Hey, so I promised you a peek at the funky blue color-changing tea in action, right? Here you go, a video I took of it last night!

This stuff looks like nothing so much as it looks like Easter egg dye. Once you get past that, it’s pretty good. I only got mine to turn purple. I’m sure I could have gotten it to full pink with more lemon, but it was already very lemony. Adding more would have made it undrinkable. Still, cool trick, right??

Novelty aside, the tea is very pleasant. This stuff looks like nothing so much as it looks like Easter egg dye. Once you get past that, it’s pretty tasty. I’ve seen it described as “earthy” and I’d say that’s not far off. The blend I got has lemongrass in it, and I found it somewhat similar to Celestial Seasonings Tension Tamer, but more mellow. The lemon really brought it to life, though I’d probably use less of it next time.

But enough tea for now. Today, my cousin Megan and I went on an adventure! The Saints & Heroes exhibition opens this week at the Art Institute, and this weekend was the Member Preview. I’ve always loved their collection of suits of armor, so we hopped on the El and went to have a look.

There were actual Viking swords! They looked pretty battered and well-used. There were crossbows and swords that I correctly identified as being primarily for slashing, so I guess my D&D play is handy for something? As cool as the paintings and tapestries were, the armor is still my favorite.

Seeing it staged and mounted, you can really get a sense that a real person once inhabited it. The suits come to life in a way that 2-dimensional art, sculptures, and figures never could.

We stopped at Caffe Moderno for a snack, and I found compliant kettle chips! They also had fresh fruit on hand.

We ended by running through the highlights. We breezed through the Impressionists on the way to the cafe. Ran over to the Modern Wing to catch the Picassos. I showed Megan my favorite painting by Campendonk, one of the Blue Rider Group. Then over to the American wing to see Whistler’s Mother (on loan from the Musee d’Orsay in Paris), Nighthawks, and a bunch of Georgia O’Keefe. I’m starting to know these paintings, how they relate to each other, and even some of the backstory.

Then I came home, went grocery shopping, and made a very satisfying late dinner.

Whole30 Menu: Day 14

Breakfast:

  • Prosciutto egg cup
  • Mixed cut fruit: Kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, and papaya

Lunch:

  • Curried chicken salad on romaine

Snacks:

  • Sea salt potato chips
  • Sweet potato chips (a handful while making dinner)

Dinner:

Shakshuka’s origins are in Northern Africa, but Serious Eats notes that it’s popular throughout the Middle East. The recipe has been on my radar for about a week. It needed a minor tweak to be street legal for Whole30, serving it over crispy hash browns instead of crusty bread, but the sauce is so hearty that it’s basically a stew unto itself and it’s a good match for the potatoes. I skipped the optional feta cheese and topped it with black olives. This would be perfect on a cold winter night – warm and filling. I have a bunch of leftovers now, and I think with the hash browns and poached eggs will make it a really fabulous breakfast option. A++

How do I feel?

Yesterday’s malaise has disappeared, yay! However, I dreamed about bingeing on sugary desserts. I don’t remember what they were, and it didn’t really matter. This wasn’t a dream about cravings. It was much closer to those stress dreams you had in college during finals week where you’re panicking because forgot to show up to a class all semester. Basically, I ate something sweet and then had an “Oh no!” moment, felt bad for letting myself down.

I only mention the dreams because it’s fascinating to me how this experiment has made an impact on my subconscious despite not craving anything sweet and not being stressed out about it.

Cooking every night is starting to wear on me a bit. As much as I enjoy it, sometimes you just need a break, you know? I’m still resolved to see this out, no worries about that. But I’ll admit that the first time I can order takeout without breaking any rules, it’s totally gonna happen, and it will be glorious.

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