{City Girl Eats} Background, Disclaimer and FAQs

by Valerie on January 11, 2010 · 3 comments

Welcome to City Girl Eats!  At one point I thought I would make this blog a food blog (this was after the blog’s first incarnation as a beauty blog) – in fact, I wrote lots of fun posts about cupcakes and ice cream and lots of recipes.  But, as often happens, life got in the way.  As of June 2008, I went on a restricted diet for several reasons, including to isolate certain food allergies.

Fast forward to 2010 – I still love to write about food, but I will never be the food blogger who tells you all about the latest bacon-wrapped duck or vegan cupcake.  I still eat a fairly restricted diet, with very little wiggle room.  And while I cook a lot, I do not try as many new recipes as I used to.  That said, I still read a lot of cookbooks and often try new food items (usually allergy-friendly ones), so I have decided to keep writing about food under the category of City Girl Eats.  Every food-related post is a City Girl Eats post, and falls into one of three categories:

* Recipes
* Edible reviews, which includes food items, cookbooks, books about food, food blogs, and whatever else cool food discovery I have to share with you all.
* Washington, DC eats, which is a continuation of my adventures eating out in New York, where I lived when I started this blog. 

Additional sub-categories include:
* Vegan
* Dairy-free {on this blog, this means lactose-free, casein-free, and egg-free}
* Gluten-free
* Tea and coffee and desserts {this got real scant after June 2008, but there’s always fun archives to read}
* Food allergies

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, scientist, nutritionist or trained chef.  I have posted foods under certain categories based on my own knowledge at the time of the post – it can happen that suppliers change making a a product that used to be insert-allergen-here-friendly product no longer so.  So, be sensible, read labels and be informed.

And now, the FAQ:     

Are you vegan? Are you gluten-free? What label do you apply to yourself?

I really do not do well with labels, unless they are to categorize blog posts.  The best way I can describe myself is a dairy-free conscious omnivore with a heavily plant-based diet, who also avoids refined sugars and gluten and wheat products.  I also harbor strong opposition to factory meats and farmed fish, so when I eat out, I often default to a vegan selection unless I can be assured that I am eating something that meets my standards.  That said, I am not perfect, and there have been times where I ate salmon sushi at a restaurant without being 100% sure it was wild-caught.     

I see a lot of vegan recipes on your site – are you vegan?
No, though since my diet is so heavily plant-based and I avoid all dairy,  in practice many of my meals are vegan.

Do you have celiac’s?
Not to my knowledge, based on both a blood and saliva test.  However, reintroduction of gluten has been a mixed experience, so I continue to avoid it {yes, I have read this Huffington Post article on the topic, as well as an interesting take on how many without celiac’s react favorably to a gluten-free diet}.  I should add that I do not necessarily believe that just because one does not test positive for celiac’s one should eat wheat products.  Finally, in case you ever see a picture of a recipe I made and it has bread on the side, chances are I photographed my husband’s plate instead of my own.  

What do you eat?
Vegetables, split peas, chickpeas, black beans, quinoa, brown rice, almonds, walnuts, rice milk, bison, wild salmon and cod are staples of my diet.  I also mix things up a bit occasionally by adding other types of wild-caught fish, millet, brown rice pasta, grass-fed beef, coconut, other nuts and, in small quantities, various vegan specialty items like vegan cheese.  

What do you mean by conscious omnivore? How can you be a conscious eater and still eat animals?

I firmly believe food is a personal choice. My choice is to consume a small amount of grass-fed sustainably raised meats, about once a week on average.  I also eat wild-caught, certified fish another couple of times a week.  

How can you have reviews of Nana’s Cookies and vegan cheese yet still profess to eat a diet based on whole foods?
I used to be an 80/20 person, namely eat healthy 80% of the time, and less healthy 20% of the time.  Now I am more of a 99%/1% person, and I choose to use my 1% on things like vegan cheese.

Do you have food allergies?
I am still exploring my various food allergies and intolerances, but at this point, it is pretty clear that dairy and I just do not get along.  Corn has also shown itself to cause me problems during reintroduction.  As I mentioned above, gluten reintroduction has been mixed. My insurance-covered food allergy testing did not give much guidance, and eventually I will pay out-of-pocket for additional food allergy testing.    

You mentioned a restricted diet – what was it?
I wrote about my first three months on the diet here - the name detox diet diaries was more tongue-in-cheek, but it was also because my diet was not strictly an allergy elimination diet, but also designed to address other health issues.  

Do you eat a lot of soy?
No – due to various health issues, I limit my regular soy intake to fermented soy like miso and tamari.  I occasionally eat some edamame (I love this recipe), and when I eat out will eat tofu if that is the only option, but otherwise avoid it.  Oh, and if I am having a particularly bad craving for eggs, I may get a tofu breakfast sandwich at Java Green – but that only happens about once every 6 months or so. 

Your diet is too restricted! You sound obsessed with food – are you orthorectic?
 I agree with you – I wish I had fewer restrictions.  But it is what it is – in the meantime, I eat lots of delicious foods, and will still socialize with people at restaurants.  It is doable.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Karley January 18, 2010 at 2:40 pm

I look forward to reading more of City Girl Eats. I hope you're doing well, CGL!

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2 Carolyn January 19, 2010 at 9:45 pm

Love this new series – am looking forward to it. And good job answering the questions. :)

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3 TheAnalyst January 21, 2010 at 3:02 am

I am still amazed and inspired by how well you stick to such a restricted diet. For example, I know I shouldn't eat cheese (or at least only eat very little) b/c it induced migraines for me. Do I still eat it, yup. One day, I hope to have half of your foodie strength!

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