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My Life As A Bean Noodle


Cynthia and a bean noodle

Cynthia is jumping up and down like a … well … like a jumping bean.

Marcy:  Stop it. You’re making me dizzy.

Cynthia (jubilantly):  I did it, Marcy!

Marcy:  Did what?

Cynthia performs a kind of jig.

Cynthia:  I got my blood sugar levels down. Significantly.

Cynthia does “jazz hands” and “do si do”.

Marcy: What’s “significantly” mean in this instance?

Cynthia:  Down four whole points and only one point above the “normal” range. Take that (Cynthia performs a karate kick) pre-diabetes. Ha.

Marcy:  Yeah!

Marcy does her own karate kick in the air.

Cynthia:  Thank you, Marcy. And I owe it all to changing my diet – reducing sugar and those baaaad carbs (but keeping the good carbs) and exercising. Did you know I’ve taken up ballet?

Cynthia does a pirouette and face plants onto the floor.  

Marcy:  So I guess we won’t mention the time you “stress ate” half a box of ginger snaps.

Cynthia (philosophically from the floor):  That was unfortunate. But, it’s okay. We all fall off the wagon at some point. The point is to get back on and keep forging ahead.

Marcy:  You know, if you ate meat you might not have this problem in the first place. I suggest Friskies Mixed Grill.

Cynthia pops up off the floor with a purpose.

Cynthia (dramatically):  If one more person in my life equates pre-diabetes with vegetarianism I’m going to scream.

Marcy (hurt):  I’m not a person. I’m a cat.

Cynthia (vehemently):  Studies have shown that one does not necessarily need to get protein from animals AND that vegetable and legume protein is much healthier.

Marcy:  Whatever. I’ll never give up my Friskies. (proudly) I’m an obligate carnivore.

Cynthia (enthusiastically):  FYI – one of the best foods I’ve found to get a huge punch of protein are noodles made from beans!


Modern Table Meals Italian Red Lentil Penne


 Cynthia:  One serving has 20 grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber. Amazing. And, they taste just like wheat noodles.
Tolerant – Organic Red Lentil Rotini

Cynthia (solemnly):  Bean noodles have saved my life.

Cynthia joyfully resumes her jumping bean dance.

Cynthia:  My goal for the next six months is to go down another four points so I’m smack dab in the “normal” aka “healthy” range.

Marcy:  So I guess you’ll continue to eat bean noodles for the foreseeable future?

Cynthia:  You bet, baby! (she waves her hands in the air) Woot Woot!

Marcy:  I think you mean Toot Toot.  I’ll go invest in a match company.


*You Might Also Like:  The ‘My Life As …’ Series

My Life As A Leafy Green Vegetable

My Life As A Carrot

My Life As A Broccoli Floret

My Life As A NOT Potato

And for cats:

Who Stole My Cheetos?

Fun, My Life As...

My Life As A NOT Potato: Solanine And The Potato Allergy

Mrs. Potato Head by Dorrie Rifkin Watercolors on Etsy

5:00 pm

Marcy and Penelope Kitten spend the day bickering and antagonizing one another. 

They take a break and bop on into the office where Cynthia is shopping working on the computer.

Marcy:  Hey. Can we have the car keys? We’re hungry and we want McDonalds.



Cynthia (thinking she misheard):  What?

Marcy:  I want a Quarter Pounder with Cheese (no onions or pickles). And Penelope wants a hamburger Happy Meal.

penelope kitten:  yum yum.

Cynthia:  What?

Marcy:  I’ll bring you back a Filet-O-Fish. Oh wait. I forgot. You’re a veg head now. What about some fries? They’re French.

Cynthia:  What?

Marcy:  Oh wait. I forgot. You have that phantom allergy to potatoes.

Cynthia:  Hey. It’s not a phantom allergy.  It’s real.

Marcy:  Where did you find that out? The Hypochondriac Hotline?

Cynthia:  After 10 years of having this allergy, there is finally some real research into it. Check out this article called The Case Of The Poison Potato.

The author of the piece, Maggie Koerth-Baker, talks about how the potato has a naturally occurring defense mechanism called solanine to guard against pests. Solanine is that green stuff under the skin of the potato and it’s deadly to pests. And not too good for humans either.

Some people may only have a mild reaction to the solanine. But some die from it.

In my case, I get hypothermia.

Elsa from Frozen


Marcy:  What?

Cynthia:  Yeah. So, this is what happened.

It was in the middle of August in the middle of scorching hot Texas and I woke up not feeling right. I tried to get out of bed but my muscles felt like jelly and I could only crawl to the kitchen for water. I was boiling hot and freezing cold at the same time. I felt like I was falling and passing out.

Freddy took my temperature. It was 92.2.

Marcy:  Gasp. 92.2! Shouldn’t you be dead?

Cynthia:  Freddy immediately called 911. The ambulance whisked me away to the hospital where not one doctor could figure out how a healthy thirty-something could get hypothermia in 100 degree Texas heat.



Marcy:  So what’d they do?

Cynthia:  Nothing. I recovered. Then, I was sent to a cardiologist and neurologist and an endocrinologist and had a medieval torture session known as a 6 hour blood fasting test.

The doctors found nothing.

Marcy:  Nothing?

Cynthia:  Nope. But Freddy did. He googled “causes of hypothermia” and up popped one article about how solanine in potatoes can cause … hypothermia. Guess what I ate a few hours before my temperature dropped?

Marcy:  Potatoes! So after that you never ate potatoes again.

Cynthia:  Well… no.

Marcy (shaking her head):  Are you that dumb, Cindy? Really?

Cynthia:  Every single doctor and nurse I encountered during my marathon doctor visits pooh poohed our theory. In fact, I got lectured about going onto the internet for medical advice every single time.

Marcy continues to shake her head.

Cynthia:  The second time it happened was even scarier than the first. The battle to stay conscious was so epic and I got so exhausted I didn’t know how long I could hang in there.

Marcy:  Did your life pass before your eyes? Were you scared?

Cynthia:  No and no.  I only felt tremendous guilt about leaving Freddy in Texas … with two cats. I kept asking him not to be mad at me.

 You’re so dramatic.  So then what?

Cynthia:  We went to an emergency clinic. The doctor there stared at me and talked about how green and waxy I looked. I recovered and went home.



Marcy:  And then you stopped eating potatoes.

Cynthia:  Well. No.

Marcy:  Aaaaargghhhh

Cynthia:  Marcy, you don’t understand.  The consensus among all the doctors was that it was probably a virus. I mean… I believed them.

A year later, Freddy and I were traveling in northern California and ate at a Fridays Restaurant. I got nostalgic for the potato skins I ate all the time when I was kid so I ordered them.

The next day I was home alone and my temperature started to drop and drop and drop. And I got weaker and weaker and weaker.  I managed to call my stepmom who asked me what I had eaten the night before.

Marcy:  Duh. Potatoes.



Cynthia: She told me to take Benadryl immediately. Freddy came racing home with Benadryl and two hours later I felt better. At this point, we all believed that I had developed an allergy to potatoes. No matter whether any doctor agreed or not.

Marcy:  So you finally and forever stopped eating potatoes.

Cynthia doesn’t answer.

Marcy (yelling):  Cindy! No way!

Cynthia:  Well, I was offered some Mcdonalds french fries. I had just seen Super Size Me, Morgan Spurlock’s documentary about McDonalds, and since their french fries were pretty much determined to be … well … not really food … I figured there was only some small remnants of potato flakes in them anyway. Not enough to count surely.


Marcy:  It did.

Cynthia:  Yes. I didn’t get as sick but it was enough so that now I will truly never eat a potato again in my life..

… and I haven’t had a hypothermia episode since.

Thank you for your article on solanine in potatoes, Maggie Koerth-Baker! I feel somewhat vindicated by it since it is further proof that my allergy is real and not a figment of my imagination – as some people and cats like to think.

penelope kitten:  changed my mind. i want chicken mcnuggets instead. yum. yum.



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Marcy And Penelope Kitten: Heart Attack Cats




Fun, My Life As...

Rachel Beller Is The Cat’s Meow


Rachel Beller and Cynthia

Cynthia comes home from a breast cancer awareness gala exuberantly waving around a glittery pink ribbon, a stalk of celery, and her iPhone.

Cynthia: Look who I finally met, Marcy!

Marcy:  Yeah? Who?

Cynthia shoves the iPhone at Marcy.

Cynthia:  Rachel Beller!

Marcy:  She’s so stylish. Do you think she’d let me be her kitty? Hey! I think I’ve seen her on TV.

Cynthia:  You have. On The Biggest Loser, The Rachael Ray Show, and Good Morning America. She also writes for Glamour Magazine and runs the Beller Nutritional Institute here in Los Angeles. Rachel is an incredibly knowledgeable nutritionist whose research and advice have changed the way I eat and think about food.

For example, did you know that instead of mashed potatoes, you can make a cauliflower mash that tastes the same and is much healthier?

Marcy:  So that helps you since you’re allergic to potatoes.

Cynthia:  More than helps – that was a revelation! And did you know that combining turmeric, black pepper, and garlic powder is a fabulous anti-inflammatory agent, immunity booster, and anti-oxidant?

Marcy:  Ah, so that explains why you no longer wake up in the morning looking like you got socked in both eyes with a giant football.

Cynthia:  Or that you need 35 grams of fiber a day to scrub your insides out of harmful toxins and cholesterol?

Marcy:  Fiber as a scrub brush for your insides?

Cynthia: Yes! That visual alone makes it so much easier for me to remember to get all 35 grams in.

Also, did you have any idea that one 20 ounce vanilla soy latte is the equivalent of eating 12 lollipops?

Marcy:  Yeah, well, I’m glad you gave up sugary drinks since you lunge around like a crazed lunatic when you’re all hopped up on sugar.

Cynthia:  Sugar makes me homicidal.

Marcy:  Wait. Rachel eats? I thought pretty people on TV didn’t eat. Well, except maybe grapes. Or peas. Or the occasional stick of gum.

Cynthia:  Oh she eats, Marcy. She may be on TV but she isn’t one of those ridiculous celebrity nutrition hacks who touts crazy fad diets and cleanses.

Rachel Beller
photo by Teri Lyn Fisher

Marcy:  So no all-liquid diets on the agenda?

Cynthia:  No. Ugh. You need to eat food for goodness sakes.

Marcy:  That’s good. I like gravy on my Friskies but I also like the meaty chunks. What does she say about Friskies, by the way?

Cynthia:  That’s a story for another blog post.

Marcy:  Uh oh.

*Since January is the month that we all start thinking about health and fitness, I thought I would share Rachel Beller’s book, Eat To Lose, Eat To Win. There are so many crazy theories and fads out there and Rachel’s advice is all based on science and research. She tells it like it is and manages to make the whole process fun and easy to remember. I know I sound like an ad, but her advice truly changed how I eat and ultimately, how I feel. And I feel … great! 


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Fun, My Life As...

My Life As A Broccoli Floret

Wrinkle eliminating,eye bag erasing, and pore minimizing done courtesy
of the Hello Camera app
yay filters!

Cynthia:  So in my ongoing quest to stave off prediabetes, Alzheimer’s, and I don’t know… other horrible things, I am trying my best to cut out sugar and limit (but not eliminate) my carb intake. I’ve found that –

Marcy:  Uh… Cindy?

Cynthia:  Yes. Marcy?

Marcy:  What did you bring into the house yesterday?

Cynthia (innocently):  What? Oh. Uhhh… That. Well, that was just a one off.

Marcy:  Ahem…

Cynthia (sheepishly):  Okay… so it was a grapefruit sparkling drink.


Marcy:  And how many grams of sugar did it contain?

Cynthia:  I don’t know.

Marcy:  Ahem.

Cynthia:  Thirty-five.

Marcy:  And how many carbohydrates?

Cynthia:  Ummm… hmmmm… thirty-six? Uh. Yes. Thirty-six grams. Of carbohydrates. But, it was 100 degrees out and it tasted sooooo good and I rarely do that. I mean I have to have fun sometimes! Although the headache I got after drinking it was not fun. Sugar is a passive aggressive meany.

Marcy (patronizingly):  I just want our readers to know that even though we are talking about healthy eating we ourselves fall off the bandwagon.

Cynthia:  Fully disclosed. Okay so on to broccoli.

Marcy:  Ugh. Broccoli is a bore. Bore. Bore. Bore.

Cynthia:  Broccoli is not a bore! Just ask our dear friend, Jenni, of Gnome Lover. She has a great and easy broccoli dish she serves that even her kids love! Check it out here.

Cynthia:  And Rachel Beller’s Broccoli Soup is delicious and super duper easy to make. Check that one out here.


Rachel Beller’s Broccoli Soup


Cynthia:  I add large doses of turmeric, garam masala, and black pepper to make the soup even healthier (Turmeric and black pepper combined form a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent) and spicier. Really, I just add until the whole pot turns bright yellow!

Marcy (wrinkling her nose):  I’d add a dash of Friskies Salmon Dinner to it. Then you’d get a beautiful pink color.

Cynthia (ignoring her):  Broccoli is an excellent source of fiber,vitamin c, calcium, potassium, and protein.  Plus, it’s loaded with compounds that fight cancer, aging, arthritis, heart disease, as well as lowers blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Broccoli is great for skin health and eye health. I love it!

Marcy:  By the way, you know salmon is a vegetable, right? A pretty pink vegetable. With eyes.



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My Life As A Carrot





Fun, My Life As...

My Life As A Carrot

Photo by Sara Cozolino Photography (with my own iPhone filter added).

Cynthia happily bounces around the house waving vegetables in the air.

Cynthia:  In my quest to stave off prediabetes, one step I’ve taken is adding more vegetables to my snacks. And ya know what?

Marcy:  No.

Cynthia (excitedly):  It’s surprisingly easy! One of my tricks is to replace carrots and cucumbers for crackers.

Chalk Art Street Art by David Zinn

Marcy:  Don’t lie. You still eat crackers. I see you.

Cynthia:  Yes but instead of say… fifteen… Triscuits, I’ll only have the serving size of six. Then I put some cheese on cucumbers or dip some carrots into hummus or that yummy bleu cheese pecan dip from Trader Joe’s, and … voila… a healthy snack that isn’t crazy out of control with carbs. And it still has the satisfying crunch of crackers. And very importantly, I do not feel as though I am depriving myself.


Cynthia (very seriously):  Yes, it is a concern. I once knew a guy who literally WAS orange because he ate so many carrots. I think he was addicted to carrot smoothies. It was extremely strange.Marcy:  You’re going to turn orange.

Cynthia and Marcy consider this thoughtfully for a moment.

Cynthia (brightly):  So. In order not to turn orange, I am going to mix up my carrot consumption with more crunchy veggies like celery, bell peppers, radishes, romaine lettuce, and… more cucumbers.

I have to say that sugar really does affect me adversely. In the one week that I have cut back on sweets and refined sugar, and limiting (but not eliminating) my carb intake on whole grain wheat, I find I am more energetic and my brain is not foggy.

Cynthia jogs in place and fist bumps the air with a bunch of carrots.

Cynthia:  Am I going to defy diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and ultimately… death? What do you think, Marcy?

Marcy:  That this is the most boring post you’ve ever written. Where’s the drama? Where’s the humor? And more importantly…Where’s the meat?


*If you are a human you might also like:

My Life As A Leafy Green Vegetable 

*If you are a cat you might also like:

mostly me, by penelope (who stole my cheetos?)


Fun, My Life As...

My Life As A Leafy Green Vegetable


Marcy enters to find Cynthia looking a little freaked out.

Marcy:  You look a little freaked out. What gives?

Cynthia: I’m not sure. I had a routine blood test and the results are that I’m possibly… prediabetic.

Marcy:  That’s awesome!

Cynthia (sharply):  What?

Marcy:  Prediabolical is great. It means you’re almost diabolical. Way to go, Cindy. I didn’t think you had it in you.

Cynthia:  Prediabetic. It means I’ve got too much sugar … or carbohydrates…or something. I don’t know. I have to see the doctor about it.

Marcy (knowingly):  It’s because you don’t eat meat. If you ate Friskies instead of pasta and grape nuts and cookies you wouldn’t be in this fix.

Cynthia (annoyed):  I’m not eating meat, Marcy. But you’re right, I have been eating too many cookies lately.

Marcy:  If you ate Friskies then –

Cynthia (snapping):  I’m not eating meat!

Marcy:  Okay. No need to be crabby.

Cynthia:  I’ll just cut back on the carbs, eliminate sugar, and exercise more until I can find out what the deal is. Maybe it’s just a blip.

Marcy:  So what will you eat?

Cynthia:  Vegetables.

Marcy:  And?

Cynthia (cranky):  I don’t know, Marcy. Vegetables. I eat a lot of them anyway. I’ll just… you know… eat more.


Marcy:  More? You already eat enough lettuce and carrots that I worry the rabbits of the world are going hungry.

Cynthia:  Yeah right. As if you worry about the welfare of rabbits.

Marcy: Now, if you ate … meat, I would recommend Friskies. It’s by far the –

Cynthia (diabolically):  I … will not. Eat meat. 

I will figure out how to be a vegetarian and stay healthy at the same time. So. Are you going to help me with this?

Marcy:  As long as I don’t have to eat anything green. Yuck.

Cynthia (suddenly brightening):  You know, this could be an interesting journey. C’mon. Let’s see what’s in our kitchen and count those carbs.

Marcy and Cynthia trot off to the kitchen to do some investigating.

Marcy:  And I’ll count Friskies cans.