Like most snarky bitches, I have always hated Valentine's Day. It brings out the worst in me. When I have a boyfriend, I spend the days before worrying about whether I should do something, or shouldn't do something. I always date guys that think that kinda stuff is stupid. Then I have to pretend that I don't like flowers as much as the next girl. By the end of the day, I'm even more depressed than if I was single.
This year, the great stinkwhore Farty Girl IS single. BUT for the first time, she embraced the holiday with both arms.
First, I realized that I had no worries, no obligations. For a neurotic mess like me, that's a freakin' gift, any day. Then I went to the gym, and it was empty. I had the swimming pool all to myself! Finally, I decided that I should celebrate the holiday, by giving love to my own farty self. How? The only way a single girl knows best.
I LOVE carbohydrates. I LOVE them. I roll my eyes with exquisite joy, when I talk about how much I love them. Carbs are always comforting. They always taste good. They never cause me to get sick, as long as I eat carbs with lots of fiber. No problem. Well, the only problem is that carbs can make you fat; if you eat too many carbs, and you don't work out, they get stored as sugar, which turns into fat. I've been trying to lose the belly fat I gained from weekends of Mickey's 40's back in college, so rarely do I let myself indulge on the carbs. But on Valentine's Day? FUCK IT!
So I give you: FARTY GIRL'S VALENTINE'S DAY CARBO-HAPPY MASSACRE
BREAKFAST: Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Pancakes
1/2 cup of whole wheat flour 2-3 tablespoons of natural peanut butter 2-3 tablespoons of honey 1/2-1 teaspoon of baking powder
Directions: Add soy milk to your desired consistency. More soy milk will make your pancakes more bready. But don't add too much, or else you'll have no pancake! Don't worry about adding eggs; the peanut butter acts as an egg substitute. When cooking, I also like to place a lid over the pancakes; this helps their insides cook faster and get fluffy. When serving, I spread peanut butter and honey on the stack, instead of butter and maple syrup. These are a bit heavier than regular pancakes, so pace yourself.
LUNCH: Mac and Chreese! These mac and cheeses are vegan and high fiber, and they come in a variety of cheese flavors. They taste close enough to the real thing for me, and even if they don't taste exactly like good ol' Kraft Deluxe, they still taste good. I promise.
Directions: Brown the Gimme Lean sausage with chopped onion, as you would real meat. Grease any kind of oven pan, and put the meat in first. I used two small ramekins when I made my pie. In a separate bowl, mix up the flour, soy milk, and egg until smooth. Pour the mixture over top of the sausage. Place cheese slices over the top of the pie. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
History: This recipe was stolen from the back of a Bisquick box. The recipe had the measurements wrong, so I revised it and vegan-ized it. I'm still working on ways to bake without eggs, and to be honest, I have been quite unsuccessful. Eggs don't make me sick, so I haven't been trying too hard. Despite the egg, this is lactose and sugar free, with the high fiber of the whole wheat flour and the vegan sausage. The soy cheese has calcium too. Many vegans complain that soy cheese doesn't melt. Well I can tell you, Trader Joe's soy cheese DOES melt, and it melts well. If you can't get your soy cheese to melt, turn on your broiler for the last five minutes of cooking, and that will do the trick.
DESSERT: Cinnamon Cardamom Cookies
1 1/4 cup wheat flour 1 stick of soy butter 1 cup honey 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 egg Tons of cinnamon Half as much cardamom as cinnamon 1 teaspoon nutmeg 1 teaspoon salt
Directions: I threw everything into a bowl and mixed by hand. If you hold the egg until the end, you can taste test the batter to make sure there's enough honey. Honey isn't the best sweetener for baking. Rice syrup, agave syrup, and maple syrup all work better. But they are more expensive than honey. I bake on a budget, so honey it is! It may take more honey; it may take less. Taste testing is always best. When finished mixing, bake like regular cookies, on a greased sheet, around 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.
History: I based this recipe on a tea I drank once. I didn't think it was going to work, but it did. I made three versions, as you can see from the photo below. The darker cookies are vegan, made with mashed potatoes instead of eggs. They were not as good as the ones made with the egg. So I apologize to all vegans out there, but chicken fetuses make for better cookies. These cookies were the best ones I've made, like ever.
By the way, I measure and cook Rachael Ray style. So these recipes might not be entirely accurate. The best thing to do is to pay attention to consistency while you cook. I usually mix and stir until I feel like I've got something that feels like "normal" pancake and cookie batter. Then I pop it into the oven and hope for the best. Not the best method, but that's how I roll.
"I read the news today, oh boy, About a Farty Girl on a crusade, And though the news was rather sad, I just had to laugh..."
When I tell people about my diet, they usually respond in one of three ways. They frown with pity. They recoil with horror. They order me to the doctor for medication so I can eat "normal food."
Then I have to explain, I do eat normal food. In fact, I like my diet. Because of my diet, cooking has become therapeutic. It's made me a bit of a scientist, always trying to figure out how I can make healthy food taste really good. The truth is, I don't miss out on anything. A healthy diet can happen through patience, creativity, and that little grace period it takes to wean your tongue off high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors.
My rules are fairly simple: High-fiber, no refined sugar, no meat or dairy besides yogurt, lots of variety, lots of small meals. Yeah... simple, but very limited. Here's what I came up with. An array of options for a day in the life of Farty Girl.
BREAKFAST: Oatmeal with cinnamon, salt, soy milk and flax seeds
Whole oats and oat groats are the healthiest oatmeals. Honestly, I end up buying quick oats because I don't have time to slow cook in the mornings. Plus I live in a house with ten other people; when I have my own kitchen, I'll go all out. No matter what, I always buy from the bulk bins at the whole foods stores. It's cheaper. Plus the oatmeal packets contain sugar and artificial flavorings. Even if it didn't make me sick, the additives would be too sweet for me. The cinnamon, salt and soy milk add a mild sweetness to the oatmeal. The flax seeds give it a nutty taste. You can actually taste the oatmeal!
TEA: Irish Breakfast, Russian Caravan, Twig Tea or Yerba Mate.
Irish Breakfast and Russian Caravan are malty, heavy teas, great for coffee drinkers, which I used to be. Twig Tea is Japanese green tea, much smoother than China green tea. Mate is tea from the rainforests of Argentina; it has no caffeine, but mateine, a natural stimulant. It was a favorite of Che Guevara. I like to brew it with steamed soy milk and honey. Both Twig Tea and Mate contain calcium and antioxidants.
LUNCH: Soup and Salad I have to go very small for lunch, sometimes only a couple bites will do me good. I make salads of spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and chickpeas. My favorite dressings are Annie's Goddess and Woodstock dressings. I do subscribe to the Rachael Ray/Alex Jamieson belief that bottled dressing is gross, and that all dressing should be made by hand. But that's another change I plan to make when I have my own place. For soup, I make my own, or I heat up some of the Imagine brand. They are boxed soups, the ONLY boxed soups without sugar in them. The imposters are Pacific; they have sugar in them, and flavoring, and they make me very ill. Imagine tastes way better anyway. They have the best tomato soup I've ever had.
SNACK: Odwalla peanut butter crunch granola bar and Healthy hot chocolate Odwalla's peanut crunch is one of the only sugarless granola bar on the market. Healthy hot chocolate is of my own invention. I make it with unsweetened hot chocolate, honey, and either soy or hemp milk. Hemp milk may sound scary, but it's actually better than soy. I'd buy it all the time, except it's really expensive. You can also make healthy hot chocolate with grain-sweetened chocolate chips, and it's closer to the real thing. You nuke the chips, mix in honey and milk. I made some for my sugar-addicted mom over Christmas, and she loved it.
DINNER: Quinoa and almonds, roasted brussel sprouts, tempeh
Quinoa is a whole grain with more protein and fiber than brown rice. It cooks faster than rice too. You can get it in the bulk bins at any whole foods store. I mix it up with lots of soy butter, salt, and almond slivers.
There's no way to write about brussel sprouts in a way that sounds appetizing. I don't know how to sell them either, other than to say that when I had my first roasted brussel sprout, I nearly fainted from happiness. It is my absolute favorite food. My friend Jeff Holland gave me the recipe. Brussel sprouts in EVOO, sprinkled with salt, pepper and oregano. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes, or until you see them get brown. Cut up into fourths, sprinkle with more salt and pepper and oregano. Seriously. At my first bite, I couldn't believe I lived the first thirty years of my life without them.
Tempeh is an acquired taste, one I'm still acquiring. I work with it anyway. I can handle it sauteed with EVOO and salt, onions, garlic, pepper, oregano and basil. It's also good sauteed with teryaki sauce. That has made me sick in the past, but it is the best way I've had it. People either love it or hate it. I love it, because a very small serving has 50% of the fiber you need in one day, as well as complete protein, which is next to impossible to get if you don't eat eggs.
DESSERT Yogurt with cinnamon, honey, walnuts My favorite yogurt is by Liberte, a French Canadian company. The only other yogurt that's come close is Kimberton Farms. I like to eat yogurt at the end of the day, because that way I get the most nutrients from it. It's dumb to have a yogurt and then drink tea, especially if you are a woman, because caffeine makes you pee out all the calcium. Plus if you add all the other stuff, it tastes more like dessert than breakfast. Cinnamon is good on anything. Studies show that it regulates blood sugar. Honey also is good for your stomach. 1/4 cup of walnuts contains all of the omega-3 fatty acids that you need in one day.
The trick to a healthy diet is patience. Few of us have it today. I know that I don't. But I was lucky enough to be force-farted into patience. Nevertheless, it didn't happen over night. It took time for me to get over chemical flavors. Everything tasted bland at first. Then, one day, I realized that I felt really good. I wasn't farting. I had tons of energy. I was awake at one o'clock in the afternoon, without coffee. I was happy too. I was patient, and within a week, meals no longer tasted bland.
It's funny; friends and family call their food "normal food," and say that I eat "weird." Actually, I'm eating the food closest to the source. I'm eating the plant, the food that's naturally intended for our digestion. But I don't tell them this. It's the most offensive thing, you know, to comment on someone's diet, nowadays. So I keep my mouth shut. I think that maybe, if they take a second to look at me, it will be enough.
I stand before you-skinny, bright-eyed, and smiling.
Months ago at dinner with my boyfriend’s family, someone offered me garlic bread.
“No thank you,” I said. “It will make me sick.”
Across the dining room table, my boyfriend clamped his lips together and ripped a loud fake fart. Everyone laughed. Including me.
I have to laugh at my IBS. If I don’t laugh, I’ll start crying. I haven’t had a slice of pizza in three years. Ice cream? Almost two. I can’t digest it. It gets lodged in my gut, ferments and gives me chronic farts that can last as long as two weeks.
Hello everybody. Here I am. Farty Girl. Nice to meet you.
“Everybody farts,” said my dad, when I first told him about my, ahem, problems.
“These are not regular farts,” I replied.
These were burning, painful farts. They demanded to be released into the environment, and when they were, they clung to the air. As oppressive as they were persistent, they chained me to my house, my bed, where I lay bloated and lethargic. There the pungent clouds wrapped around me; I felt like I was bathing in a sewage treatment plant. Eventually, my boyfriend started sleeping on the couch.
I know what you’re thinking: Oh no, she didn’t fart in front of her man!
Yes. I did. I had no choice. They hurt that bad.
It all started when I got hired to teach at this private college outside of Boston. The school offered profs free cafeteria meals. Kick ass! I thought, and loaded my plate. An hour later, I looked pregnant. Not from the amount of food, but from the amount of gas it expelled in my guts. All day, I dropped bombs across campus. I perfected my trademark “fart-and-run” that kept me as comfortable as I could be. Still, it took a few weeks for me to realize that something wasn’t quite right; that these were not normal farts.
Three years later, I found a diet that left me fart-free. The Caveman diet. High fiber. Mostly vegan. I allow myself honey and yogurt, which are good for digestion, but no other animal products. I eat only whole grains. Bread is a treat. I don’t eat any refined sugar or high fats. I don’t eat any artificial flavors, additives or preservatives; I even try to stay away from products made with natural flavor. I can’t have any hardcore spices, and for some reason, Triscuits.
The diet works because it’s all high fiber. The food moves through me quick. Nothing sticks. Nothing ferments. Nothing farts. Plus, fiber is a natural scrub brush for the guts. So if I screw up and eat a small slice of birthday cake at a party, it’s easily scrubbed away by the next day.
Friends and family groan when I run down the short list of permissible foods. They say, “How can you live?”
I laugh, tallying up how long it’s been since I’ve had “real food.” I can’t believe it either.
But I’m human. Sometimes I mess up. Brownies. Bagels. Philly pretzels. Christmas cookies. The consequences of a tiny slip range from minor to extreme, and there’s no way for me to tell which way it’s going to go. I can expel a single, soft, silent-but-deadly, and be done with it. Or I can endure two weeks of never-ending ass bombs.
Ultimately, there’s no way to know what’s going to happen. Every day is a challenge, but I don’t mind trying to figure out the puzzle that’s my digestive system. What I do mind is the social stigma placed on farting. It’s helped make careers for comedians like Leslie Neilsen, Mike Myers, and Howard Stern. Guys do it and it’s funny. Girls do it and it’s gross. Even I think that it’s gross. I don’t advertise it. Close friends and family know about it, because they tried to help me figure it out at the beginning. But I don’t plan on telling future friends, boyfriends, boyfriends’ families. I don’t plan on ever releasing my identity onto this site. I mean, is there anything more unattractive than a girl who farts?
In 2005, Farty Girl was diagnosed with IBS and lactose intolerance. In 2008, a gluten allergy. Doctors suggested meds.
FG decided to heal her explosive gut with healthy food instead. She read the books. She studied the labels. She sampled the indie brands. Today, she wants to pass that info onto you. In easy-to-digest blogs. But remember. Farty Girl is not a doctor or a nutritionist. She's simply a girl on a crusade to stop farting.