Review - Origin by Jessica Khoury

Title: Origin

Author: Jessica Khoury
Publisher: Razorbill
Publish Date: Sept 4, 2012

Barnes and Noble

When I first started reading this book, the movie Species popped in my head. I kept comparing the two simply because it was a woman/girl that was specially made, kept in a glass box, being watched and tested, then she gets out. In reality, the story lines are very different.

I really liked this book. It was so different than anything I have read it awhile. I love Pia, the main character. She was sweet and innocent and I especially loved that she was kind and caring. She wants the ultimate goal, to get to a point in her testing to be proven worthy to know the secret to herself and building others just like her. Even though she is surrounded by people, her family and workers, she is lonely because no one really knows who she is and what she needs. Then she notices a hole in the fence surrounding her home and curiosity gets the best of her. Out in the real world, she meets a local tribal boy and her world expands exponentially.

This writing was so spectacular. I cannot wait to see where this goes. I really hope there is a followup to this book. I cannot divulge the ending because that is the worst, but I hope for more.

Summary -
Pia has grown up in a secret laboratory hidden deep in the Amazon rain forest. She was raised by a team of scientists who have created her to be the start of a new immortal race. But on the night of her seventeenth birthday, Pia discovers a hole in the electric fence that surrounds her sterile home--and sneaks outside the compound for the first time in her life.

Free in the jungle, Pia meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Together, they embark on a race against time to discover the truth about Pia's origin--a truth with deadly consequences that will change their lives forever.

Origin is a beautifully told, shocking new way to look at an age-old desire: to live forever, no matter the cost.

Meal Planning

In order to be healthier, I have to start making my food ahead of time. I really sink low when I don't have food on hand ready to eat. I have tried so many times to wait to make dinner after work, but working in retail really makes that difficult. Some days I am off at 330pm, other 630, 730 and even 930 and later. It just doesn't bode well. I have been really good since my detox. No gluten at all. I did forget one time when I was eating at a restaurant. The fork was poised at my mouth and I realized I hadn't specified gluten free. The server was so kind and switched it out no problem. Whew! So I have been thinking and planning how to be more organized in the food department.

This week I found a really awesome cookbook that has inspired me called Gluten Free Made Simple by Carol Field Dalhstrom. Now let me tell you, I have read a lot of books that say simple and they are not. This one totally IS SIMPLE. I am excited. It is full of recipes I love. So this week, I sat down and planned out five meals I would have along with leftover options. Crazy, I know.

My boyfriend called and asked if because he is not gluten free would he need to make his own food.  This is how uneducated our society is about allergies. I myself knew NOTHING about it until I realized I am sensitive to it. Drives me nuts how many people want to be rude about how they feel it is a fad and won't last! So I told him not to worry. I love to cook and will always want to cook for us. I am such a fan of making my lunch and a lunch for him too!! I told him we would be trying some new stuff, but the weirdest would probably be the stuffed peppers because he is not a huge fan of vegetables. I will definitely warn him when I want to cook something I know he may not like, but realistically it won't have anything to do with gluten free food, but rather vegetables.

Here is what I am planning -

Meatloaf and polenta (with spaghetti sauce over polenta)
Stuffed peppers with salad
Steak with scalloped corn
Chicken nuggets (GLUTEN FREE PEOPLE) and sweet potato fries (real potatoes)

I am pretty stoked because I already made the prep work for the stuffed peppers and I also mixed up a batch of broccoli slaw to go with my lunches. I have bought my first loaf of GF bread and had a really nice sandwich today. It was surprisingly good. I wasn't sure about the GF bread, as I am a fan of really soft bread and the fridge or freezer breads tend to be either too mushy or really brittle. But I bought what I wanted - after much angst - yummy raisin bread. Not a usual choice for lunch bread, but who cares? I'm happy.

I am also planning to revamp my baking cupboards this weekend. I would like to ultimately have a bin for the following - GF Flour (all purpose), lentils, beans, corn starch, premixed dry waffle and pancake mix, dry fruits and a few others ready at hand. I would also love to have some sort of system for herbs, but seriously have no clue what to do for that. Ideas for herbs? Plus, my baking is all up on top of my kitchen so I am looking to make it easier to reach each item.

Also I am really excited that my boyfriend and I are going out on the town to try out some GF beer for me!! I am not a huge drinker. It is actually pretty rare for me to drink, but I am curious and my boyfriend LOVES beer, so why not?

What are your food plans for the week?

PS Check out these really awesome food sacks that I picked up at The Container Store!!! I am so excited to be using less plastic. Seriously some of the best gifts for me revolve around my lunch.