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Look At What Happens You Eat Chipotle For 152 Days

Look At What Happens You Eat Chipotle For 152 Days

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Andrew Hawryluk eats the same Chipotle dish everyday for lunch

The Chipotle streak started as joke for Lent but has now spanned for nearly 5 months.

After eating chipotle for lunch everyday for 152 days, Andrew Hawryluk has posted a photo of what the food has done to him.

Hawryluk’s odyssey began after he told his brother he was going to eat Chipotle everyday for lent. After the forty days of Lent passed, he just decided to keep going.

He gets the exact same dish from Chipotle every time: white rice, chicken, guacamole and lettuce topped with Tabasco chipotle sauce. He adds a photo of the dish and his receipt to his website, Chipotlife, everyday.

“It’s cheap, it’s consistent, it’s delicious,” he told Business Insider. “You know what you’re getting every time.”

Well, let’s take a look at what this routine has done to Hawryluk.

@SavedYouAClick This. @businessinsider What happens when you eat Chipotle for 153 days straight

— Andrew Hawryluk (@waryhulk) July 20, 2015

This Chipotle based diet seems to have worked fine for Hawryluk. To be fair, his constant lunch dish is 605 calories, which isn’t that much when it comes to an average Chipotle meal.

Hawryluk is also conscious of his health when not eating chipotle and tries to stay fit.

“When all’s said and done, I’m only 23 years old and have a naturally fast metabolism, so I kind of have a free pass to eat whatever I want for the next few years,” writes Hawryluk on his website. “However, I do exercise regularly so I guess that helps as well.”

Hawryluk said he isn’t sick of chipotle and plans to keep this routine going. It doesn’t seem to be ruining his physique, so we will wait and see how long he can keep it up.

Is Chipotle Healthy? It Can Be if You Order Right

You might've heard that the typical Chipotle order tops out at 1,000 calories, but if you're wondering if there's a way to still justify your love for the fast food chain, the short answer is yes.

Just like other chain choices, the fast casual restaurant offers some great and not-so-great options. If you're trying to eat healthier, the main issue with ordering at Chipotle is that the portions of the less nutritious stuff are enormous, while the good-for-you items come in scarcer quantities. But that&rsquos A-ok if you&rsquore willing to shell out just a little bit extra for a better lunch. Double or triple helpings of fajita veggies, extra romaine lettuce, and all of the salsas add flavor that&rsquos high in nutritional value but relatively low in calories.

As a rule of thumb, I always recommend that you skip the rice at Chipotle and the ilk, mostly because it&rsquos the least flavorful item that can rack up calories quickly without providing any real nutrient-dense goodness found in the other toppings. Using beans as a base instead adds plant-based protein and fiber, plus minerals and antioxidants that help to boost immunity.

The other thing to watch out for: guac. It&rsquos amazing, and I&rsquom not here to rain on anyone&rsquos Chipotle parade. But the key to ordering well is to either go all in on the guacamole (one serving is 4 ounces and about 230 cals) and skip cheese and sour cream, or to halve the guac and pick either cheese or sour cream.

The final thing to reconsider, sadly, is the burrito itself. The tortilla alone contains 320 calories, and they're all from refined carbs. That'll make you feel super full and sleepy rather than energized after lunch and throughout the day.

Your best bets are the salads, burrito bowls, and tacos &mdash plus my favorite new discovery at Chipotle: the kid's menu. All items on the kid's menu halve the portion size, which sounds small at first but you can actually add so much extra. Triple the fajita veggies, add extra romaine, corn salsa, guac, and cheese, and you&rsquove got an amazingly satisfying lunch for just under 600 calories. (Although, again, you may have to pay more.) Plus, you&rsquoll get ready-to-eat dessert in the form of oranges or blueberries.

Another great surprise at Chipotle: steak, one of the most nutritious options on the protein menu. It's just 150 calories for a filling 4-ounce serving &mdash the same amount as the vegetarian sofritas!

Look At What Happens You Eat Chipotle For 152 Days - Recipes

We are a group of contributors from the kitchen and classroom communities who set out to answer the question, “How long does food really last?” . From the best ingredients to the ordinary, we provide you with a diverse and informative perspective on food shelf life, food safety, expiration dates, recipes, substitutions, food storage and more. We are focused on helping you save money, eat healthy, and debunk the myth of expiration dates on food.

How to use the site: Browse the menu above, use the search function to the left or click a picture below to learn about your favorite foods and beverages!

It may come as a shock, but printed food dates are not federally regulated and do not refer to food safety. Thus, it is usually safe to eat your "expired" food after its printed date has passed. This article helps you determine what’s in a "use by", "best before", "best by" or "sell by" date to help you break away from the food date myth. Utilize our shelf life resource and stop throwing out perfectly good food.

If You’re Gonna Eat Chipotle for 105 Days Straight Like This Guy, Here’s What to Order

If you’re like most Americans, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve spent at least one lunch break at Chipotle, scarfing down a burrito the size of your head.

And that means you’ve probably returned to Chipotle, where you probably scarfed down another burrito the size of your head.

But could you eat there for 100 days straight?

That’s the feat (or major life low, depending on your perspective) accomplished by 30-year-old Mark Rantal, who has knocked back the same exact meal at the Colorado Springs Chipotle for over 105 days—and counting. His daily go-to: a burrito bowl with white rice, pinto beans, fajita and sofritas (which consist of shredded tofu braised with pepper sauce), mild salsa, corn salsa, medium salsa, cheese and lettuce, plus a bag of chips, according to ABC News.

Rantal also admitted in a Reddit AMA that he’d gained 14 pounds by day 100, although he said he’d hoped to put the weight on after a vegetarian diet “kinda freaked” him out.

“Every time I hit a milestone it was very easy and convenient to imagine hitting the next,” Rantal said. “Plus, it’s a little ridiculous.”

Ridiculous, for sure. And look, we here at Men’s Fitness aren’t suggesting you attempt the same feat. But if it sounds even a little tempting—or if you eat there more often than you’d like to admit—there are plenty of good options to keep the calories down while still filling up. We combed the Chipotle Nutrition Calculator for the best options around.

The Bare Minimum: 365 Calories

Let’s assume you wanted the lowest possible calories in your Chipotle dish, but still wanted to enjoy each of the options on the assembly line—a main protein, rice, beans/veggies, and a salsa.

We did some testing in Chipotle’s meal builder and settled on this option: a burrito bowl with sofritas, white rice, fajita vegetables, and medium tomatillo green-chili salsa, all for a pared-down total of 365 calories, 14.5 grams of fat, 1355 mg of sodium, and 12.5 grams of protein.

Of course, you could obviously scale this back even further. Skip the rice, or maybe drop the salsa, for an even more bare-bones approach.

A Vegan Option: 480 Calories

Whether you’re vegan or a sirloin fanatic, Chipotle’s vegan options make for a fairly healthy option. Sofritas are the lowest-calorie protein option and a solid choice for vegans.

Slap some sofritas on a salad with brown rice, black beans, and some medium green-chili salsa, and you’re looking at 18.5 grams of protein and only 480 calories—but still nearly a pound (14 oz.) of food to tide you over.

The Paleo Pick: 360-420 Calories

Let’s say you’re a paleo dieter, but you can’t escape the Chipotle craving. We’re here to tell you that it’s okay: Paleos have plenty of options.

Here’s one: Load up steak, black beans, fajita vegetables, romaine lettuce, and mild tomato salsa into a burrito bowl. That combo packs a wallop of protein—around 40 grams—with only 360 calories and 8 grams of fat.

And if you eschew legumes and beans, that’s fine too. Swap the black beans for an extra order of chicken, and you’ve upped that dish to 65 grams of protein with 420 calories and 14 grams of fat.

The Mark Rantal Special: 690 Calories

Rantal’s daily dish—a burrito bowl with white rice, pinto beans, steak and sofritas, mild salsa, corn salsa, medium salsa, cheese and lettuce—isn’t too unhealthy of an option, with around 750 calories and 35-plus grams of protein, depending on the balance of steak and sofritas. But add chips, and suddenly the calorie count balloons to 1275, plus 47.5 grams of fat.

And Rantal’s daily go-to also packs a ton of sodium: 2370 mg, to be exact, which exceeds the FDA’s recommended daily amount of 2300 mg. And that’s in one meal.

Toppings to Avoid

By now you’ve probably noticed a few Chipotle favorites have been notably absent from the list. It’s no accident. Some run-of-the-mill tortilla chips, for example, pack a staggering 27 grams of fat and 570 calories—that’s more than double an extra order of carnitas on your burrito bowl, with barely any of the protein in all that steak.

Another sneaky calorie bomb? The Chipotle vinaigrette, with 270 calories and 25 grams of fat in a paltry 2-ounce serving.

And yeah, we decided against burritos and tacos. A single burrito-sized flour tortilla enveloping all that goodness contains 300 calories and 10 grams of fat. The taco-sized tortillas—which come in sets of three—aren’t much better, with 85 calories each.

There is one consolation: Chipotle’s famous guac is actually fairly good for you, if its famous recipe (some avocados, lime juice and spices) is any guide. Fit guys have nothing to fear from healthy saturated fats, which avocados have in spades. But if you’re really trying to cut down on the calories (there are 170 in one serving), probably best to leave it out.

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5 Things to Know About Chipotle's New Rewards Program

Chipotle officially launches its first-ever long-awaited loyalty program July 1. As previously reported, it's called Chiptopia, and comes with some pretty tough rules. The program probably makes the most sense for those that dine at Chipotle solo — you don't earn extra rewards for buying two meals at one time, for instance. And you'd better really like Chipotle if you're enrolling in the program — you'll need to eat at least 33 burritos, salads, or bowls to earn nine free entrées.

Here's everything you need to know about how to reach burrito nirvana — aka Chiptopia.

1. It's temporary. As expected, Chiptopia Summer Rewards will last for three months, July through September. If it's hugely successful, though, the program could become permanent.

"While Chiptopia Summer Rewards lasts just three months, we will be carefully listening to our customers and using what we learn as we consider the design of an ongoing rewards program," said Mark Crumpacker, Chipotle's chief creative and development officer, in a statement released Monday morning.

2. The program includes three different "status levels": Mild, Medium, and Hot. A maximum of one visit (with a purchase of $6 or more) per member, per day counts toward Chiptopia rewards. BUT, the points don't accumulate throughout the entire three months: "At the end of each month, purchase totals reset to zero, and participants begin again the following month."

Here's how the status levels are broken down:

  • Purchase four meals in one month: Mild
  • Purchase eight meals in one month: Medium
  • Purchase 11 meals in one month: Hot

3. Redeemed rewards also count as a purchase. So if you reach Mild, and redeem your reward, that free entree will count toward moving you to the next level.

4. Rewards will not be based on the total amount a customer spends or on accumulating points. Instead, Chiptopia will reward customers for making "multiple paid visits to Chipotle within a given month." So purchasing multiple entrées on the same day won't earn you additional rewards (for example, if you buys three meals at one time, or in the same day, it still only counts as one visit).

5. Rewards include free food, merchandise, and more food.

In addition the free entrees awarded after reaching each status level, customers who maintain the same status level for three consecutive months will be eligible for Bonus Rewards — i.e. more food.

  • Achieving Mild status all three months will learn you one additional free entrée.
  • Achieving Medium status all three months will earn you $20 in Chipotle merchandise at the online store (which offers items like collapsible, branded bottles and $18 aprons)
  • Achieving Hot status all three months will earn you catering for 20 people.

So, someone who achieves the Hot level over all three months of the program (which equates to buying a minimum of 33 burritos or bowls over the course of the summer) can technically earn up to nine free meals, plus a $240 'Catering for 20' Bonus Reward."

Rewards earned during Chiptopia will expire 30 days after they are earned. Customers will have a little longer to redeem any bonus rewards earned. (Mild and Medium bonus rewards will expire on December 31, 2016 and the Hot Bonus Reward expires on March 31, 2017.) Customers who sign up in July will get a free chips and guacamole with the purchase of any entrée.

In April, Chipotle executives first announced they would be utilizing a loyalty program as a way to bring back once-loyal customers following a string of food safety issues. On May 16, the company trademarked the name "Chiptopia."

As some experts have pointed out, the company might have some trouble with the temporary nature of the program. Megan Flynn, EVP of Program Development at loyalty services company Excentus, told Eater that it can be "disruptive to put a loyalty program out in the market and take it out a few months later." The program will, however, likely allow the company to maintain a database of its most loyal customers.

Day 4: Monday

Breakfast: Skillet Eggs, Monkey Salad. Black coffee.

Lunch: Spinach salad with grilled chicken (I bulk grilled several days’ worth last night), avocado, tomato, hard cooked egg, and leftover squash and sweet potato. I tried balsamic vinaigrette this time, homemade, reusing the bottle. Lime water.

Dinner: Date night at Chipotle – salad with carnitas, guacamole, and mild salsa. A spoonful of coconut butter when we got home for a little sweet.

Impressions: As you can tell by now, my interests in vegetables lean toward salads and leafy greens. I calculated how many meals worth of greens I would have left before I needed to restock. Trader Joe’s has some good mixes for a great price, so I timed it to land on date night. We did double duty of Chipotle and Trader Joe’s.

A friend has encouraged me not to let yesterday’s pain deter me. It hasn’t been thirty days and the idea is that it takes awhile to get the offender out of your system.

I will say that I do feel a lot more alert than I have in quite some time. The house is cleaner and I feel a little more with-it.

I’ve also done a lot more label reading lately. There are hidden sugars in everything. Bacon for heaven’s sake! I know that sweet bacon is a nice treat, but I had no idea how difficult it would be to find sugar-free bacon that was also nitrate/nitrite-free. US Wellness Meats has it, but I can’t afford that.

So, I’m learning a lot about our food supply through all this. As if I needed to learn more! I feel like The Girl Who Knew Too Much. There are so many hidden things in the foods we eat. Hidden things that probably don’t always need to be there.

I did splurge on some sugar free, nitrate/nitrite-free sliced meats, namely proscuitto and roast beef so that I can mix breakfasts up just a bit. I’m getting a little weary of eggs.

Edited to add: I had a Larabar (Chocolate Coconut Chew) with decaf after date night. I can’t believe I’m saying it, but it was really good!

I wish I had eaten it sooner in the evening. It was probably a little too close to bedtime, about an hour or so. I woke up groggy and couldn’t walk straight. Not sure if that was the blood sugar issue, just a part of the diet to be expected, or the fact that I dreamt I drank a few swigs of hard cider and had a vicarious drinking binge.

But, I did love the Larabar. I’ll be getting that one again.

The Cheesecake Factory's Buffalo Blasts

Courtesy of The Cheesecake Factory

The Cheesecake Factory denotes that these pork belly sliders serve two to four people—so make sure you bring your friends to help you polish this off. Chicken, cheese, and buffalo sauce are all stuffed in a fried spiced wrapper, bringing you at app with an alarming amount of sodium.

How long leftovers really last

The FDA says you should typically only keep leftovers in the fridge for up to four days (womp womp), but Randy Worobo, Ph.D., professor of food microbiology at Cornell University, tells SELF that they can potentially last for up to a week depending on how they're handled. (Food stored in the freezer, though, can last indefinitely.)

If you've ever eaten questionably old leftovers and been totally fine, then you should consider yourself lucky. Whether or not you got sick after eating very old food has nothing to do with your "iron stomach" and everything to do with whether or not that food contained bacteria that could cause a foodborne illness, Worobo says. As for the types of pathogens that might be on your food, he says that salmonella, E.coli, and listeria are the most common. If you did eat super old leftovers and didn’t get sick, it’s likely there either weren’t any pathogens on your food, or the amount was simply too small to get you sick. Worobo explains that the amount of microorganisms that will get you sick varies dramatically—for example, norovirus requires one to 10 microorganisms whereas it can take over 100,000 to get infected with salmonella.

So how can you know if your week-old pizza has dangerous bacteria on it or not? You can't, because the pathogens that might get you sick aren't visible to the naked eye, Worobo says. Old food could be dangerous to eat even if it looks totally fine, which is why it's better to use time as a frame of reference if you don't want to take the risk, he says. And, of course, if something *does* have visible mold on it, it's best to throw it out. (Just because something has spoiled or has mold on it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to give you a foodborne illness, Worobo says, but it’s better to be safe than sorry in this case.)

I'm going to be totally honest and possibly jinx myself here: I've eaten leftovers that I've had for longer than a week many, *many* times, and I've never gotten sick, so I asked Worobo why that might be. He says that the risk of getting sick from leftovers is actually pretty small, provided you use proper food handling practices (more on that in a bit). If there are no dangerous pathogens on your food, there never will be, unless they are introduced at some point.

“There’s no immaculate conception of bacteria,” he jokes. So as long as you make sure to avoid any cross-contamination and handle food properly so that any existing pathogens can’t multiply to dangerous amounts, he says that leftovers can last up to a week in some cases. After that point, though, it's no longer worth the risk, especially for very young children, elderly adults, people with autoimmune conditions, pregnant women, people with conditions like diabetes and HIV/AIDS, and those undergoing treatment for cancer, he says, because they’re more likely to get sick from a much smaller amount of bacteria.

One exception to this rule is seafood, says Philip Tierno, Ph.D., clinical professor in the departments of microbiology and pathology at NYU Langone Medical Center. "Generally speaking, the most contaminated food product is seafood and it breaks down easily and quickly," he explains. "Fish with an odor is being broken down and bacteria are increasing in population." Anyone who's eaten seafood knows how quickly it can go from smelling delicious to smelling sour, and the FDA doesn't recommend holding onto any fresh seafood leftovers for more than one to two days (smoked fish, on the other hand, will be fine for up to 14 if packaged in an airtight container).

If you're wondering why it seems like cooked leftovers don't last as long in your fridge as the raw ingredients do, it's because they don't, says Worobo. Bacteria develops more quickly in cooked food for a handful of reasons. "Microorganisms need water, the proper temperature, and the proper acidity [to multiply]," he explains, "so if you take a cake mix and add water and eggs, you’re supplying the nutrients for the pathogens.”

What Happens When a Professional Foodie Can't Eat Anything?

Here's what happened when our magazine's food editor suddenly found that all his favorite things were off limits—and how he learned to have fun anyway.

I&aposm a professional eater.ਏor almost 20 years now, my formal titles have included freelance food writer, restaurant sous chef, and, currently, senior food editor𠅋ut they all come down to eating. My input determines my output: eat and describe, eat and replicate, eat and improve. I’ve taste-tested thousands of Cooking Light recipes. I’ve flown from city to city evaluating restaurants, crosshatching the country like grill marks, sampling two lunches and two or even three dinners a day to make the trips as efficient as possible. I’ve judged chili cook-offs, pie contests, and cheese awards (one with so many entrants it had me tasting cheese for eight hours straight). I did all this while living with ulcerative colitis, a nasty autoimmune disease that ravaged my large intestine several times a year. When my mouth was full𠅊nd my colitis was in remission—two things were certain: I had work to do, and I was very, very happy.

Then about two years ago, the unthinkable happened: I became terrified of eating. It first hit me while I was home recovering from a total colectomy that removed my 6-foot-long colon in its entirety. I was propped up on my study sofa, double-fisting blue raspberry Pedialyte and vanilla Ensure nutrition shakes while tethered to IV meds hanging on a drip stand. The six-hour IV kept me stuck in place, so I fixated on mise en place: strategically organizing all my earthly needs within reach. I arranged my eight pill bottles on the coffee table according to dosing schedule with the daily regimen laid out in front of each vial so I wouldn’t lose track in an opioid haze. To the left of the table were several boxes of IV supplies𠅍rip bags, tubing, rubber gloves, syringes, alcohol wipes𠅊nd other boxes with ileostomy bags and all the gauze, tape, and paste I needed to change my bag every three days. To the right stood a dwindling supply of Pedialyte and Ensure bottles. My trash can spilled over with the empties, like wreckage from a depraved hypochondria bender.

Struggling to cook healthy? We'll help you prep.

I called my mom, who was 1,000 miles away in Massachusetts, in an assisted living memory care unit I𠆝 settled her into just two days before my surgery. She seemed lucid over the phone, so I rehashed my medical ordeal.

Colon removal was a last resort, but my body wouldn’t respond anymore to colitis medication, and over 25 years I𠆝 tried them all: sulfa drugs, steroids, biologics, immunosuppressants. If the colectomy had gone well, I told her, I would have been sprung from the hospital in five or six days. But it hadn’t gone well. I needed corrective surgery two days later, then stayed in the hospital for a month waiting for my temporary ileostomy (a raw nub of small intestine sticking out of my stomach, covered by a plastic waste bag) to work properly. Soon after my release, I returned twice for emergencies. The first was for an undigested piece of beef that caused a wickedly painful intestinal obstruction and put me in the hospital for three days—no food or liquid by mouth allowed�ore it passed.

The second was even more exciting. I’m a lifelong water guzzler, draining more than a gallon a day. It’s not a health-minded obsession I’m just a thirsty guy. Clearly I𠆝 never come close to dehydration before. But my new ileostomy erupted volcanically around the clock, and without a colon to absorb water, I dried out in a hurry. One night, my ribcage suddenly felt like it was squeezing shut, and I fought for deep breaths. My hands seized and clenched involuntarily. I headed to the fridge for more water but swerved like a drunk, bumping into doorways and chairs. I don’t recall how my wife, Julie, got me off the floor and into the car, but within the hour I was in the ICU being treated for kidney failure.

And the adventure was just starting. Because I𠆝 refused a permanent ileostomy bag, I needed two more surgeries to reroute my plumbing with six months of recovery after each.

I told my mom I had to be careful in the meantime about what and how I ate. I heard doubt in my voice, and I realized just then how frightened I𠆝 become of obstructions from food I couldn’t digest anymore (like red meat) or from not chewing each small bite dozens of times into a uniformly smooth paste. Food—my career, my hobby, and my passion—now felt like a mortal threat. The doctor said the sooner my system adjusted to solid food, the quicker I𠆝 heal. But solids weren’t worth the worry (or pain) anymore. So I resolved to avoid any food that required my teeth. My work-around𠅊 steady flow of Pedialyte for hydration and Ensure for sustenance—was maybe a little extreme. And it definitely would prolong the healing process. But I wouldn’t have obstructions, I𠆝 keep hydrated, and I𠆝 stay out of the damn hospital.

“Sweet mother of the Lord, kid, that sounds awful. Just awful,” Mom sighed. “I wish there were something I could do.” Now I felt petty, complaining to a dying dementia patient about my lackluster menu. It wasn’t so bad, I told her. I ate some smooth food, too. Lunch was a cup of plain Greek yogurt, for instance, and dinner would be 3 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter. I also kept sugar-free chocolate pudding cups on hand for special occasions.

“That’s good, my dear,” Mom said with a chuckle. “And in time you’ll see the humor in all this.” You might wonder if dementia made her laugh about deeply unfunny things. But no, it’s just that our family humor runs Addams-dark at times like these.

The actual point of 𠇊ll this,” though, was a transformation so thrilling I didn’t dare mention it to my mother or anyone else for fear of jinxing it: No colon meant no colitis. And so I figured in about a year, fully healed from the third surgery, I would be able to eat just about anything I wanted for the first time ever as an adult.

“I hope you’re taking lots of notes,” Mom added, practical advice she offered throughout my writing life. “This’ll make a good story someday.”

She gave the same advice when I was first diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 1993. Doctors and patients alike told me to be thankful it wasn’t Crohn’s, a more severe inflammatory bowel disease that can attack your entire digestive system from the mouth on down. Indeed, colitis was unpleasant enough: stabbing cramps that had me doubled over more than 20 urgent bathroom trips a day (and all night) copious bleeding and anemia nausea and vomiting and weight loss too sudden and drastic to enjoy.

Colitis limited my diet somewhat. I avoided nuts, seeds, and popcorn (foods I came to think of as “sharp”), very spicy dishes, and raw fibrous veggies like broccoli and celery. I learned my boundaries the hard way and paid dearly for missteps. But I could handle most food pretty well, at least in small amounts, so I never felt deprived. And, hey, it wasn’t Crohn’s.

Right after my colectomy, I pared down to about five foods: peanut butter, yogurt, pudding, Pedialyte, and Ensure. Or three, depending on how you define 𠇏ood.” But I slowly expanded my diet that spring, adding one soft item a week so I could identify the culprit in case of a problem. I tolerated them all: boiled peeled potatoes, overcooked carrots, overripe bananas, buttered semolina pasta, and white rice. I took the rice a step further and fixed a sentimental favorite from my childhood, when Mom used to heat up leftover white rice from Chinese takeout, mix in margarine and sour cream, and shake on some Parmesan cheese from a green can. Without irony or shame, she called it “risotto.” My version used butter and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, but it soothed all the same.

Emboldened, I put my teeth back to work and tried meat: poached chicken breast (browned meat is harder to chew into pabulum) and canned tuna became my go-to proteins, touched up with a slick of good olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Honey Nut Cheerios (whole grains! crunchy!) with almond milk were dessert.

Back at work, I didn’t taste-test anymore, so I homed in on cooking methods. For me, cooking is about creative joy and magical alchemy, quite distinct from the sensuous, passive pleasure of eating. Even though I couldn’t eat foods I once loved, I could still dream up better ways to prepare them.

Like popcorn. I’ve long prided myself on making stovetop popcorn without a single burned or unpopped kernel. All modesty aside, I’m incredibly good at this. It’s my superpower. But I started to think a little finesse with the steam could make it even better. I made late-night batches for Julie so I could practice a new method: I shook the pan on the burner like always, but I cracked the lid every now and then so a little steam escaped. That way, the drier air inside the pot made the popcorn more airy and crisp.

Then a fever dream about porchetta—lusciously fatty roasted pork smeared with aromatics—led me to develop a leaner take for last December’s Cooking Light cover recipe: prosciutto and broccoli rabe rolled up in a butterflied pork loin. While bordering on obsession, my tight focus on technique kept me from stoma-gazing and stressing out about the next two procedures.

The second surgery went smoothly. My doctor said I could go home within a week. I was glad to have some good news for my mother, though I never relayed it. My hospital room phone rang just before dawn the morning after the operation, loud and shrill and insistent. It was the nursing home. Mom had died. They had questions about what funeral home she should be delivered to and who would collect her belongings. I had a foggy head full of Dilaudid and no answers.

I spent the next week back home on the sofa. My father died when I was 15, and I have no siblings, so Mom’s affairs were my responsibility the to-do list seemed impossibly long. Days bled together without distinction. Strained from grief and fuzzy from painkillers, I made and took phone call after phone call from family, lawyers, bankers, and government clerks. One of the few times I roamed as far as the front door was to let in a repairman. He didn’t know me but still seemed to look at me with deep concern. It’s possible I wasn’t looking my absolute best.

Julie and I held a memorial service and reception back home in Massachusetts. At the reception, while I sipped water, a friend suggested I make a list of everything I would eat when I was all better, something I could slap on the fridge door to inspire me toward good health. My list ran to about 20 dishes. They were fibrous (raw broccoli with vinaigrette, any kind of raw fruit at all), spicy (Szechuan mapo tofu, Julie’s chipotle pork tamales), sharp (pumpkin seeds, peanuts), sugary or lactose-loaded (hot fudge sundaes, creamy burrata), or had chewy protein (steamer clams, grilled rib eye steak, burgers). It was fun to compile, but on the fridge the list seemed more like a taunt than motivation.

What bothered me more, though, was that the dishes didn’t tantalize me. My fear of digestive emergencies, ER trips, and surgeries had killed my appetite I didn’t crave that food, or any food, anymore. I actually had this thought: If I never have another cheeseburger, it’s fine. And I meant it. If I looked in the mirror, would I even recognize this monster?

The third and last surgery,ਊlmost exactly a year after the first, was a structural success. I was home after five days with all my pipes now completely internal, sewn and stapled into a self-sufficient digestive tract. I figured once I resumed a full diet, my food fantasy life would come blazing back in glorious Technicolor. To celebrate, Julie and I uncorked a nice Bordeaux that, the very next day, seemed to have shredded my guts.

Cramps rolled and heaved in waves. Then came fever, bleeding, and double-digit bathroom trips. No more wine or alcohol of any kind, I swore to God and anyone who𠆝 listen. But though it was an accelerant, it turns out the wine didn’t cause the fire. After running me through a battery of lab tests and an investigative scope procedure, my doctor told me what did.

I’ll admit I did not see that coming. But I saw the humor immediately. Touché, universe.

After a brief but thorough਎motional breakdown, I came to accept the fact that these things happen. It’s rare, but a person can have the colectomy and ensuing reconstructive surgeries and then develop Crohn’s afterward as a complication. Or I may have had Crohn’s all along, misdiagnosed as colitis, which would just be too ironically pat: The reconstruction I had is contraindicated for Crohn’s patients because it’s useless against the disease. Regardless, now I had to learn what Crohn’s would do to me and how to adjust my diet to stave it off.

In the inflammatory bowel disease class, Crohn’s is the overachieving valedictorian. Not content to destroy just your gut, it also excels at what doctors call 𠇎xtraintestinal symptoms.” I now have mouth ulcers that often make eating or even speaking painful, and throbbing arthritic inflammation in my hands sometimes keeps me from typing.

The lineup of offending foods for Crohn’s patients includes the usual suspects for inflammation or gas: alcohol, fatty or fried foods, fiber, dairy, caffeine, chocolate, carbonation, nightshades like tomato, and so on. And as with all diets, what works for one person might not work for others.

After months of trial, error, and two more unexpected surgeries to remove the most troublesome few centimeters of my lower tract (which they call the “rectal cuff,” a dashing name that made the procedures seem more tolerable, like bespoke tailoring), I arrived at my current plant-based diet. It’s much higher in fiber than I once thought I could handle but seems to keep my inflammation in check. Instead of three meals, I eat six or seven small portions throughout the day. Breakfast is low-sugar cereal with almond milk, or steel-cut oatmeal, maybe with a banana if I’m hungry enough. The rest of the day I eat fruit and cooked veggies: peeled apples, oranges, avocados, broccoli, and beets. Protein comes from oil-rich fish—salmon, canned sardines and mackerel𠅊s well as trusty peanut butter and soy in the I-can’t-believe-it’s-soy form of Boca Chik’n Patties. Whole grains and legumes round out the mix: quinoa, farro, lentil pasta, hummus. No alcohol, dairy, meat, or food with more than a few grams of added sugar. I’ve been on this regimen for just about a month as of this writing. It’s way too soon to assign blame or credit to any particular food, but I’ve seen my symptoms abate.

Heavy doses of curcumin (the active component of turmeric) and weapons-grade prescription probiotics also seem to help. Per dose, the refrigerated probiotic powder delivers nearly 4 trillion microbes from eight different strains, which is roughly 1,000 times more than the typical over-the-counter probiotic. It’s a shock-and-awe bacterial invasion, decimating bad strains so that healthy ones can happily occupy my gut for years to come.

I cautiously try new foods now and then to see if I can tolerate them, but my diet will always be pretty limited. I’m truly done eating cheeseburgers, and I’m amazed to say it’s truly fine—I’ve had more than my share of them in this life anyway. I savor what I eat now. I chew attentively and appreciate flavor nuance and texture, like the verdant juiciness, faint sweetness, and frankfurter-like snap of a steamed broccoli stalk. I fall in love again with simple foods, single ingredients. After a year without citrus, my first bite of a clementine segment last winter rolled my eyes back in my head as the sweet juice triggered an endorphin rush.

Good has come from all this, and it’s still paying dividends. Julie told me a delightful story recently about an acquaintance who approached her grimly to offer condolences: “I heard your husband died. I’m so sorry for your loss.” As soon as Julie stopped laughing—she’s perfect for my family, really—she brought her up to speed. The poor woman explained that the repairman who came to my house after the second surgery had apparently given her bad intel.

I thought back to how I must have looked when I answered the door to let him in. Painkiller-glazed, sunken eyes salt-and-pepper stubble on gaunt cheeks and a stained bathrobe draping a skeletal frame—I’ve made better first impressions. I was also clutching my IV drip stand and holding the gravity-fed gear too low, so the line backed up and filled with blood. Can’t fault him for assuming I was about to be eighty-sixed from life’s grand buffet. Hilarious, yes, but also exhilarating to dodge a bullet, even an apocryphal one.

Now here I am, not dead at all, planning the “turchetta”— porchetta-style turkey breast—I’ll cook for Julie on Thanksgiving. Will I sneak a bite or two of it, or stick to my usual stuff? Will it be wistful—Thanksgiving without gravy and sausage-studded stuffing—or celebratory, a new menu for a new me? Either way, I’ll be taking good notes.

Your sleep quality gets worse.

Even though a few drinks can help you fall asleep hard (although it's not for the right reasons!), the quality of your sleep might not be great, and you could wake up often in the night, not really getting the REM cycle sleep you need to function well the next day.

"It really is more like 'passing out' than falling asleep to get rest. One night of disruption in circadian rhythm may not seem like a big deal, but over-indulging may impact sleep up to 48 hours and regular intake can wreak havoc on your rest processes long term," Jones explains. So, give yourself a cut-off to power down, and go some nights without drinking tequila to really catch those Zzz's.

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Best Supplements You May Need Now, According to Experts

When it comes to eating right, it's easy to get distracted by complex eating plans. But you also need to ensure the bases are covered. You need—to quote mom—to get your vitamins.Researchers found that many adults aren't getting adequate levels of Vitamins A, C and D, in a recent study at the University of Illinois. This doesn't mean you should start popping multivitamins and supplements as insurance (especially because recent studies indicate that they're largely ineffective)—in fact, it's best to get our nutrients from whole foods.Here are some of the most common vitamins we don't get enough of, along with the foods that can replenish your natural stores. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these 19 Ways You're Ruining Your Body, Say Health Experts. 1 Vitamin D There's been a lot of talk about vitamin D deficiency recently, and it's worth repeating. Up to 70% of us aren't getting enough. The sunshine vitamin—so named because the sun produces D upon skin contact—is essential for healthy bones and teeth, and emerging evidence links it to a lower risk of some cancers. "The most common deficiency that I see in my practice is vitamin D," says Gina Consalvo, a registered dietitian who practices in Pennsylvania. "Our body does make some D when exposed to sunlight, but usually not enough to meet our body's needs," she adds.How to get it: Consalvo recommends whole eggs, fish oil and fish such as herring, halibut, salmon, mackerel, or tuna. Fortified foods like milk, breakfast cereal and yogurt are also rich in D.RELATED: I'm A Doctor And Warn You Never Take This Supplement 2 Vitamin B12 Essential for the production of red blood cells, nerves and DNA, B12 also plays a crucial role in the production of energy. It's found in whole food sources like meat, eggs and fortified milk. But plants don't make B12 if you're following a vegetarian or vegan diet, unless you're a lacto-ovo vegetarian, you might not be getting enough.How to get it: Beef (always go for grass-fed), chicken, seafood, dairy products and eggs. According to the USDA, the foods with the highest levels of B12 are beef, clams and lamb. 3 Vitamin A Poor vitamin A—despite its place at the top of the alphabetical heap, it's underappreciated. But you definitely want to ensure you're stocked up: It's essential for proper immune system function, tissue growth and repair and bone strength.How to get it: According to the USDA, foods in the top-10 highest sources of A are beef, veal, sweet potatoes and carrots. The CDC's Diet and Nutrition Report adds that fish-liver oils, liver, egg yolks, butter and cream are known for their higher content of vitamin A.RELATED: This Supplement Can Raise Your Heart Attack Risk, Experts Say 4 Vitamin C Up to 15% of us aren't getting adequate C, and that number's on the rise compared to previous decades, according to the CDC's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. It may not prevent colds, but C is a powerful antioxidant and is essential for healthy skin tendons and blood vessels. In a University of Arizona study published in the journal Nutrition&Metabolism, researchers found that vitamin C levels impacted fat oxidation during exercise, and cited a survey that showed levels of C have a direct relationship to body fat and waist size. (But don't use that as an excuse to go C-crazy: megadoses aren't effective and may be toxic.)How to get it: Oranges are considered the gold standard, but many more foods are richer in the vitamin: Red peppers have almost four times the C of an orange! Also good sources: Chiles, broccoli, brussels sprouts and strawberries. Vitamin C also makes your skin tighter and look younger.RELATED: Signs You're Getting One of the "Most Deadly" Cancers. 5 Potassium Only 4.7% of Americans consume adequate potassium, University of Illinois researchers found. You best get to it as the mineral is crucial in maintaining healthy heart and kidney function. The nutrient also helps flatten your belly in two ways: you recover after a workout, and it helps the body flush out water and sodium, reducing belly bloat.How to get it: Add bananas, avocados, nuts and leafy green vegetables to your grocery list. According to the USDA, the food highest in potassium is molasses, if that's your jam. And to get through life at your healthiest, Don't Take This Supplement, Which Can Raise Your Cancer Risk.

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This Plant-Based Fast Food Chain Is About To Double Its Locations

If you're trying to be conscious of the ways your patterns of consumption affect the planet (and your health), and you dig a good drive-thru, good news: A dynamic, plant-based fast-food franchise is expanding, as its key new investor says the world should watch for more like this to come.PRNewswire published this in recent days: California's Plant Power Fast Food hast just completed its $7.5 million Series A capital. With a name that suggests revolution, Plant Power Fast Food calls itself the home of "100% plant-based burgers, fries and shakes." They currently have seven locations in operation throughout California with an eighth in the works at the University of California San Diego.RELATED: Costco Foods You Should Always Avoid, According to NutritionistsNow, the chain says, they'll use this newly secured capital to "to continue to execute its expansion plans with a focus on new corporate unit development," according to their announcement. That's set to include eight new store openings in such cities as Sacramento and Hollywood, and what appears to be its first inter-state opening in Las Vegas. Said Lee Piccoli, CEO of the investment company Fusion Ventures: "Plant Power Fast Food has built something unique and scalable, and the brand has captured the hearts of aspirational consumers whose needs are evolving."This is an exciting development in the plant-based movement, as Plant Power Fast Food boasts a truly indulgent menu. Apart from their salads that feature superfood ingredients (which seem tantalizing in their own rite), the chain offers an extensive menu of burgers inspired by fast-food classics (the double-decker, sesame seed-topped "Big Zac," named after co-founder Zach Vouga, is a clear plant play on the Big Mac at McDonald's). They also offer vegan chicken selections, all-natural fries ("Just potatoes, oil, and salt," says their site), dairy-free "shakes," and novelty items such as a kombucha float.As our eating evolves, it's fun to see brands that are pushing the bounds of what's possible with plant-based options (like Plant Power's "Rambler Burger" topped with American "cheese" and onion rings). Keep reading up on food news with these:15 Popular McDonald's Menu Items That Are Gone for GoodYou Won't Believe How Many Ingredients Are In McDonald's French Fries9 Nostalgic Snack Brands Launching New Treats for SummerAmerica's Favorite Frozen Yogurt Chain Just Launched This New Summer Drink

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15 Weight Loss Tips That Are Evidence Based, Say Experts

Fad diets come and go, but there are a few tried and true methods to losing weight that actually work—and don't involve unhealthy habits like not eating enough or working out too much. Adrienne Youdim, MD, FACP, an internist who specializes in medical weight loss and nutrition and author of the #1 Amazon bestseller Hungry for More: Stories and Science to Inspire Weight Loss from the Inside Out, offers 15 evidence-based weight loss tips to Eat This, Not That! that can help you achieve your weight loss goals the right way. 1 Get Enough Sleep Sleep is crucial for weight loss, Dr. Youdim explains. "Sleep deprivation has been shown to increase hunger hormones as well as cravings for highly palatable (i.e. high fat, high sugar) foods," she says. She suggests shooting for 7-8 hours of sleep per night. 2 Reduce Alcohol Intake Alcohol is a "double whammy" in terms of weight gain. "Alcohol is not only empty calories but also affects leptin —a hormone that signals fullness to the brain, and also has negative effects on sleep quantity and quality," she says. 3 Eat Real Food Studies show that processed versions of whole foods don't suppress hunger hormones as well as the real deal, Dr. Youdim reveals. "For example, processed chicken (like the kind you get in frozen meals or fast food patties), will suppress hunger hormones less than a real piece of chicken breast."RELATED: This Supplement Can Raise Your Heart Attack Risk, Experts Say 4 Eat More Protein Amp up protein intake if you want to lose weight. "Higher protein intake helps preserve muscle mass (and therefore your metabolism) while losing weight so that you lose fat mass not muscle," says Dr. Youdim. She recommends 1-1.2 grams per kg body weight. 5 Start Your Day with Protein Dr. Youdim suggests eating a protein packed breakfast. "There is a lot of controversy around 'to breakfast or not,' but studies show that a high-protein breakfast (ie 20 grams) will suppress hunger hormones all day," she reveals. 6 Practice Self-Compassion Having a good attitude and practicing self love is key to reaching your goals. "Often we bully ourselves into losing weight. This leads to sabotage, while self-compassion has been shown to be more effective in habit change," Dr. Youdim says. 7 Manage Your Stress Finding ways to de-stress can be key to losing weight. "Stress literally hijacks our hunger hormones, tricking us to feeling hungry when we are not," Dr. Youdim explains. She suggests managing stress with exercise, journaling, and mindfulness—not food.RELATED: I'm A Doctor And Warn You Never Take This Supplement 8 Practice Mindful Meditation Getting your zen on can be helpful on your weight loss journey. Practicing mindful meditation "has been shown to facilitate habit change." 9 Reframe Your Mindset A positive mindset around and your habits is associated with greater weight loss and has metabolic benefits as well, according to Dr. Youdin. "In one study of hotel staff, those who were told that their labor was a form of exercise lost visceral fat and reduced blood pressure as compared to those who did not receive this guidance," she says. 10 Start Strength Training Building muscle will help mitigate the natural loss of muscle that occurs with aging, says Dr. Youdin. "More muscle means better metabolism and equals more calories burned." 11 Think Abundance, Not Restriction Dr. Youdin maintains that restrictive mindsets around food backfire and can lead to binging. "Reframe restriction to a mindset of abundance," she suggests. "Eat so much of what serves you so you have less room for what does not. No one gained weight from too much chicken." 12 Track Your Mood Pay attention to your mental state before you reach for food. "We eat for so many reasons other than hunger, like sadness, frustration, anxiety, and boredom. Often, we are unaware of the trigger," Dr. Youdin points out. "Notice your patterns/triggers and find alternatives to food such as sunshine, nature, and heartfelt connection."RELATED: The #1 Cause of Obesity, According to Science 13 Get a Pet If you live alone, Dr. Youdin suggests getting a pet. "Loneliness, whether due to social distancing or relationship disputes caused by the endless political drama and current events, has affected everyone this year," she says. "Connection with animals is a dopamine booster and an antidote to the dopamine we chase after with chocolate." 14 Caffeinate Consuming caffeine can help you lose weight. "This has appetite suppressant effects and can rev up metabolism," she reveals. "Just be careful but not to over-do it!" 15 Manage Dietary Setbacks with Kindness "Those who manage dietary set-backs or weight regain with kindness were more likely to get back to their routines as compared to people who catastrophize weight gain," Dr. Youdin reveals. "The latter group were less likely to resume healthy eating patterns and physical activity." And now that you've got a great foundation, don't miss these additional 19 Weight Loss Foods That Really Work, Say Experts.

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5 Signs You Have Dementia and Aren't Aging "Normally"

What are the signs you have dementia and it's not just "normal" aging? There are a few and they're important to know. For although you may joke, at times, that you had a "brain fart," or struggle to remember so-and-so's name, a certain pattern of behavior can be more alarming. "Normal aging may include weakening muscles and bones, stiffening of arteries and vessels, and some age-related memory changes that may show as: Occasionally misplacing car keys. Struggling to find a word but remembering it later. Forgetting the name of an acquaintance," says the CDC. But read on to see the signs of actual dementia we've listed 7 key signs. 1 You're Forgetting Recent Events or Information Perhaps you can remember exactly where you went on your first big date…but can't remember what you did last week, or if you did a recent grocery shop. "One of the most common signs of Alzheimer's disease, especially in the early stage, is forgetting recently learned information," says the Alzheimer's Association. "Others include forgetting important dates or events, asking for the same questions over and over, and increasingly needing to rely on memory aids (e.g., reminder notes or electronic devices) or family members for things they used to handle on their own." 2 You Bought Things You Have No Memory of Buying Tales of folks with dementia ordering Amazon packages—or in one case, a car—and having no memory doing so is becoming more common now that purchases are a click away. This kind of errant spending can be a sign of money issues in general. "In time, it may become apparent to a carer that, even with support, the person with dementia is struggling to cope," says the Alzheimer's Association. "For example, they may fail to understand what needs to be paid, overpay for some things, or leave money unaccounted for."RELATED: 9 Everyday Habits That Might Lead to Dementia, Say Experts 3 You Repeat Yourself Over and Over in a Short Period of Time One grandmother with dementia was watching her granddaughter come in and out of a room. "Oh, she's so beautiful," sheɽ say when the toddler ran past. "Whose is she?" Then the child would run into the room again. "Oh, she's so beautiful," said the grandmother. "Whose is she?" And again and again—each time, she could not remember who the child belonged to, and repeated herself. Another time, at a diner, a grandfather told a raucous story about a time heɽ had with old friends at a bowling alley. When finished, he got up to use the restroom, leaving the table laughing. Upon returning, he sat down and proceeded to tell the exact same story, beat for beat. 4 You Misplace Items You Use All the Time It's completely natural for the Scotch tape to go missing in a busy household, or for you to forget which of your dozen pockets the car keys are in. But if you use an item consistently—like, say, a medication, or eyewear, or, yes your car keys—and misplace them in strange places, like, say, in the soap dish, or on the stove, then this is cause for concern. RELATED: Signs You're Getting One of the "Most Deadly" Cancers. 5 You Do Not Know the Date or Time During the pandemic, it's been a common joke to say the days have gone by in a blur and time doesn't matter. But even the most socially distanced of us know when and where we are, if we are in our right mind. Those with dementia do not always feel this way. They may not be able to come up with the date or time, or think that it is a different date or time. 6 You May Experience a Change in Mood or Interests In one of the more disturbing threads of the recent film The Father, about a gentleman (Anthony Hopkins) who has dementia, the man veers from charming and loquacious to quiet and sullen to bursting with red-faced anger, depending on the day, and depending, sometimes, on the hour. This is common, as the stress of forgetting life's simplicities would lead anyone to run the emotional gamut. If you feel any of these symptoms are happening to you, feel no shame instead, simply reach out to a medical professional for a diagnostic test. And to get through life at your healthiest, Don't Take This Supplement, Which Can Raise Your Cancer Risk.

You Have to Try This Protein-Packed Summer Lunch Spread with Farro Salad, Ricotta Dip, and Eggs

If you don't follow us on Instagram yet, you might have missed Shelly Westerhausen Worcel, cookbook author and recipe developer, show us the most lavish lunch spread on our Instagram Stories. The spread she displayed came from her newest cookbook Tables&Spreads: A Go-To Guide for Beautiful Snacks, Intimate Gatherings, and Inviting Feasts. The book is all about easy entertaining, small gatherings, and recipes for weeknight meals. The book was inspired by responses and suggestions from Worcel's first book, Platters and Boards.Worcel's Farro Salad, Simple Ricotta Dip, and Cacio e Pepe Eggs are all a part of this quick, easy, and delicious protein-packed lunch spread. (Related: 100 Easiest Recipes You Can Make)The Farro Salad is a perfect and refreshing way to add protein and fiber to your meal. Its pecans add crunch and roasted leeks pack vitamin K the apples and raisins add some natural sweetness, blue cheese lends a savory balance, and a simple dressing rounds out the healthy fats and flavor. Plus, the eggs are full of protein, meaning this lunch spread will cover all the bases.Once all these recipes are done, grab a board and place your Ricotta Dip in the center, add your Cacio e Pepe eggs, along with any veggies youɽ like with this dip. Worcel recommends adding toasted bread, red cabbage leaves, cucumbers, assorted nuts, tri-colored cherry tomatoes, some halved organic purple and orange carrots, halved beets, mini peppers, halved snap peas, and watermelon beet slices.For more snack board ideas, check out this recipe for 6 Healthy Dip Recipes to Make at Home.Farro Salad You'll Need For the dressing1/4 cup olive oil1 Tbsp white wine vinegar1 tsp chili garlic sauce, or your favorite hot sauce1 tsp honey1/2 tsp salt1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepperFor the salad1 cup farro, rinsed1 1/2 tsp salt, plus more for seasoningOne can chickpeas, drained and rinsed2 Tbsp olive oil1 small leek, trimmed, washed, halved, and sliced into 1/2 in half-moons1/3 cup pecan halves1 tart apple, cored and diced1/4 cup yellow raisins1/4 cup crumbled blue cheeseFreshly ground black pepper How to Make It To make the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, chili garlic sauce, honey, salt, and pepper in a small mixing bowl.Set aside.To make the salad, first, boil the farro until it's tender. Drain any excess water and set it aside.Bake your chickpeas on a baking sheet tossed in 1 Tbsp of the olive oil and 1/2 tsp of the salt for 10 minutes in the oven.On another baking sheet spread an even layer of leeks tossed in the remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil and the remaining 1/2 tsp of salt.Once your chickpeas are done pour them on top of the leeks and place them in the oven for an additional 10 minutes or until both the leeks and chickpeas are brown. Then use a spatula to push the chickpea mixture to one side of the baking sheet and add the pecans.Let it all bake for another 3 minutes or until fragrant. Remove them from the oven and set them aside.Once the pecans are cool enough to chop, roughly chop and place them in a large mixing bowl.In the same large mixing bowl, add the cooked farro, chickpeas, leeks, apple, raisins, and blue cheese and mix to combine. Drizzle in the dressing and mix again. Taste and add more salt or pepper, as needed.Author note: This salad can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Let the salad come back to room temperature when serving.Simple Ricotta Dip You'll Need 1 cup of ricottaHerbs from your fridgeSalt and pepper to tasteOlive oil to drizzle How to Make It Simply add your ricotta to a small mixing bowl for dipping and add some fresh herbs, salt, and pepper.Once it's mixed, drizzle a little olive oil on top and a pinch of herbs for decoration.To now you're going to add some herbs from your fridge to some ricotta and a dash of salt and pepper.Cacio e Pepe Eggs You'll Need 2 eggs2 tsp mayonnaise2 cups cantaloupe, sliced2 oz. shaved Parmesan cheese2 tsp grated Parmesan cheeseFreshly ground black pepper How to Make It Bring some water to a rapid boil over high heat. Using a slotted spoon, lower 2 eggs into the water and lower the heat to medium or medium-low and let that simmer for 7 minutes. When the eggs are done, transfer them to an "ice bath" (2 cups of water and ice) and let your eggs cool for at least 2 minutes.Crack and peel the eggs then slice them in half and smear 1/2 tsp of the mayonnaise on the cut side of each half.Top each egg half with 1/2 oz shredded Parmesan, 1/2 tsp grated Parmesan, and a half-turn of pepper. Serve right away.Author note: Eggs can be cooked and stored, unpeeled, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days before serving. Peel and assemble them right before serving.You can buy the full cookbook on Amazon and don't forget to follow Shelly on her Instagram page @vegetarianventures for more recipes and vegetarian inspiration.Sign up for the Eat This, Not That! newsletter to get daily recipes and food news in your inbox!

We Tried Popular New Fast-Food Summer Items and This Is the Best One

The expectations for this summer are high, with terms like "renaissance" and "return," and superlatives like "best" or "craziest" being thrown around. And, as an industry that's especially skilled in leaning into national marketing opportunities, the fast-food space is not one to ignore such an exciting time. As the hype around this summer keeps growing, so do the fast-food menus.From ridiculously celebratory to more practical and refreshing, chains have been rolling out new menu items that'll go hand-in-hand with hot summer days. They look beautiful and promisingly refreshing, but which of these new drinks and sweet treats are worth the hype of their own?I tried six of the buzziest new summer releases to find out—here's how they ranked. For more, check out We Tried the Most Popular New Iced Coffees and This Is the Best One. 6 McDonald's Strawberry Watermelon Slushie This slushie, which recently made its debut at Mickey D's, looks to be a classic in every sense. Bright red, it comes in a cone-topped plastic cup that allows for its entire grandeur to be taken in at once. I was eager to taste the strawberry and watermelon combo, and had high expectations from that first slurp. But then it just tasted . . . red.Unfortunately, beyond the clear cup with McArches etched on, there's really nothing that sets this slushie apart from a gas station staple. While it wasn't bad per se, I simply can't validate any hype on this one.RELATED: Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest restaurant news delivered straight to your inbox. 5 Taco Bell's Baja Blast Colada Freeze I've said it before, and I'll say it again: the first experience of a new fast-food item largely depends on how well it was executed by the specific location you ordered from. In the case of this Baja Blast, the Taco Bell I ordered from under-delivered. I get it—things are busier than ever, especially in the newly-maskless New York City. But this Baja Blast filled only three quarters of the cup and looked a little worse for wear.That said, the flavor of this bad boy made up for any initially lackluster impression. While still ultimately just a slushie, the Baja Blast has a slightly carbonated kick that sets it apart, making for a memorable and unique tasting experience. Definitely worth grabbing for a park hang this summer. 4 Dunkin's Berry Powdered Donut If you're a fan of Dunkin's classic powdered donuts, you'll love this summery upgrade. The Berry Powdered Donut looks appealingly modern—apparently lavender is an "it" color right now—and its taste does not disappoint.Every bit as buttery and textured as a regular Dunkin' powdered donut, the berry flavor packs a subtle punch from the moment it hits your mouth. Of course, the reigning flavor here is still Dunkin's classic donut taste, so quite a bit hinges on individual feelings about that. For me, while this new delicacy was good, it was still a bit too heavy to rank much higher on a summer round-up. 3 McDonald's Caramel Brownie McFlurry I know, I know: talk about heavy. A McFlurry is in no way light or healthy, but honestly, for the moments in which you're looking to indulge and cool off, this guy does the trick.The new McFlurry flavor makes a strong first impression, with chunks of brownie and caramel visibly dotting the top. The Mickey D's vanilla ice cream flavor is a nice compliment to the dense add-ins, and for the first seven or eight bites, this dessert is pure heaven. The reason it didn't rank higher? All the bites thereafter. As is commonly an issue with McFlurries, the bottom becomes plain vanilla ice cream pretty quickly. Still good! But definitely less enticing than we were originally led to believe. 2 Starbucks' Dragon Drink There's no other way to put it: this drink is cool. Literally—it's an iced, caffeinated beverage made with real dragonfruit and coconut milk—but also figuratively. The name, the fresh fruit floating on top, the color! I can't get enough.While slightly on the sweet side for my taste, the Dragon Drink is definitely worth all of the summer 2021 hype. It's refreshing and tropical and tastes truly hand-crafted. I give it a 10/10 and will be bringing it to the beach on summer afternoons. 1 Shake Shack's Strawberry Salted Limeade Don't walk, run! Shake Shack's limited-edition Strawberry Salted Limeade is one of three new flavors the chain rolled for a limited time. It's only available until June 30, which means we have exactly one month to enjoy this bad boy.Unlike the other summer creations, Shake Shack's Limeade is more refreshing than just plain sweet. Its taste is just as layered as its name would lead you to believe, and while it's great on its own, we can also picture it making a mean mixer for beginning-of-summer cocktails.For more, check out the 108 Most Popular Sodas Ranked By How Toxic They Are.

Over 40? Stop Doing These Things Immediately, Say Experts

Over 40? Stop doing these things immediately, say experts—even though we know you won't want to. Aging naturally comes with compromise. And no one wants to feel limited. However, being realistic about aging can help you embrace it, and maximize your health so you can in fact feel young, even if you are not. "Becoming acutely aware of your own physical and emotional feelings is something" many people neglect to do, says Dr. Martin Miner, Regional Medical Director of Vault Health, "and it has a negative impact on their health as they age. Take command of your feelings and life, and learn to take actions that steer the ship the way you want to go." With that in mind, we've collected 7 essential pieces of advice anyone after 40 should follow. Stop doing these things immediately—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Had COVID And Should Tell Your Doctor. 1 Don't Neglect Your Vitamin D Levels—or Your Iron, Riboflavin and More "Vitamin deficiencies can be an issue at any age, particularly with the common American diet," says the Burgess Health Center. "However, as women age, vitamin deficiencies become even more common and can be the cause of many symptoms and conditions. Vitamin D deficiency is particularly prevalent and can contribute to increased bone-mass loss (over the age of 40, this happens to women naturally, but a deficiency in vitamin D accelerates the problem) and osteoporosis. Low vitamin D has also been linked to depression and seasonal affective disorder. Other potential deficiencies include iron, riboflavin, and vitamin B." 2 Stop Eating Right Before Bedtime—It Makes You Gain Weight Too Fast You used to be able to down an entire pizza or pint of Ben&Jerry's while binging a Netflix marathon, or maybe have a few beers at the bar till midnight, but now…you can't. Or at least, you shouldn't. "Eating before bed can cause the body's metabolism to slow," say the experts at Amerisleep. "The body slows down its functions at night to prepare for sleep, but consuming foods, especially those high in carbs, can make it harder to digest and result in weight gain." It's already harder to lose weight after 40 don't make it more so. 3 Stop Obsessing Over Your Hair Loss. Accept it Or Do Something About It. A receding hairline, baldness or thinning hair are a natural part of aging for men and women, as ordinary as your hair going grey. Rather than waste years fretting over how badly you look as a result, do one of two things: 1) Accept it. You don't look like you used to. And that's OK. 2) A far more expensive option is to try hair growth products, some of which actually do work. Look for products with minoxidil—shown to grow hair faster in women—like in Rogaine.RELATED: 9 Everyday Habits That Might Lead to Dementia, Say Experts 4 Pump Iron, and Eat Iron "At this time of life many people take their good health for granted and healthy eating and exercise are often put on the back burner," says the BBC. "But as we grow older, good nutrition and regular exercise become even more important. A diet rich in antioxidants may help protect against some health problems such as heart disease, Alzheimer's, cataracts and certain types of cancer." Not to mention: "After the age of 40, the metabolic rate (the speed at which the body burns calories) drops, but the drop is very modest and the real reason many people in this age bracket start to suffer from middle-aged spread is due to a change in hormone levels and poor dietary choices, combined with a lack of exercise. Excess weight, particularly around the 'middle' is a risk factor for heart disease, diabetes and osteoarthritis and the longer you wait before you tackle the problem the harder it becomes – nip any weight gain in the bud now before it becomes a serious problem." 5 Don't Think You're Too Cool for Therapy Some of us ignore psychological pain even more than physical pain, especially men. "Men in their 40s have the tendency to ignore their emotional needs, which leads to an increase in stress and stress-related illness," says Haley Neidich, LCSW, a therapist based in New Haven, Connecticut. "Acknowledging when you need support and seeking out the right mental health counseling for your needs is essential."RELATED: Signs You're Getting One of the "Most Deadly" Cancers. 6 Don't Skip These Essential Health Screenings According to Beaumont Health, "the screenings in the 18 – 39 age group should continue to be completed annually, or as recommended by your physician, which include:a cholesterol check should be completed in your twenties, and then annually once you turn 35 it will be checked every five years if normal, annually if you have risk factorsfull body skin check to examine for suspicious moles or skin lesionswomen: exam for breast lumpswomen: pelvic examwomen: pap smear should be conducted every three years starting at the age of 21men: testicular exam"And if you're over 40, add these in, says Beaumont:"women: mammograms start the age of 40 and should be done annually if breast cancer runs in your family or you have other risk factors, you may need to begin regular mammograms at an earlier agemen: prostate screenings start at the age 50 unless you are a high-risk individual then you start at the age of 40full body scan for suspicious moles or skin lesions should be completed annually, as well as fasting blood sugar levels for signs of diabetescolonoscopy should be completed at age 50 or ten years earlier than the youngest family member with colon cancer with normal results, colorectal cancer screenings should be completed every 10 years." 7 You Can Think You're Young. But Don't Exercise That Way. Says the Cleveland Clinic, when it comes to exercise:"Warm up: 'It's important to warm up your muscles before strength training,' says Tom Iannetta ATC, CSCS, a senior athletic trainer and certified strength and conditioning specialist. ɿive or 10 minutes on the elliptical machine or stationary bike gives you a good light warmup before lifting weights.'Get stretchy: 'Incorporate a good flexibility program alongside your strength training program,' he says. Whether it's yoga or a simple stretching routine, it will help you stay flexible and decrease the risk of tendon tears and other injuries.Try machines: If you're used to lifting free weights, consider switching to weight machines. These can be safer and help you avoid injuries when aging brings on a loss of muscle tone.Listen to your body: That's true at any age, but especially as you get older. If you have muscle pain that lasts the better part of a week, or joint pain that lasts more than a day or two, that's a red flag."And to get through life at your healthiest, Don't Take This Supplement, Which Can Raise Your Cancer Risk.

Good News: Starbucks Is Open on Memorial Day

Good news because the Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso is calling your name!