The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

things I cooked, the wheezing continues, and random stuff

rainbow trout and stuff
it's edible

For the past four days I've made my own dinner from the equation of salad + potato + fish + some kind of seasoning to make everything not taste like crap. Tonight I steam-baked half a filet of randomly seasoned rainbow trout wrapped in a foil pouch in the oven while boiling weeny red potatoes. When those foodstuffs were heated long enough for optimum chewability, I arranged them on my plate in a semi-pleasing manner and spooned seasoned melted butter chunk sauce on everything. The end result was pretty good...largely because of the butter chunk.

I was happy with it. My meal had a high ratio of tastiness-to-effort-exerted, in that it took very little effort. These are the things you strive for when you're lazy and an incompetant cook. Also, I'd say it was somewhat healthy. ...Until I stuffed my face with Terra Spiced Taro Chips (my favorite food to come in chip form) and chocolate covered cashews from Life Thyme.

I think I mentioned it before, but if not (or for anyone who needs reminding), I'm on a fairly lax "no wheat or dairy" diet. Butter is derived from dairy, but neither my mum or I find it a problem since it's mainly fat. Wheat isn't too hard besides that it cuts out all bread and baked goods (yes, I ate the Balthazar bread basket as a final blow-out type thing), which are things you can definitely live without. Kinda. I'll also admit that I've eaten some milk chocolates lately, but...damn, whatever.

In addition to my diet, I'm eating out less. Obviously it's a lot easier for me to control what I eat when I put the ingredients together myself. Also, it's hella cheaper.

I'm sure I mentioned why I'm dieting, but some people have been aghast at the idea that I would go on a diet. My history of dieting for health is probably more extensive than most people's, so I'll try to sum it up while explaning myself as clearly as I can.

I'm full of wheezes. My lungs make an unnatural sound when I breathe.

"What's that rumble?"

"Oh, that's just the vibration of my unnaturally resticted airways."

"Ohh, okay! I thought it was my cat. Dying."

There's a nice lung tube diagram at wikipedia that shows the effects of asthma. It's nice to know that my airways look like mutant four-fingered hands whose tips have curiously exploded with cotton poofs, all wrapped in tight rubber bands. But it's actually a good depiction of what asthma feels like.

Up until I made drastic changes to my diet, I relied on my rescue inhaler for any sudden attacks, which didn't occur very often. That didn't mean I didn't wheeze every now and then, just that the wheezing didn't feel bad enough for me to use an inhaler. Every winter morning during 9th grade that I walked from the student parking lot to school resulted in minor asthmatic symptoms where I'd just have to wait in my classroom's non-freezing temperature for my lungs to return to their normal, un-rubber banded state. It was only when I was very young (I figure I've had asthma since before I was 5 years old) that I had the most problems requiring my face being hooked up to an uninviting tube, except it was pretty awesome when it turned out the face tube let me breathe more easily.

The only time my asthma went away for a long period of time was when I was on a raw food diet during 12th grade and freshman year of college. While many people knock the raw food diet (hell, I do sometimes) as trendy, ridiculously drastic, or just stupid, it really does help some people. I'm not saying it should be exalted (which is what I probably did), but it shouldn't be blown off either. From my knowledge of raw foodists, most people who get into the diet are pushed by a health problem. Too fat, too skinny, bad digestion, bad skin, and a gazillion other things. Unless you're interested in the raw food diet, it's unlikely you've heard of Raw Family, also known as the Boutenkos. I haven't found any reason to believe that their support for a raw food lifestyle isn't genuine, so read about them if you're interested.

...Where am I going with this? Well. I'm not going to go over what I ate every day, even though people frequently ask me that. (It's kind of self explanatory: my diet almost entirely consisted of raw food. For some reason, a frequent question was whether tofu is raw. Nope.) The physical effects of the diet were clear. Almost no excess mucus, no asthma, overall better physical endurance, weight loss, clearer skin, less need for sleep, and maybe other things. (Keep in mind I wasn't the healthiest person to begin with, so I couldn't have gotten much worse.)You would not believe how much excess mucus I had the summer before I started the diet. At my worst, I used a neti pot and flushed out nightmare-inducing globular things.

Of course, it's hard to stay on the diet. I mentioned the positive health effects, but what about the psychological? Um. Same state. Or worse. In my case, adhering to a diet where you cut out most of the food that normal people eat takes a weird state of mind, almost like following a religion (not that I'd know much about religion since I don't practice's just an example) being a religious extremist, in case the other thing I said didn't make sense. There are "normal" people and "extreme" people in religious and dietary circles; obviously most people are normal. It would take me too long to explain all the possible psychological reasons that cause one to stick to a restricted diet, but if you're interested in finding out more I highly recommend Health Food Junkies, which was actually the book that made me realize I didn't want to be a raw foodist in the long run. I wasn't majorly depressed, but I wasn't very happy either. My mum keeps telling me that diet alone didn't make me unhappy. Well yeah, there were other of which was diet, the subject that was constantly on my mind and gave me an excuse to eat nearly every meal during freshman year in my dorm room by myself, even if I didn't have to. The raw food diet made me feel healthier, but not happier.

During the summer that I ended my diet, I shacked up at Vassar College (which was where I studied freshman year, only to decide during my first semester that I wanted to transfer to NYU, although if you want to ask me about Vassar I think it's a great school) and worked in a summer media program of about 12 students. One of our supervisors asked if anyone would volunteer to help do some work on a house her family was renovating. Only I and one of my housemates stepped up to the vague job. I had absolutely no idea what the job entailed; I just needed money. (Also, the supervisor was really sweet.)

After being given heavy duty gloves, face masks and goggles to protect us in addition to the head covering she had instructed us to wear, we (four of us including her daughter and daughter's boyfriend) got to work. Work entailed tearing shit out of the walls, ceilings, and floors. Seriously. Whacking concrete-ish walls with hammers, ripping out dusty wooden panels, throwing planks studded with long, sharp nails (which thankfully had no effect on our heavy gloves) out the window onto a tarp on the ground for god knows how many hours. I took a few photos during the destruction that with the flash just looked like huge clouds of dust...since that's what we were surrounded by. It was probably the most intense labor I've ever done in my life.

I distinctly remember thinking a few things at the end of the day. First off, I'd never do that again. Second, we snorked up disturbingly black crap from all the dust. Third, I didn't get asthmatic. Amazingly. I got tired, but I didn't wheeze, nor did I even feel that achey despite whacking things with hammers and whatnot. Although I don't remember exactly what I ate, I know it couldn't have been much because I had to walk to a nearby gas station for food (and you know how gas stations are teeming with raw goodies) when there ended up only being pizza and snacks for lunch.

As of late, things like stepping out into the humid air is enough to constrict my airways. Walking down the stairs slows my pace down to an elderly hospital patient on meds as I gasp for breath. Talking on the phone also has a tendency to make me asthmatic, although that's happened for years. (If some of you wonder why I don't like talking on the phone, that's a major reason. Yeeaah. Once I had an awkward conversation with a friend where I was mainly silent since it took too much effort to actually say anything.)

Obviously, there's something wrong here. This academic year has been my most food filled ever. Or consciously food filled. Right now I'm at my heaviest weight ever (don't scoff; do you know how skinny most Taiwanese girls are?), although that's not what bothers me so much. It's the asthma...thing. The not being able to breathe. The dependence on an inhaler, which I've already used twice today, not so much because I needed it, but because I wanted to get rid of the residual "sound of a dying cat" wheezing.

I'm sure someone by now is wondering why I don't just take medication to get rid of asthma. Because...I don't think I need it. My mind is generally very malleable, embarrasingly so, but if there's one thing you can't get me to change my mind about (although you could make me angry by arguing about it) it's medicine. I'm not against it if you truly need it, but surely many people take drugs they wouldn't need if they were more cautious about their health. Call me crazy, but in my simple mind doctors would be needed for emergencies, surgeries, incurable diseases, epidemics, etc, while nutritionists would handle general health problems and help prevent the more serious diseases from happening in the first place. Have you heard the saying "Early detection is the best prevention"? Have you ever wondered how weird this sounds, or is it just me? If you can detect it, that means you already have it. Maybe I'm being too picky with semantics.

Um. ...Man, if you're still reading this, I hope you don't think I'm insane. I don't claim to be anywhere near a perfect vision of health or harbor vast nutritional knowledge (so it's probably best that you don't ask me for advice). One thing I learned from "Health Food Junkies" is that there are a gazillion views about what's best for health. In a way, it's comparable to religion. There's no reason for me to believe in one dietary tenet for all people; I'm just doing what I'm comfortable with. The more I learn about food culture around the world through my studies, the more I want to eat and experience all of it, figuring it won't kill me.

But it's summer and I'd like a break. I suppose this is a time to find activities that don't involve food. ANYONE WANNA GO TO A CONCERT? As my fooding has increased, my concerting has hit an all-time low. I'm scared. And it seems like I'm too young to see Mew, which is...grr...gah...[lets out some kind of distressed moan only Danish bands can induce]. Jason Lytle is also playing two shows on Sat, July 22nd and Monday, July 24th. Wooo?

Back to the food/health thing. People have asked me if I've seen any doctors about my recent asthma problems. Mm...nope. If you've gone to doctors for most of your life without having made much progress, you're not going to feel compelled to continue the cycle. Another thing people ask me is if I have a food allergy. I don't think I have a direct allergy. I'm going on a diet because what I eat affects my health, which in turn affects my asthma. People are mainly concerned with immediate effects, not what will happen down the road in a few years or even decades.

Another thing I may not have mentioned (or maybe you missed it) is that I'm studying abroad next semester in Paris (no subject in particular, just for the hell of it). Will I diet there? Hells no! I can deal with four months of baguettes and chocolates, asthma be damned.

If anyone wants me to explain something that I didn't touch upon in this too-long entry, feel free to ask.

Yes, it's time for a new topic.

oh, how I love Japanese things

Have any Californians been to Famima!!? No, the extraneous exclamation marks aren't my doing; the name of the store is really "Famima!!". And what the heck does that name mean? It's the Japanese shortening/bastardization of Family Mart. (There are a bunch of shortened English words adapted into Japanese that would sound odd to non-Japanese people, but make sense once you figure out what it is. My ineptitude has resulted in the inability to come up with any examples right now.) It's a little different from FM, so I guess using the same name wouldn't have been appropriate. And if you excitedly shout, "Who wants to go to FAMIMA!!?" it won't sound as insane as going, "Who wants to go to FAMILY MART!!?" Kinda.

(In Taiwan there was a Family Mart around the corner from my apartment that I frequented in search of steamed buns and onigiri. It was the first place where I tried a neon green slushie to quell the mystery around the infamous foodstuff and subsequently decided that anyone who drinks a slushie more than once out of gustatory satisfaction is a frightening human specimen. God, I loved that place.)

Update (7/4/06): Colleen reviews Famima!! with photos and whatnot! I wanna goooo.

Another update: Famima!! article in Newsweek, scanned by Sera.

What is The official website of a Brooklyn-themed (the period of 1950-1960 to be more specific) restaurant in Norway, of course! ...Yeah! I find it interesting.

Since people have a tendency to give me book recommendations, I'm going to make a list of what I've already read, amazon associates style. I wonder if that'll pay any of my bills? Hm. I'll let you know when that's finished.

A totally non-food related question for ya. Have you ever abruptly cut a friend out of your life for no apparent reason (at least, not to your friend) without giving any signs that you never intended on speaking to them again or telling them that you moved or got a new life or maybe a new name or joined the circus? Why would you do that? Is your "friend" just a naive moron for thinking there was ever a friendship? Maybe the friend is too stupid to let it go, but the picagram of confidence they had in thinking they knew what a friend was has been replaced by a feeling of inadequacy and possibly being hated for unknown reasons along with a bundle of wasted time and stress. No decent person would wish such feelings upon another, but you couldn't think that they'd respond to being ignored by feeling like happy fuzzy baby bunnies frolicking in a field of wildflowers.

Yeah, I feel like a million grams of awesome. Stop the madness.


I like The Hungry Cabbie's latest post about dancing in a soul food restaurant in the Bronx, among other things. It sounds like something I'll never do, although I wouldn't mind. ...Well, I don't dance, but I'll eat the fried stuff.

I've also decided that Ken Jennings is very cool. Cos. He's funny. Funny in a non-silly way. The funny bits pop up randomly and make me happy, like thinking you've reached the end of a bag of chips before discovering one last unbroken perfect chip! Or something. Okay, not really.

In his latest post he mentions Wordplay, which I just watched last weekend at IFC. As someone who never does crossword puzzles, I really enjoyed it. Pumped up with crossword puzzle energy, I pitted my noggin against little white and black squares soon after watching the documentary. Turns out I just suck at crosswords. Will I give up? Yeah. Those little squares can suck it. But I'll try to do something else that's just as productive as crossword puzzles.

(On a totally unrelated note, HOLY SHIZZ, The Phantom Tollbooth is playing at IFC. Drag someone to go, I will.)

I'm glad you guys enjoyed the Ayun interview! I updated it later in the day with links to places that she mentioned. Thank god for google.

To answer Jeffrey's question, there aren't many perks in the way of free handouts from writing a blog. The mainly perks are meeting/interacting with cool people who love food, having a reason to try new things, and hopefully increasing my writing and photo-taking prowess. I did just get an email from the Country Pancake House thanking me for the reviews I wrote, which was completely unexpected and appreciated!

The only free food sample I've received through this blog is from Sweet Riot. Obviously, they're awesome. I like their chocolate and the cute container it comes in. The only problem is that you could easily stuff a whole container in your mouth; this stuff doesn't last long.

Being invited to the Chocolate Symposium was a pretty awesome perk. I don't see myself being invited to many related events since my blog isn't about any specific food, but...I wouldn't mind. [cough] After my asthma gets better, at least.

If you want free stuff for blogging, start a music blog. You don't even need a lot of readers; listening to some "cool" stuff is enough to make marketers fling stuff at you. I got a CD in the mail the other day and I didn't even remember giving out my home address. Odd. The marketers probably give up on me after I fail to review anything they send me (hey, it's my choice!), but those marketers...they're always lurking around. If only food could be so easily distributed.


cybele / June 29, 2006 1:35 AM

I did try Famima!! once. I went on a Friday night to the West Hollywood location. They had a pretty good selection of Japanese snacks and candy (Pocky!), premade noodle bowls, salads and sushi.

They also had a sandwich bar and steamed buns.

It's kind of like a version of a 7-11 if Target decided to over-design it.

There's one opening not far from my house, I'm looking forward to it.

kaitlin Hess / June 29, 2006 2:21 AM

You are indeed a very wise girl to realize that there is a balance that must exist between health AND happiness. You are lightyears ahead if so many of the morons who come into my health food store. KUDOS to you!

G / June 29, 2006 2:51 AM

You were on a roll! And I'll keep it really short.. 1. The food you cooked looks really good, esp the red taters. 2. Good luck with your health.

Adalmin / June 29, 2006 8:30 AM

Eat at Subway every day, ordering only the Veggie Delite until your brain starts crying and surrendering the minute it spots a lettuce leaf.

That what I do. And I weep in my bathroom at the sadness of it.

William / June 29, 2006 9:40 AM

Famina sounds cool but it's unlikely they'd open one here in Ohio.

But more important..... Terra Chips. I love the hell out of Terra Chips, just about every variety I've tried is awesome and the Taro chips are very good. My fave is the Jalapeno Sweet Potato Chips. Too bad I can only find them at a store an hour and a half away.

Wei / June 29, 2006 9:41 AM

I think it was irresponsible and a bit unfair to label people of faith as being in an "altered state of mind". While popular news media constantly point out the extremists, I've known several people during a number of years that are some of the kindest and "normal" people that anyone would ever meet. I'm not practicing anything nor avocating any particular religion, however, grossly labeling people isn't right.

Honey / June 29, 2006 10:05 AM

Hi Darlin', long time no comment...

I'm sorry to hear that your asthma has been giving you so many problems lately. I can't imagine how had that is to deal with. I just came across a few points in this long post that I'd like to address:

You're going to Paris? That is amazing! Go Robyn! You're becoming quite the traveler and I look forward to all the amazing photographs and stories you'll have to tell. You must report back, in detail, just how wonderful the bread is....ohhhhhh...

And about the "have you ever abruptly cut a friend out of your life thing" yeah, I've done that more than once. It's not something that I'm proud of, but it came out of necessity (at least from my perspective) because the relationships were really unhealthy or draining. But, I've been on both sides of the coin, (the one who has dumped another, and the one who has been dumped.)

I think I have an idea of who you are referring to by asking the question in the first place, and all I can say is that you're probably better off without that person, even though it may feel like a big load of shit. You don't want to be friends with someone who would do that to you. But it doesn't help when you're a person who needs closure. Even people with the best intentions fuck up situations sometimes, and the best thing you can do for yourself is to forgive them and move on to people around you who have shown you their love and support. That's my 2 cents.

janet / June 29, 2006 11:43 AM

yeah. i ate a tin of sweetriot thingies in one sitting.

your cooking looks gooood!

i've sort of cut out friends with the ignoring treatment. but it was hard to keep up b/c i've known them for a long time or they are in the same friends circle. but then sometimes when i'm with them, sometimes i just want to run away and throw potatoes at my own head. you win some you lose some.

phantom tollbooth is one of my fav. childhood books. i had no idea there was a movie.

roboppy / June 29, 2006 1:27 PM

Cybele: Thanks for the info! I wouldn't mind having Famima!! in NYC, although we already have some similar places. Need more steamed buuuns.

Kaitlin: Thanks!...uh, dare I ask what the health food store patrons are like? :O

G: I think my cooking is influenced by NORWAAAY! All those tatoes, mmm. :)

Adalmin: Oh god, nooo.

William: I haven't seen those sweet potato chips before (I've had the plain version), but they sound really good. I can't find the taro chips around here; I just spotted em in a store near my workplace! Maybe it's not popular enough? Ergh.

Wei: I didn't mean to grossly label religious people. Sorry if I offended anyone.

Honey: Hi! [wheeze]

Paris, yeeaah...I have to learn more French now.

Boutros: Such ephemeral yumminess.

Janet: Potatoes? So violent, whoaa!

I've seen the movie a few times, it's...weird! the book, of course. You should see it. :)

Dina / June 29, 2006 2:12 PM

I can really relate to a lot of stuff you write about.

I struggle to balance my desire to be thin and healthy with my intense obsession with food.

The funny/weird thing is I didn't become obsessed with food until I went on a strict diet and lost tons of weight.

I am coming to terms with my obsession. This week I realized I can be obsessed with food without eating so much of it.

I do other food stuff instead....Read food blogs, look at, cook, etc.

It's kind of pathetic.

But oh well.

Good luck to you! I think you'll do fine on your diet.

Ani / June 29, 2006 4:00 PM

Hope you are feeling better and awesome you are cooking more! Ok my head must have been in the sand but cutting out wheat and dairy decreases the effects of ashtma? God two of my favorites cheese and bready. But I do like breathing better. Must consult with the doctor. Crap.

Ani / June 29, 2006 4:02 PM

Oh gosh just read you will be studying in Paris next year that is freaking awesome besides studying of course I hope you get to see A LOT of France and other nifty European countries and eat your freaking heart out! Can't wait to read of your adventures!!!

BackyardChef / June 29, 2006 4:52 PM


I hear you on the asthma frustration-- my brother has a truly unremitting condition with it, but I only have it sometimes. Since I'm a glutton, I'm always surrounded by smoke when I cook. Probably not smart. Anywho....I read this whole post, but I just couldn't get the neti pot out of my head-- tried it in college, but, uhm, couldn't stick with it.

Deb / June 29, 2006 5:17 PM


Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings this way. It's a lot to chew on (ehem, sorry for the food pun).

About the friendship bit, right before I started Deb's Delectables, I had to make a tough decision about a potential business partner who had been my best friend. It was the hardest decision I had made in a long time. She was making really bad choices, being very self-destructive, and was not open at all to receiving professional help. I had to extricate myself from the increasing downward spiral, so I let her go as gently and kindly as I could. She didn't take it well at all, but she wasn't taking anything well at all (except booze and pills)(Elvis, anyone?).

I was very lonely for a good, solid female friend for a long time until a new friend came along right at the time I quit my old job in December. She joined the company just as I was leaving, but we found out that we're neighbors, and decided to keep in touch. Now, 6 months later, we walk in the mornings before work and visit gardens together.

The experience with the person I had to let go made me very cautious when it comes to letting people get close. Lasting friendships take time. But, I'm taking time with this new person and it's been pretty easy.

Good luck to you with your friendship challenges and more importantly, with your health. The dinner looks tasty and healthy. Have fun at the concerts, but be careful around all the smokers. Not good for asthmatics.

maria~ / June 29, 2006 5:20 PM


This is my first visit but I guarantee you it won't be my last. No worries, I'm no stalker. I like your posts on food and your excursions to various eateries in NYC. It's really cool that you're majoring in "food". I think it's what I would've gone into if my graduate school gig didn't work out *Hah* Anyway, keep the yummy-licious pictures coming and I hope your asthma goes away/get better/stops preventing you from enjoying the caloric goodies in life ;)


jo / June 29, 2006 5:24 PM

My unhappiness was from the amount of exercise I was doing. I used to wake up at 5am so I can go run 6 miles everyday, and if I ever missed a day, I would eat next to nothing for that day. I liked the way my body looked at the time but I also ended up very unhappy, and I now realize how sick I looked back then. So now I am much happier since I have gained weight and stopped all those bootcamp exercise and pretty much just eat good food (I was a vegan at that time) in sensible portions.

I am guilty of cutting off a friend, and it happened because I felt our priorities in life were interfering with one another. I don't have a lot of friends like most people do, but the friends I do have are very close and important to me, since most of whom I have known for a long time. The one friend whom I ignored was in her early 20s at the time, and because of fortunate (or unfortunate) circumstances at the time, she was able to get on with life without being very serious. I, on the other hand, was struggling with college and working in a tiring restaurant job. She demanded too much of my free time that I didn't have the luxury to have, so I decided to just stop all communications with her. It has been a couple of years since we last talked, but someday when we are both at a more stable point in our life, I do hope to reconnnect with her.

Sorry for taking up so much space, I didn't mean to ramble.

jane / June 29, 2006 6:10 PM

Hi Robyn,

I hope you feel're an awesome writer; even though this entry wasnt strictly abt food, i enjoyed reading it. I hope you feel better. Have you ever tried accupuncture? I used to scoff at the idea of needles being able to cure a serious ailment, but it actually did cure my brother's severe took a few years in high school (mebe 2?), a session abt every other week and then maybe once a month and herbal pills, but he is absolutely 100% free of asthma now.

Stephanie / June 29, 2006 9:14 PM

Hi Robyn,

I've been a lurker at your site for a little while now. I'm a food fan but also a med student so I generally have little time or money to eat out. However, I enjoy reading your posts from time to time (and gazing at your yummy, food-filled photos). I guess, if I can't do it myself, I might as well do it vicariously. It makes a good study break.

Anyway, Robyn, after reading your post about your problems with your wheezy lungs, I felt compelled to post. I LOVE that you're trying a change in diet to help you breath better. I wish that more people (patients AND doctors) understood that diet can greatly influence how our bodies respond to and recover from outside stimuli. However, I really, truly encourage you to make an appointment with your GP or with your pulmonologist if you have one. Asthma can come and go repeatedly during a person's many factors can cause it to wax and wane (pollution, stress, weight-gain, poor diet, smoke, viruses, cold environments, strenuous exercise, oral pain meds, etc). And, right now, you sound like you are ill. Although I'm not an MD yet (I'm a 3/4 MD) and we've never met, you may need to be on an inhaled corticosteroid, and maybe even a long-acting inhaler depending on how often you are wheezing and coughing, in addition to your rescue inhaler and your diet change. Your doctor would be the best person to determine this. If your doctor prescribes a stronger asthma plan for you, you may not need to be on those medications for the rest of your life, maybe only for several months until your lungs stop becoming so wheezy. Trust me, I understand your skepticism. No one likes to be on meds if they don't need them, myself and most doctors included. However, asthma can be a stubborn disease that typically needs some nudging, and meds can help. I also recommend LIGHT exercise if you can handle it. I wouldn't recommend exercising outside because of the heat, but 30 minutes at a gym 3-5 times per week might really help you. You could walk on the treadmill, use a stationary bike, or do some laps in the pool. In fact, studies have shown that swimming laps can be very helpful to asthmatics because the humidity is actually helpful to them (which seems counter-intuitive). Also, also, always remember to drink PLENTY OF WATER. All of these things, taken together, may really help you get through your wheezy summer.

I hope my unsolicited advice doesn't come across as pedantic or condescending. I just hate to hear of someone suffering when it doesn't have to be that way. Take care and good luck. I will be checking in with your blog from time to time to hear how you're doing. :)


piccola / June 29, 2006 9:21 PM

I saw Wordplay at the NYC premiere. My friend and I spent the whole time making fun of the baton lady, only to find out when the lights came on that she was sitting right next to us...

Sera / June 29, 2006 9:32 PM

"Famina!!" is the US "Family Mart"? Whoa.... I *lived* out of Family Mart when I was in Japan. That place holds such a special place in my heart! I have such affection for it..... they had the *best* strawberry daifuku! :D I'm happy to hear that it's coming to the US....where is it going to get it's butt near us in the east coast? Not soon enough! I need a place to supply my Japanese candy! Bwahahahaha!

Good luck with your diet changes, again you are so courageous for taking such steps for your health! It's hard to change habits, but do-able and rewarding. Your dinner looks just luscious to me! I cook similar stuff all the time and I think you're underrating your cooking skills. :)

Jeffrey / June 29, 2006 11:41 PM

Hello Robyn, hope your feeling better and you follow up on Stephanie's advice. Thanks for answering my question about the perks...probably a newbie question extraordinaire.
Love that you know about Taiwan slushes. I am in love with passion fruit and mint slushes. I had one in Taiwan at a braised food joint next to Taida University. The food was ok but the drinks were great. I haven't actually found one here that quite matches the flavor but I'll keep looking. Lollicup, Quickly, and TenRen might have these or they'll mix them for you. The only thing that gets me is how much fructose they use.
One of the other one's I love is the green mango. So sour. Love it.
I'm so looking forward to visiting Taiwan again.

Take care Robyn, I'll be wishing you to breathe easy.

roboppy / June 30, 2006 12:00 AM

Backyard Chef: Thankfully I didn't have to use the neti pot for very long, but it worked well when I did. The stuff that was coming out of my head freaked me out. :O

Maria: Thanks for visiting! I hope I get back into the photography/eating too...damn, I just had to use my inhaler. Probably not a good sign. :|

Jane: I'm glad my non-food-centric post didn't turn people off. ;) I've never tried acupuncture, but you're not the first person to mention it. Two years of needle poke-age? Well...that's still better than having asthma.

piccola: Oh nooo! I kinda chuckled at the baton twirling bit, but...ahh! That's awkward.

Sera: Ahh, sweet sweet Family Mart memories are great, eh? I was all about the steamed buns, not that they were great, just...a comforting thing to pick up after school. Or before. Or whenever else I needed steam bun-ness.

My cooking skills might be okay, but my flavoring skills are bad. Doh. I can boil potatoes! At least. Which seems to be more than my brother cares to do. He bought frozen pre-seasoned potato chunk

Jeffrey: I don't think I ever had a food slushie in Taiwan. I mean, the only one I had Family Mart, hehe. I wasn't very into food when I lived there and don't recall drinks at all. I had bubble tea once only because a friend gave it to me. (Then I ended up drinking a lot of it in NYC...until I got sick of it.) I'd LOVE to visit Taiwan again; my last visit was about 8 years ago. :(

Jason / June 30, 2006 3:03 AM

Hi, Robyn! I really enjoyed your latest post simply because I can relate, and agree with much of the points you addressed, especially how nutrition is key to most health problems today.

Being an ex-100% raw-foodist (probably 60-70% raw now), I can totally relate with your post, and I agree with you in that your asthma is directly related to your diet. I've experienced first hand the health benefits of a raw food diet, but also totally agree with you about the often negative mental/psychological affects of such a limited lifestyle. As you've seen in my own recently new blog, it has really done much more harm than good to my life over the past 3 years, and I'm working hard to undo the damage. As you said, it really does take a special person to adhere to such a dietary regime, and I've accepted that until I fall ill and have to do it for health motivated reasons, I am not that type of person, and for the life of me cannot continue to follow such a lifestyle. Anyway, I totally agree with your approach to not continue seeing a doctor for your condition, as I too agree that diet plays a direct role in your problem � you know yourself better than any doctor could (to an extent, of course :0).

I think I may have already told you this, but I think your approach to staying away from wheat is a very good idea. I wonder if there�s a possibility you have gluten sensitivity? I would almost be willing to bet that your asthma success during your raw food days wasn�t so much from raw food (don�t get me wrong, I believe raw is incredibly powerful), but more so from a disguised gluten-free diet. I�ve read that the majority of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and asthma are associated with gluten. I�ve also read that it only takes a very, very small amount (like, trace quantities, unfortunately) to keep the autoimmune response going (such is the case with asthma, I believe). Perhaps you could try avoiding all gluten and see how you fare? You could still do potatoes and rice, but most other grains/starches are pretty much off limit (you�d have to police processed food like crazy, since gluten is EVERYWHERE! Crap!). The majority of the time I try to avoid gluten as much as possible, even though I don�t have asthma. Gluten-free could be a great compromise for anyone that wouldn�t want to go as far as fully raw, but would still be willing to cut out one major group of foods. Just a thought!

I really hope you start to feel better soon! Good luck, and keep up the great work on your blogs and photos, I�m a total addict! Pretty soon you�re going to have to start a �RA�� Roboppys Anonymous. And, if it means anything, I don�t think you�re insane at all! :0O Go Robyn!

Liz / June 30, 2006 2:21 PM

Sorry about Mew- I would take you if I could, really. I'm sure someone has already got your back on that, but I just thought I'd let you know.

Great post. I've seen some narsty stuff on keeping healthy in the course of research at work (Colonix is particularly gross) but healthy diet-wise I'm always interested in the methods folks use. I clicked on the neti pot link and my reaction was thus: "You put the water WHERE?!?" With my luck it would totally go down the back of my throat and then I'd probably hack it up. Yum!

Speaking of concerts- Pink Martini is coming to NYC Sept. 18th and 19th. I was going to see them here, but interest is low so far. Lmk if you'd like to go.

As for the friend thing- I've been on both sides of that one. It is hard to cut someone out of your life, especially if you care about them. In fact, it is easier to just do it than to tell the person why you are doing it.

Also, playing devil's advocate here, there's probably other stuff going on there that you don't know about, so do yourself a favor and let it go. It sucks, but in the end a real friend wouldn't do that to you. A real friend would say something like, "I'm really busy right now and I won't be able to hang out for awhile, but I'll definitely be in touch when things get worked out." or even "you smell funny and your mom dresses you. Go to J. Crew and get some new clothes and then call me and we'll talk."

Okay, maybe not that last one...

Yay Paris! Good for you :D

Hannah / July 1, 2006 11:06 AM

I have no wheezing problems but I did have skin problems, which were eradicated by basically cutting anything remotely tasty from my diet. Thus I do agree that diet is the culprit of many health problems.

Why didn't god make lettuce taste like chocolate?

I miss food so dearly that I now use escapism as a coping mechanism, getting vicarious enjoyment from people like yourself!

If you want to be introduced to any new music I'm more than happy to send you a CD. Ever heard of. Um. Orson? Hard-Fi? The Killers-esque, if you like that kind of thing. The Cardigans, Pulp, Blur? Pulp and Blur remind me of the Indie decade during the 1990's. Back when most of the music was decent and there were no R&B music "artists" wearing ludicrously expensive diamond encrusted necklaces that could feed an African community for a year.

E-mail me if you need to be reintroduced to any new music!

On a food note, I'm planning to visit the west coast next year just so that I can visit Sprinkles and try their cupcakes! clear skin be damned!

lutkie / July 1, 2006 7:06 PM

Robyn!!! I'm in the city! June 30th-july 5th. We should eat...want to eat????? :)

Angela / July 2, 2006 6:41 AM

My boyfriend/flatmate has seen the photo you posted of your dinner - the fish, salad and potatoes - and has proclaimed your presentation of food absolutely wonderful. I have a new level of expertise to aim for - going to be a hard act to follow!

Karen / July 2, 2006 3:43 PM

Yep, food affects our systems. Funny how a lot of people don't figure that out--like the teenagers who sued McDonalds' after eating that crap food every day and then wondering why in the WORLD they were overweight and had health issues. People wonder why I avoid dairy when I love cheese so much (oh God, cream cheese, how I miss you)'s because I would rather not live my life with crippling headaches and bad skin, and I'd also like to be able to breathe, thank you very much.

Cutting out dairy wasn't too hard for me. I still eat it in small amounts, here and there--as long as I space out those times, to let my body have time to assimilate and get rid of the junk, it's okay. But cutting out are a braver woman than I. Are you sure it's both wheat AND dairy? Have you tried just cutting out, say, dairy and seeing if just that helps?

Cathy / July 3, 2006 8:02 AM

I hope you're able to find a good balance between food and health. It exists, because every once in a while I'm able to achieve that balance for a short period of time. Whatever diet you choose just make sure it's a sensible one, for obvious reasons. I admire your willingness to fight your asthma by diet. I hope your new diet will also help with that. And I like reading about your food adventures whether you eat out or eat in.

I've ended friendships before by the "neglect route". Sometimes it works because it's more like "growing apart" than "neglect". But in one instance I went out of my way to avoid contact with that person, and I did that because I didn't have the guts to tell her why it was I didn't want to be friends with her anymore. Not that she deserved my frankness, but I prefer to live my life being as upfront with people as possible. As painful as it maybe I think telling him/her you don't want to be friends anymore is best.

twobrain / July 3, 2006 10:35 AM

longest freakn entry ever...

nutrition is very much like religion....

science too...

drugs will only supress your symptoms...

go read healing with whole foods... by pitchford... theres a good chapter about lungs and food...

Jessica / July 3, 2006 11:44 PM

Hey you-

It's persimmon girl! I hope you're alright....weird to miss someone without ever meeting them. I think that's an amazing form of be missed by people who have never met you. You're a lucky girl....hope the weezing didn't get the best (or worst) of you. :(


Colleen Cuisine / July 4, 2006 2:22 AM

Hi Robyn - I just reviewed the West Hollywood Famima!! on my blog:

I really liked it - they have all my favourite snacks in one place. It kinda takes away the "hunt" (I loved scouring the ethnic markets in LA for all these various treats), but it's great to have them all together close by my house, open late.

KC / March 17, 2009 11:14 PM

Hey there-- You mentioned allergies as a potential cause of your poor health, and this book ( ) is free of "mind altering" rhetoric. Straightforward approach to understanding food sensitivity, cited sources, case studies, plain language, good index, realistic advice and definitely not trying to indoctrinate readers.

I know you're getting a good amount of advice about your asthma, but hopefully my soondubu recommendation in an earlier post will carry some weight here? Well, I've had a good bit of help from the book... just enough to get me to create a symptoms/diet log... nothing that would to cut out anything delicious.

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