trip.

Seriously this trip was kind of awesome. I was surprised and impressed by our ability to make the best of it and am convinced that before you take one more step forward with your significant other, you need to force them into a sleep-deprived long-distance car ride that leads to a destination you’ll visit for less than 24 hours. If you can’t handle that together, I’m afraid you have no future.

I credit our success to the liberal use of the ridiculous safe word we created in case anyone started getting grumpy. It’s like a reset button you toss out when a situation is escalating unnecessarily. I can’t tell you what it is because then I’ll have to kill you. But before you take a trip like this with someone you need to create one of your own. You’re welcome.

Rerouting and Such

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When I was little, a mass in my abdomen led a few doctors to believe I perhaps had cancer. Long story short (and several opinions later), I did not, but I suspect my parents never fully recovered from the soul-crushing gut punch that are the words: Your five-year-old probably has cancer.

What I did have was a urachal remnant (a complication so rare my doctor had never seen it) that had to come out along with half of my bladder. The point of this story is that having half a bladder made long-distance car trips with my dad–who stops the car for nothing–quite an adventure.

Now that I’m all grown up (and still a frequent pee-er), I call the shots on when the car stops. And the car stops for obscure vegetarian Vietnamese restaurants miles off of Siri’s recommended route.

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I found Phoenix Garden Restaurant somewhere outside Richmond on my drive home from DC to Charlotte.

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Despite calling Adam several times to whine about how I wasn’t getting any closer to being home, I took my sweet time ambling around on the hunt for a good meal. Priorities. I wasn’t really in the mood for pho, but I also wasn’t really in the mood to eat Swedish fish from the gas stations again. Plus any restaurant with the ever elusive and antithetical¬†”vegetarian beef” on the menu has piqued my interest.

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I got the pho lunch special: $7.95 for a spring roll, corn nuggets and a fat bowl of veggie pho. Also I ate it at 11:30 in the morning was the first and only person in the entire place. My dad would have had a conniption. My road trip, my rules.

Throughout my entire leisurely hour-long lunch stop, the dessert menu was staring me in my face, and if you think I’m going to say no to something so awesomely out there as sticky rice with black-eyed peas and coconut cream, we haven’t met yet. (Hello.)

Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), the owner wouldn’t let me order the black-eyed pea dessert because she said I came in too early (of course) and she’d only finished the corn pudding so far. She insisted on not letting me try yesterday’s black-eyed peas so she instead brought out a piping hot plate of sticky rice with corn and coconut cream.

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I don’t even care how unappetizing it looks and sounds. It was perfect. PERFECT, I SAY. It’s thick and creamy and nutty and subtly sweet. I saved a little condiment-sized tub of it to take home for Adam but… I just ate it. Just now. Because I couldn’t look at that picture and not eat it. I CANNOT APOLOGIZE.

Lucky for Adam (and you), I hunted down a recipe for this odd dessert, officially known as ginataang mais. Turns out it’s a pretty simple mix of rice, corn, coconut milk and sugar. Sign me up. I’ll make it tomorrow.

The moral of the story is that it’s ok to take a hard right off your assigned path every once in a while. You never know where it will lead or what you will find and, yes, you (or Siri) can always reroute home. Or not. Maybe it takes you exactly where you never knew you needed to be. Get lost every once in a while.