MGU 116 | Love For Bread

 

Don’t you just love bread? We probably all do, but for some of us, eating a lot of this gluten-packed comfort food can give you some serious fart problems. Yes, you read it right; we’re going to talk about farts in this episode. You’re definitely going to enjoy listening as Jason Wrobel and Whitney Lauritsen talk about digestive issues, food sensitivities, gluten-free vegan products and their love for bread. Join them as they go through a mouthwatering array of food products ranging from be vegan cheese to vegan pizza and baked goodies, and yes, you can eat them all safely with an amazing product that lets you eat your gluten and get away with it. Also, if you don’t know yet what the bulldog mindset and flabbergasting are, you’re going to be treated with clarity by the end of the show. Of course, there’s going to be a lot of fart talk in this episode plus a legendary fart story to top it all, so stink around and take fart in this conversation!

Listen to the podcast here:

How To Eat Bread And Get Away With It

Jace, I’m going to surprise you with a subject matter that you asked for, and I think that you thought that this was a joke, but I’m taking you seriously and calling your bluff.

How long ago did I request this?

Not too long ago.

I also think it’s funny that you called me Jace.

I did?

Yes, you called me Jace.

Are you sure I said Jace or did it just cut out a little bit?

No. You said Jace, which is adorable and quaint because the only person that consistently calls me Jace is my mom, Susan. All of a sudden, Brittany Littleton, our dear friend who runs Little Love Rescue, who we still got to get on the show, I talked to her briefly. She’s like, “Do you guys still can have me on the show?” Yes, Brittany, I think we would like to have you. Out of the blue, she called me Jace and I was like, “My mom is the only person who calls me that.” Now you just called me Jace.

I didn’t even notice it. I wished I could rewind usually because I don’t quite believe you, but I wanted to say the proof will be in the pudding. I don’t know why. Does that mean you have to wait until pudding sets to know if the recipe is going to work out?

I found an article on NPR, “What does the proof in the pudding mean?” Proof in the pudding is a new twist on an old proverb. The original version is the proof of the pudding is in the eating. What that meant was you had to try out your food in order to know what it was good. Apparently, it’s British in origin. Dating back centuries, a reference to pudding meant more than just a sweet dessert that we associated with now. The original meaning is you had to try out your food in order to know whether it was good or not.

It’s a nice little factoid that leads us into this episode’s subject matter, which is, take a guess.

Is it going to be about poop?

Maybe. I think that’ll come up in this conversation.

I was just reaching. I’m like, “Does she want to talk about poop, digestion, digestive issues, or we’re going to share funny fart stories?” Because I have plenty of those. In fact, if we go there, I’m going to on record and say, I know there are a lot of funny fart stories in the world. I would put this to the test with anyone’s funny fart story. It’s that good.

Some people hop food trends like gluten-free because they're trending, not because they actually need to. Click To Tweet

Now I feel like you have to share it.

Right now before we get into the subject?

I don’t know. How about we save it for the end? Will you write a note to yourself so we don’t forget?

I definitely won’t forget. It’s that good. It’s phenomenal. If there was a fart hall of fame, this story would have been incrusted on a plaque in the fart hall of fame.

Have you ever told me this before?

I don’t believe I have.

I find it hard to believe that you’ve never told me the story. We’ll find out and it gives a good reason for someone to either read to the end or choose not to. Maybe they don’t want to know it for some people. Farts make some people uncomfortable.

It’s a part of being alive as a human being and apparently, a part of being a French bulldog as well because my French Bulldog is a fart machine.

Audible most times or you can just smell it?

It’s audible. It’s TMI, not TMI. She has a consistent skunk-like tinge to her. It’s horrible. It’s accurate to the point where it could strip paint off the walls. It gets worse. FYI, anyone who is not acquainted with French Bulldogs, apparently it’s a cliché that Frenchies have some of the most awful farts in the dog world. Now, I am the beneficiary and recipient of that for the past years.

It makes me sad. I feel a little bit bad for them with all of their breathing issues, digestive issues.

When you look like a cute gremlin bat pig, there are also downsides. You can look that cute, but then also nature is like, “We’re going to make you ridiculously, irresistibly cute but then also give you massive flatulence and the ability not to breathe out of your own nose. Good luck.”

I hate to break it to you, but this episode is not going to be entirely about flatulence, Jason. What we’re going to talk about is something that you asked for, so I’m delivering. That is the subject of bread.

Did I ask for this?

MGU 116 | Love For Bread

Love For Bread: Food sensitivities are complex. A lot of people don’t believe in them, which makes it challenging.

 

You said a few episodes ago that you wanted to do a whole episode on bread so here we are. We’re going to talk about bread.

Fair enough. Lead it off, Whitney. I don’t remember making this request. Was I high?

Not that I was aware of. I don’t remember what the subject matter was but you were like, “I could do a whole episode about bread,” and you were incredibly proud of it.

Dear reader, if you are new to the show, we do three episodes every single week since we started this in December of 2019. Often, Whitney and I make braggadocious claims and forget that I do it. I will take your word and I’m sure that I did say that. I completely forget to say it.

I feel a little stunned, Jason, that you would forget such an important subject matter.

I’m sorry, but here we are. Let’s talk about bread. Are you ready? I’m ready. You brought it up.

I was hoping that you would kick things off as soon as I brought this up and now, you’re acting like you’ve never considered this before.

I’m not even sure where to kick this off, other than I think the bread has gotten a bad rep. I have started to eat more bread than usual during the quarantine period that we have been in and continue to be in. I’ve noticed my girlfriend, Laura. I’ve mentioned her here on the show several times. She brings home the bread. There’s a French bakery that uses artisanal, non-GMO, and heirloom grains. She’ll bring home sourdough, rye, and different varietals. I find because of the quality of the grain they’re using, Whitney, I don’t get bloated. I don’t get flatulent. It always goes back to farts. None of that happens. It’s an interesting experiment because you and I have both been primarily gluten-free for years now.

I remember when I first started experimenting with gluten-free eating was all the way back in 2006 after a legendary bender at a vegan bakery in Columbus, Ohio where I ordered one of everything and made myself sick. That’s another story, but I’ve been doing mostly gluten-free for years. I’ve been doing sourdough. I’ve been doing rye. My favorite bread of all time is pumpernickel. Even when I’ve gone off the gluten-free path, if I choose a high-quality heirloom, non-GMO, usually a European style of wheat, I don’t feel bad. Interestingly enough, as an offshoot, when I went to Italy for the first time back in 2005, I remember going all around the country eating pizza, bread, and pasta, I did not get sick or bloated. Going down the research rabbit hole, not all grains are created equal. We can dive deeper into that. I’m curious, Whitney, you’ve been doing mostly gluten-free. You’ve done some successful YouTube videos about it on your channel, but what’s been your relationship to bread and baked goods and things like that during quarantine? Have you gone down that road?

I certainly have. Sometimes I regret it to be honest because it’s fascinating with food sensitivities and maybe just food in general. In a way, food sensitivities almost feel more frustrating than what I imagine it would be like to have allergies. Food allergies are dangerous. They can literally be a matter of life or death. You might need to carry around an EpiPen or have practice measures. I’m sure that’s terrifying, but the plus side is that you know not to have it. You have a firm boundary and, in a way, easier to get yourself to stay away from sticky situations. For me with my food sensitivities, it’s interesting because sometimes I think they’re all in my head and then I’ll be a little bit more lenient. I have something that I’m sure I’m sensitive to. It’s hard to even find this through tests.

I’ve been wined to do some more food tests and there have been some that have come out over the years. When I first started noticing my food sensitivities, I didn’t feel there was a lot of resources available to me. I went to doctors and spent years trying to get to the root of it. No doctor was very helpful. They didn’t even think that it was a food-related issue that I had. They thought I was allergic to something else or sensitive to something else. I had some sort of nasal issue. I had to figure it out on my own, which then made me wonder if it was my head and question that a lot. There’s a lot of media around this, especially back in 2010 when I went mostly gluten-free. I was strict gluten-free for a while.

It was trendy and still is semi-trendy, but that was the peak or getting close to the peak of the gluten-free trend. A lot of people were coming out saying like, “If you’re not allergic to gluten, there’s no reason to avoid it.” I would feel silly being gluten-free because I knew I wasn’t allergic to it. It didn’t show up on any of the tests that I took and I didn’t have any allergic reactions, but I did have a lot of symptoms that also were related. I had symptoms from other foods too, and that became tricky because then I wouldn’t know which symptom was related to which. For example, when I went gluten-free and started feeling much better, I thought, “Great. I don’t feel good on gluten.” I wasn’t even sure. It took me a while to even call it sensitivity.

When you go gluten-free, many of us will look for all these gluten-free alternatives. Back in 2010, there weren’t that many vegan and gluten-free options. Now there is a plethora of them, but it was hard to find gluten-free vegan bread because it would either have milk, eggs, honey, or whatever other animal product in it. I started eating products made from rice and corn. A lot of gluten-free vegan products back in 2010 were loaded with processed ingredients. It was also challenging to find simple products with a few ingredients. The next thing that happened is I that it wasn’t just gluten that didn’t make me feel good. It with corn as well. I felt frustrated when I noticed that so I stopped eating corn as much as possible.

Over the years I started noticing other things like I had almond sensitivities. I started to have these major food categories that I wasn’t eating. I kept question, and still do sometimes, over many years later, wonder if this is all in my head. I haven’t yet had a test to point me in the right direction. I feel like food sensitivities are complex. A lot of people don’t believe in them, which makes it challenging. They simultaneously are becoming more common and accepted. It’s not like I’m concerned. People are going to make fun of me or question me too much. You do have to be a little delicate around this because some people do hop on these food trends because they’re trending not because they need to and that’s clouded the experience.

Collectively as humans, we tend to have an emotional connection with the food we are eating. Click To Tweet

It becomes cliché to be gluten-free. There’s a lot of wait staff at restaurants, for example, who hate it when someone says that they’re gluten-free because it makes their job harder. They have to be careful. There’s resentment that’s built up. Are people just saying that because they think they’re going to lose weight or something? It’s a complex thing and my whole relationship to bread in general, Jason, to bring it back to that original question of yours is how I’ve been eating it off and on, I do. To me, it’s a crapshoot. Sometimes I can have gluten and it depends on the source. Some gluten, I feel decent eating and that might be a sourdough, which is a little bit gentler on the stomach. That might be a bread that’s coming from a source that might be European. Maybe it’s heirloom sourced. Maybe it’s sprouted or something like that. There are many factors, but sometimes those foods don’t make me feel good either. I can feel confident about having a certain type of gluten and feel awful afterward. It has been very tricky. Every day I have to be willing to roll the dice if I’m going to consume any form of gluten so I try not to.

It’s been an interesting experiment for me too in the sense of, to go way back to childhood. My mom, Susan, discovered quickly that I had a bad allergy to dairy products. Even as a kid, you get older and you realize you’re allergic to something, yet I remember going to school and feeling jealous that my friends would get an ice cream cone from McDonald’s or the legendary Frosty from Wendy’s. If anybody used to go to Wendy’s or still does go to Wendy’s, that strange, bizarre Frosty they have, which was delicious and malty.

What was strange about it?

I feel like the Frosty was somewhere in some no man’s land between ice cream and a smoothie.

It’s like a milkshake.

Not quite. It was a little too thick to be a milkshake. I feel like it was its own category. Frosty is its own category. Also, spoiler alert. My first culinary job was the grill master at Wendy’s. I was seventeen and I got to look at the ingredient list in the dry mix for the Frosty at Wendy’s. It is not something you want to be consuming. I’ll leave it at that.

It’s horrifying. I used to love Frosty’s, especially dipping French fries in Frosty. That was satisfying. As a side note, we did find a less processed high-quality ingredient plant-based, keto, and also paleo version of that, which is Space Shake. It was called Cave Shake to be a play on paleo, but then maybe they’d change it to Space Shake because it’s something from outer space or something that an astronaut might consume. I’m not sure why they called it that.

I don’t, but you hear the consternation of my voice for two reasons. I love Cave Shake. I love the name. I love the formula. They used to have it in these cute little jars. It was thick. I’m not throwing them under the bus. We got to be honest and we got to get uncomfortable. They rebranded as Space Shake. They repackaged it into almost like a plastic pouch or squeeze pouch. This was cool though. I went to Costco at the beginning of quarantine lockdown and they had a case of a spaceship. I’m like, “I’ll give them another role.” It’s not as good in my opinion. We still have mad love for them. I love Space Shake. The OG formula is my favorite of all time. Backtracking, I had an aggressive dairy allergy, I still do, which when people have asked me like, “Don’t you miss milk?” I’m like, “I never missed it in the first place because it always made me feel violently ill.”

In gluten, I never had that kind of allergic reaction of doubled over in pain, vomiting, shivers, a bad allergic reaction. I did notice though, you’re talking about sensitivity Whitney, that once I got more in tune with my body and in recent episodes, we’ve been talking a lot about intuition. In future episodes, we talk deeper into intuitive eating principles. For me, right around 2005, 2006, I started to realize when I would go and mash a bunch of bagels and pizza, throw down five cupcakes at once. I would not feel good. As I experimented with more gluten-free options, even the ones that were more processed like you were talking about, I wouldn’t feel that level of bloating and digestive or intestinal distress.

It was never violent, but I think I did have an acute sensitivity to it. As I went down deeper into this gluten rabbit hole, you and I touched on the heirloom status. To share with the reader, an heirloom grain or an heirloom vegetable or fruit means that the seeds that were grown used to grow this product have not been hybridized or genetically modified. In many cases, some brands will claim that the heirloom seeds lineage they’re using have them pass down for generations and in some cases, hundreds of years. That’s cool when you think about how they’ve tended, curated and protected those seeds for multiple generations of farmers. That’s rad in general, but you notice that in a lot of studies, the human body tends to process and utilize the nutrients in heirloom foods differently because they haven’t been genetically modified or hybridized.

That’s one aspect of this gluten equation. The other thing too is a lot of the commercial wheat, corn, soy and oats are fed to and factory-farmed animals here in the US, but the ones that go for human consumption, big manufacturers store them in grain silos. The problem with these grain silos is there’s a propensity for mold and yeast to grow. Oftentimes, these grains are kept for weeks or even months in these silos. It may not necessarily be just the genetic modification or the hybridization of the seeds. A lot of the gluten intolerances and a lot of the gluten allergies I’ve read in certain studies say that it’s from the toxic mold and toxic yeast that is growing on these grains in these seeds as a result of mismanaged storage practices.

I don’t think that I was aware of that, but that makes sense because the same thing can be true of a lot of different foods like coffee and nuts. Mold can be a big issue and it certainly is helpful to examine where your food’s coming from no matter what it is, because if the source is high quality, if you know that it’s being manufactured in a specific way. If it’s grown locally, then it doesn’t have to be stored or transported in some of these crazy ways. This goes back towards that wonderful phrase that you have, Jason, which is you pay with your purse or pay with your person because, with a lot of foods in general, it can seem expensive, but you’re usually paying to skip over some of these shortcuts. When something’s cheap shortcuts might be taken in order to make it cheaper to offer up to the public.

That way, the storage might not be as great as somebody else who’s taking more care and checking for mold and being mindful or not storing things as long. I feel like bread in general is such a comfort food. It’s something that immediately gives me a feeling of warmth and satisfaction. When I was doing the keto diet, that was one of the most challenging parts because there aren’t a lot of keto vegan bread. I feel like this is going to change over time. For some reason, I have a tendency to try out certain ways of eating on the earlier end. When I went vegan in 2003, there weren’t a lot of vegan options and now there are countless. When I went gluten-free, there weren’t a lot of gluten-free vegan options. Now there’s a ton.

When I went to keto, there weren’t a ton of vegan keto products. Now there’s a lot more, but I still think we have a long way to go. I feel like I’m a little ahead of my time. For me, some of the tougher times when I would have certain cravings for food is when I wanted something comforting like bread or pasta. I would try to make it myself. There are some decent vegan keto bread recipes out there. I can’t remember if we put anything like that in my cookbook with Chef Nicole Derseweh who did all the recipes. I don’t think we have anything bread-like in there, but there’s another lovely book called Vegan Keto by Liz MacDowell.

MGU 116 | Love For Bread

Love For Bread: The human body tends to process and utilize the nutrients in heirloom foods differently because they haven’t been genetically modified or hybridized.

 

I would try making my own vegan keto bread but they were based on psyllium husks and seeds and it’s the same as glutenous bread. Every once in a while, I’d have a little. Going back to your original question, Jason, about my relationship with bread during COVID and quarantine, I did find that I would have it a little bit more often. It is because of that comfort factor. We’re under so much stress and sometimes we want comfort foods simply because the effort it would take to get our needs met that emotionally can feel intense.

Being able to eat something that makes you feel good is relieving, even if it’s a quick relief. The problem is for me, I get those reactions. My food reactions are still confusing to me after all these years. Generally, something that I eat will cause me to sneeze a lot. I will get bloated and inflamed. Sometimes my skin gets itchy. My scalp gets itchy and sometimes my energy is completely zapped. I’m exhausted and I’m blowing my nose and sneezing all day long, and it’s almost debilitating. That usually is what to me when I eat certain types of gluten. Even though it’s comforting at the moment, it’s definitely not comforting in the long run. Some people don’t realize this, but food sensitivities can take upwards of 48 hours to show up in your system. It might not be an immediate effect. You might eat something and think you were in the clear and then two days later be suffering.

It brings up an interesting choice that we face. Collectively as human beings, we can have a craving or a desire to have some emotional experience with the food or eating. One of the reasons that foodies exist, at the time of this food culture, is insane. It’s massive. Not because of the effect of Food Network and Cooking Channel, which I was grateful to be a part of. You look at Instagram, food bloggers, cookbook authors getting $100,000 advances. Food culture is crazy, but we examine why. People have a deeply visceral, emotional connection to food. For most humans, it’s not simply this intellectualization of I’m eating food for fuel and that’s where the buck stops. People are deeply passionate in many ways.

That’s why a lot of people may not choose to eat foods that would be healthier or more healing for their bodies because, “I don’t want to give up X whatever that is. My family’s been eating this way for generations and this is how we do it.” What you’re talking about is the moment-to-moment decision, where maybe we are faced with a choice of wanting to try something, but rolling the dice in the sense that it might make us feel like crap. It wasn’t that emotionally charged of a moment, but as an example, you and I went to go try a new coffee house here in Los Angeles called Little Barn Coffee House. You and I were one of the only three patrons there and we were eating in a socially distanced patio, but both of the sandwiches had gluten.

We tried these two breakfast sandwiches. I got a croissant and you got a vegan sausage McMuffin type thing. I remember thinking like, “I hope I don’t feel like crap after I eat this,” but that’s always the thing you’re going to roll the dice on. If you eat something you’re sensitive to is the balance and the choice between, “I have a curiosity of trying a new food or a craving or an emotional need for comfort versus I may feel like crap afterward.” To me, that’s always such an interesting decision to make.

That is a good segue into our sponsor for this episode, which is BiOptimizers because they have a product called Gluten Guardian. I love their tagline for this, “Eat gluten and get away with it.”

That’s a brilliant tagline.

I’ve been taking it since they sent it to us for a few weeks. Have you tried it yet, Jason?

I have. As I mentioned, my girlfriend Laura brings home every single Sunday night after her gig at the farmer’s market three giant bags of bread. Some that we’ll keep for ourselves. Most of which we go to a few spots here in Los Angeles and hand it out to a homeless and houseless people, which is such a wonderful feeling to do that. We keep some of the loaves. I mentioned sourdough, rye, pumpernickel, some of the cooler loaves. Since we did receive the amazing Gluten Guardian, I’ve been taking it before I have a sandwich. I had some cherry jelly and almond butter on toast and I pop 3 or 4 of them at a time. Honestly, since I started taking this, I have not had any kind of rumblings, distension, bloating. In the few weeks we’ve been taking it, I’ve been putting it to the test and so far, it’s been effective and very cool to see the results. Meaning there have been no flare-ups at all in terms of sensitivity.

I’ve been experiencing the same thing. It’s tricky when it comes to taking digestive enzymes because some of them work well and it’s obvious and some of them are more subtle. Other times, since my food sensitivities have many factors, I’m not immediately sure if it was the gluten that I was eating or an enzyme, but I’ve been taking this one consistently. I found that if I take it right before or during a meal that contains gluten, I will feel okay. I went on their website because I think we have a discount code for them. Don’t we, Jason?

We do indeed. The discount code is WELLEVATR10. You save 10% on your order of Gluten Guardian and all their products. We’ll talk more probably either later in this episode or future episodes about their proteolytic enzymes, which I have been taking in my recovery from gout. I’ll talk more about that, but the Gluten Guardian has been clutch, Whitney, bagels, bread and pastries. There’s a new bakery here in LA. Many good bakeries popping up, many great small businesses called Just What I Needed. For many Angelenos, it’s in the Frogtown neighborhood. Most of her stuff has gluten. She has a few gluten-free options, but I’ll take the Gluten Guardian with me. Three or four pills and pop it. She’s got these Danishes. I know this is a tangent. She’s got the vegan cheese Danishes that she’ll do fresh cherry, fresh blueberry, fresh apricot and it’s amazing. I know if I pop a few of these Gluten Guardians, I can go crazy town on a Danish and feel fine afterward.

What a joy to be able to do that. If you go onto the BiOptimizers website, they have a cool video that I saw. It is a test between a liquid with the Gluten Guardian added to it and a liquid without it. They drop a piece of bread into it. After a certain amount of time, you see how the Gluten Guardian dissolves the bread and then the water without the bread, the bread’s still fully intact. You’ve got to take some of these videos with a grain of salt. It’s only when you experiment with them that you’ll know if it’s going to work for you or not. These are designed to support your digestion, to help with things like gas, bloating, and indigestion, which is typically the experience I have. I would say more about the bloating side of things.

I also get the sneezing elements of it. It’s fascinating to me because I always wonder what’s going on in my body. For whatever reason, whether it was the way that we were born through genetics or the way that we are raised through our lifestyle, some of us have trouble digesting things, and a lot of people have gut issues. If you can get a little support by taking a pill that can help you break down starches and sugars from things like gluten, it’s lovely. I find having that available to me is assuring. This has given me my best chance and I still get to indulge a little bit as well. I’ve been grateful for BioOptimizers.

It’s non-GMO. It doesn’t have any soy or dairy. It’s vegetarian capsules and it’s made in the US. Jason mentioned that he takes 3 or 4. I will experiment depending on how much gluten I’m having. They recommend taking three capsules with a glass of water before each meal. You can take up to nine capsules per day if you’re going to have gluten at every meal, I suppose. Sometimes I’ll take one capsule if I’m going to have a small amount. That way I can stretch my bottle so that it lasts a little bit longer.

Sometimes, we want certain foods simply because it satisfies our emotional need for comfort. Click To Tweet

The timing of this for you and I to be falling in love with BiOptimizers and their enzymes. It’s great because during the holiday season, and we have no idea what’s going to happen with COVID, quarantine, or any of that. The holidays, in general, are a big question mark now, but I feel like the holidays and gatherings, once those start resuming and more frequency. Those are the situations where I find myself being a little more liberal with my food choices. You go out to a Thanksgiving dinner and for years, there’s been a legendary gathering in Detroit at my mom’s house for vegan Thanksgiving. I think we started the first one in 1998.

We used to have dozens of people come through my mom’s house for vegan Thanksgiving dinner because in Detroit, back in the day, especially there weren’t a lot of options to find vegan Thanksgiving food. The holidays are one of those times where you can be like, “Somebody made a fresh stuffing and it smells good.” Somebody bringing a tofurkey. Somebody made some amazing, fresh-baked bread and you’re like, “It’s the spirit of connection and community.” Having something like the Gluten Guardian right in my pocket and ready to go, I feel like I can walk into those kinds of family gatherings or those holiday events and be like, “I want to try this stuff and give me a slice of bread, hook me what that Tofurkey. Give me some of that gravy.” That’s cool if you use the little wheat flour in the roux, the gravy sauce, that’s cool with me. I feel like products like this that work give me the more mental freedom to know that I can enjoy trying different things and I’m not going to feel like a rack afterward. I’m not going to pay for it.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this myself as I gear up for my big road trip. I’m starting my road trip the day this episode comes out or the day after. If you might be reading this while I’m on the road, in other words, it depends on what day you choose, I am prepping for it as the time that we’re doing this. I’ve been thinking about the same thing, Jason, because part of the fun of traveling is being able to try food from areas that you don’t normally visit or have never been to before. The challenge for me when I travel is I want to feel good. It’s tough. That’s why having something like Gluten Guardian is helpful.

They sent me a little carrying case for the enzyme. I’m going to be using that to make it easy to find them. Because sometimes trying to carry a whole bottle of these things around in your travel bags is tough. I’ll just throw something like that in a backpack. That way it’s always there when I need it. I’m on the fence about how much gluten I’m going to eat. Honestly, I’d try to avoid it. There are times like when we went to that cafe where I wanted to try a vegan croissant. Because a gluten-free vegan croissant is going to be a different experience or the other sandwich was a biscuit. Every once in a while, you’ll find both those things that are gluten-free, but it’s a little bit harder.

If I’m going to be in the city for the first time ever and maybe never return, I’m probably going to want to try something even if it doesn’t make me feel great, because maybe it will be good enough at that moment. It’s like your holiday point. I’ve certainly done that too during the holidays. It’s interesting to always consider all these different factors and what type of food feels worth it. I’m curious, Jason, what are some of the best breads that comes to mind for you that you’ve ever had? Do you have any good bread memories?

First of all, the first thing that comes to mind is the best pizza crust I’ve ever had in my life. That is bread. We can start there. It counts. When I went on my first trip to Italy, I went down to the Amalfi Coast. There was a cafe in Sorrento. I walk into this cafe and the Amalfi Coast is ridiculously beautiful. It’s one of the most gorgeous places on Earth that I’ve yet seen. There’s a lot more of the Earth I want to see hope when we start traveling more again. This was a thin crust and it was the perfect balance of light yet dense and hardy like a great shoe factor. It would also snap perfectly when you would bite into the crust.

There was no butter in it, but it was buttery because of the olive oil they used at this cafe and all over Italy, but particularly Southern Italy, you have to be kidding me. I remember it was one of those transcendent moments between that perfectly dense, fluffy, crisp, crunchy crust. The butteriness, the olive oil was spicy, light, grassy and earthy. Their sauce was insane. The vegetables were unbelievably fresh and crisp. It was one of those rare moments where I remember a meal and it was transcendent. You left your body a little bit. It was so good. Your eyes roll back and you have to close your eyes. It’s almost orgasmic. There have been a few meals in my life where there are levels. There’s good. There’s like, “This is damn good. This is great,” and then there’s transcendent and that pizza was magical.

I don’t think you’ve ever told me that story. I don’t think you’ve told me the story about your favorite fart, which as a reminder to the readers to stay tuned for at the very end of this. I’m not going to let you go until you tell that story, Jason, but the readers can choose not to read. Sometimes we’re talking about good food. Is it true that a burp or fart at the end of a meal is seen as a compliment? Is that a folklore?

I don’t know.

It’s like, “That was good.” I express how much I enjoyed that meal.

To add to the effect is when you do that, and then you slap your belly, “My compliments to the chef.” As a chef, I don’t receive that as a compliment. As a chef, I do receive a clean plate as a compliment. You asked about other bakeries, other bread. I am a huge fan in terms of gluten-free bakeries here in Los Angeles. There’s a phenomenal one, which is in Culver City, near the west side. You and I have been going there for years. I’ve been going there for their Everything Bagels and their gluten-free pumpernickel bread. It is wonderful. I am pontificating and my brain is escaping me, Whitney, Follow Your Heart bought the company. Why am I spacing on the name?

I’m spacing on it too, Jason. What is that place called?

It’s called Rising Hearts Bakery. Amazing gluten-free cookies, muffins, but their bagels and their bread are off the charts good. Also, here in LA huge, huge fans of Erin McKenna’s. They are old school. When I lived in New York City back in ‘06, I used to go down to the lower Eastside and ravage Erin McKenna’s. She’s got two locations here in LA. One is in Larchmont and one is right near our friend Ele’s shop on Montana and Santa Monica, but good scones. Her sweet stuff is tops at Erin McKenna’s. I also have to give a shout-out to Ridiculous Baking Company who’s at the farmers’ markets here in LA. Their stuff is good. To round it out, I got to give a shout to my Detroit people, Avalon Bakery in the City of Detroit. I used to love going to Avalon. When I’m home, I try and get a loaf. My mom goes there from time to time. You asked me what my favorite bread is. That’s the quick rundown.

There’s also a company called Super Bloom. They’re based in LA. They’re also at the farmers market where your girlfriend works, Jason. Our friend, Ele Keats turned us on to them. It’s all sourdough based. I know that you’ve tried it.

MGU 116 | Love For Bread

Love For Bread: If you eat something you’re sensitive to, there’s always a decision to make between the emotional need for comfort and avoiding the nasty feeling afterwards.

 

I’ve tried it and it’s exquisitely good.

What I like about them is their sourdough. I have a fondness for sourdough, but it is gluten-free and sourdough, which are not mutually exclusive. Looking at their website is literally making me drool.

You’re torturing yourself, aren’t you?

I am. They’re available. They have delivery. They’re at the farmers market. They’re at stores like Pantry LA that we love. If you’re in the area, you should try them. I wonder if you can order this online. I bet it wouldn’t be that great shipped, but you never know. For those of you who are outside of Los Angeles and in the United States, you could probably get some of these brands sent to you through the mail or find the equivalent like Jason mentioned. If you’re outside the US, you probably don’t have to worry so much about it because a lot of the times, the bread outside of the United States is much better and easier to digest.

I remember when I went to Greece a few years ago, I was on the keto diet at the time, but I thought I’m not going to worry too much about carbs when I’m traveling in Greece. I may never go back and I hope I go back. On my first night there, I ended up having gluten despite my attempts not to. It’s comforting and it’s filling. It’s satisfying. A lot of times, that’s when I will eat bread. I’m looking for that quick satisfying food. I had something that was similar to falafel, but not quite. It was some Mediterranean sandwich.

It was rolled up in this special bread they had and it was good. I remember thinking, “I’m not going to feel good later tonight or tomorrow, but it’ll be worth it.” I felt fine. I would slowly test it out throughout my trip. I can’t remember if I brought any enzymes with me. I don’t recall, but I also don’t have any memory of feeling super sick on that trip. Like Jason, a lot of the times that I’ve traveled or had bread that has been imported. Another place to go shout out to, I’m surprised you didn’t bring them up, Jason, but we have mentioned them before is Verde in Baltimore who makes phenomenal pizza. Theirs is technically gluten-free or is it like the in-between, because that’s what’s interesting. Some companies are low gluten is what they call it.

I think it was gluten-free because I remember us raving saying this is the best gluten-free pizza crust we’ve ever had. It was. I remember them giving our dear friend Debi Chew, who runs the Chew On Vegan website and social media handle. They ended up getting some flour and making it at home. I’m almost 100% sure it was a fully gluten-free crust. Anybody who lives in Baltimore or plans on traveling to Baltimore, I’m thinking about that pizza now, Whitney.

We did talk about it in another episode. Might as well mention them again since this is our bread episode. It’s not necessarily meant to be a gluten-free episode either. The two of us have had experiences on both sides. The three places that I’ve had and enjoyed. One is someplace I’ve been to a ton during quarantine is Pura Vita. They now have a pizzeria in addition to their Italian restaurant. They’re right next door to each other in West Hollywood. They offer gluten-free options for almost every single dish and their gluten-free crust is phenomenal. The restaurants are entirely vegan too. It’s easy to eat at but their crust is fantastic. There’s a wonderful pizza place called Pizzana, which imports in their flour. It reminded me of Verde. If you’re on the West Coast or in Los Angeles, Pizzana is quite nice. I don’t know if they have locations elsewhere in the US but they have a few in LA. The third we shouted out which is La Morra Pizza, which was delivered to us and they used a sourdough crust. I don’t think that was gluten-free. It was a vegan sourdough.

It was legit for a frozen pizza. It was the best crust I ever had on a frozen pizza, gluten-free or not. It was so fluffy but crisp. It was that snappy, yummy mouthfeel. La Morra’s crust was legit. It also brings up to me the sub-genres of pizza, since we’re riffing on pizza and bread. There’s a lot of pride in different cities around regional cuisine. There are food identities and certain cities are passionate about their local cuisine. Certainly, with pizza, having grown up in Detroit and lived in Chicago, New York, and now in LA trying different pizzas in different cities, how they do it differently. It’s been cool to me to see the rise of Detroit-style, deep-dish pizza.

Here’s what I mean by Detroit-style deep-dish. Where it originated is maybe up for contention. A lot of people say it’s Buddy’s Pizzeria, which is still a popular chain in Detroit. Detroit-style deep-dish, it’s not as doughy or thick as Chicago deep-dish, but it isn’t a square pan. Detroit-style deep-dish, you do get a nice thick crust, good cheese, lots of spicy sauce, veggies, whatever you want. The crust is crisped and browned on the edges to where it’s slightly charred, but it’s always done in a square pan. You don’t have a thick edge of crust. The toppings, the sauce and the cheese go right to the edges on a Detroit-style deep-dish. The cool thing about this is there is a place here in LA called Nic’s On Beverly.

My mom was here over the holidays. We went to Nic’s. She wanted to go to all the new vegan places in LA when she comes to visit. We saw on the menu it said Detroit-style deep-dish pizza. We looked at each other like, “This is some bullshit. We’re not in Detroit. You’re going to throw Detroit-style deep-dish on to Detroiters who were in LA. Come on now.” We had to roll the dice and see what it was. This deep-dish at Nic’s On Beverly was legit, Whitney. It was better than the deep-dish Detroit-style pizza I have in Detroit. The server comes back and we’re like, “We’re from Detroit. She’s in town from Detroit and this pizza is better than the pizzas back home. How the hell is this possible?” He said, “The chef who makes our pizza is originally from Detroit. You can get Detroit-style deep-dish pizza here in LA and we just opened this past month in Portland.” I may or may not move there. We’ll see. A fully Detroit-style deep-dish pizzeria in Portland, Oregon, that’s also 100% vegan. What world are we living in? I can go to LA. I can go to Portland and get my Detroit-style deep-dish pizza. Shout out to Detroit, shout out to their amazing pizza and the veganism nation of that pizza.

I think I had that pizza you’re referring to at Nic’s On Beverly. It certainly wasn’t gluten-free. I’m looking at their menu. I didn’t even notice the Detroit-style. I guess that is what I had because I had pizza there. Jason, a Detroit-style reminded me almost like a bruschetta. If I remember correctly, it was thick, moist, oily crust with a thin layer of ricotta. Maybe that was because I got the ricotta. They have four different styles of these pizzas at Nic’s On Beverly. It’s reminding me more of a flatbread or a bruschetta.

Typically, though you’re going to have a closer 50/50 ratio of topping sauce, cheese to cross, as opposed to a Chicago-style deep-dish, which is a thick crust. You have a high ratio of crust. The Detroit-style is a super crispy edge. You don’t have a thick doughy crust on it. It’s right up to the edge and it is bruschetta-like, but it is crispy. Typically, it’s dense. It’s not like a light pizza. It’s oily. It’s crispy. It’s charred, but it’s good. I feel like I might need to get one, Whitney.

Time to put Gluten Guardian to the test once more and it’s also square. Is Detroit-style pizza always square?

Eat your gluten and get away with it! #GlutenGuardian Click To Tweet

Detroit-style deep-dish without fail is square. If it isn’t square, it isn’t Detroit-style.

I did not know that was a thing. This has been educational for me too. I love how this conversation bread turned into so much talk about pizza and it goes to show how far things have come. If I haven’t said this before on the show, I distinctly remember at the beginning of my vegan journey thinking, “I guess I’m never going to have pizza again.” Back in 2003, it was hard to find vegan pizza. There were a couple of places in the US, literally a handful, at least that you could find online. Maybe some existed, but aside from Portland, maybe LA. I don’t even know if LA had that much. There was a dedicated vegan pizza shop in Boston where I went vegan. It wasn’t that great and no longer exists, but it was good enough. You were grateful to have it. I think they might’ve used Chicago Soy Dairy. Is that what it was called, Chicago Soy Dairy, Dandies Company?

Back in the day, yes.

They changed the name to what?

I don’t know.

It doesn’t have the word soy in it anymore. I don’t think. Maybe I’m wrong. They had their pizza, which was called what?

It was called Teese.

They changed the name to Chicago Vegan Foods and Teese was an OG, but that was one of the best. Teese was around before Daiya cheese, which was the revolutionary vegan cheese. Teese was ahead of its time. Next to that, they had Follow Your Heart, which as we mentioned owns one of the bakeries that we like called Rising Hearts. Follow Your Heart cheese in the beginning, back in the old days of veganism was disgusting. I’m going to say, Follow Your Heart. I love you. You’ve come a long way. They have great cheeses. Even Daiya has come a long way because Daiya was good for what it was, but it wasn’t that great. Both companies have evolved over time. Now there’s much competition they have to. I remember the first time I tried to make a vegan pizza and it was either in 2003 or 2004. I was disappointed. I was like, “This is my life now. I guess I should just get used to never having pizza again because it’s never going to taste as good.” Was I wrong? Because now as we’ve listed off all these amazing pizza shops, you can get an incredible pizza that is just as good. If not in some cases better than a dairy-based pizza. Even the gluten-free crusts are getting good that sometimes those taste just as good if not better. Pura Vita’s gluten-free crust is phenomenal.

I’m going to put you on the hotspot, Whitney. What are your three favorite cheese brands now?

This episode is about bread, not cheese.

We started off with farts and poop, and then we went to bread and digestion and then pizza. We can go anywhere we want to. It’s our damn show. Seriously, what are your top three cheeses now? I’m curious.

Hands down is Violife. Overall, if I had to choose one brand to be loyal to, it would be Violife because their feta is one of the best vegan cheeses I’ve ever had in all my years of being vegan. Their mozzarella and their cheddar are good. The shreds, I don’t think are fantastic. The cheese slices are fantastic. I do recall that they had the same manufacturer as Follow Your Heart because their slices are also quite great, but they had a slight difference in ingredients and similar texture. Violife is incredible. Their smoked cheeses are unbelievable. They have cream cheese. They have everything. One cheese that I haven’t seen in stores often is that halloumi where you can grill it up.

Hands down, they have such a great variety of any cheese you could imagine. Their feta leaves me speechless. Their parmesan is good too, because it comes in a block. You get to shred it yourself and you can put it in a traditional parmesan shredder or whatever those little wheel things are. Follow Your Heart has a good parmesan, but it’s not quite as good and already comes pre shred. It doesn’t taste as fresh. I don’t think it lasts as long. Violife is number one for me. Number two is Miyoko’s. They have a variety of nice products as well. I haven’t had much experience with her shreds yet, because those are relatively new, but she nailed the cheese wheel, the round cheeses that you would have on crackers.

I appreciate her mozzarella but the flavor and the melting factor have not quite hit it for me. I’ve often been disappointed. They haven’t quite given me that taste craving I’ve wanted. I don’t know who would be third. I would probably pick some random local company because there are a lot of lovely companies out there like The Uncreamery makes a delicious Brie. There are brands all around the country, very small not quite national in some cases. More like the local vegan cheeses would probably be my third choice, just because those are often delightful and the house-made cheeses, I should say at pizza restaurants like Pura Vita. They make their own cheese that they put on their pizzas and it’s fantastic.

MGU 116 | Love For Bread

Love For Bread: A lot of the times, the bread outside of the United States is actually much better and easier to digest.

 

I don’t have anything to add because you took my top two. I’d rather we share the same top two and your assessment of what’s good and maybe needs improvement in their product line is spot on. I also do think that I get excited as you are about to embark on this road trip of trying local artists and manufacturers. One of my favorite things to do in travel is to find these local producers, the variations, the different tastes and the different spices and the processes they use. I always find that exciting. In fact, I’m a little bit jealous because you’re going back to one of our favorite small natural markets, Deborah’s, and you always find cool new shit there, Whitney.

I’m glad you brought that up because I would have forgotten about this. Deborah’s has one of my favorite breads of all time and I’m laughing because this brand feels old school. It’s called DeLand. It’s one of those brands that need a branding makeover because it looks like they have not changed their brand name since 1986. It is the ‘80s, maybe even ‘70s. Their website looks like it was built in the early 2000s. Bless their hearts. They have made some progress though over the years since I discovered them. It’s phenomenal because all, if not, most of their products are made from millet. They have certified gluten-free. Some of them are organic and vegan. They have all these labels. I’m on their website and they have every major certification you could want. Non-GMO, some of their products are made from whole grains. They’re made in the US. They don’t use corn syrup. They’re corn-free. They’re mindful. That’s why I can excuse them for their old school branding.

What I love about them is their ingredients are super simple. They have a few different lines. Their main line is to call it the All-Natural line. It’s incredibly simple. Their all-natural flax millet bread is millet flour, golden flax seeds, brown rice, flour, water, sea salt, and yeast. I thought, “There’s no way this is good.” It’s fantastic. It makes the best sandwich bread. You get some of that. You put it in the toaster and it’s perfect. It’s light. What stood out about them to me after trying a lot of vegan, gluten-free bread out there is that it wasn’t dense. Most vegan gluten-free breads were thick and they tasted too homemade to me. I was describing with the vegan keto bread, they’re not quite there yet. They have certified gluten-free bread, but I think some of those, if not, all of those are not vegan. Double-check the labels. They do have a vegan pizza cross, which I don’t remember if I’ve tried. They have a ton of products. They have certified organic bread. They’ve expanded. They have chosen to keep their old school design, which is fine. It’s no big deal. The reason I bring them up is that they’re sold at Deborah’s and Deborah’s is one of those stores that actually has a great reputation, a legacy.

Deborah is an actual person. She’s cool. She’s your stereotypical hippie woman. I don’t know why I would even need to say this, but not like an offense. She’s a cool, natural store owner. I don’t know how old she is exactly, but she’s pretty much what you would imagine if you have the same imagination like me. It’s a small little store in Massachusetts that’s sweet. They have amazing natural brands, mostly organic, a lot of local products there. It’s a delightful experience, similar to Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco, which is a much larger version. That is probably my favorite grocery store in the whole world. Jason, in addition to going to Deborah’s, I’m going to be hitting up co-ops all across the country. When we do my summary episode, that is coming up on the show. Once I get to Massachusetts, I’m going to talk about all the different experiences that I had during that road trip. Not to rub it into you, Jason, but to share what I’ve discovered across the country.

I have a request. It’s a fun idea. If possible, because we have to think about spoilage and shelf life. If there are things you can obtain that have a decent shelf life, you bring them back. When you do your summary episode, as you’re talking about these foods, I can be doing a taste test on the other end, having my own experience in real-time, which will be like a mukbang show hybrid summary thing.

Yay and nay, because the summary episode that we’re doing will happen when I’m still on the East Coast. I can still bring you products and we can talk about them in a future episode. I’m going to be on the East Coast for quite some time. We don’t want to delay it too much. I want a fresh off of the road episode for our readers who may be eager. Since this episode comes out the day before I leave for my trip if all things go as planned, you can follow my journey on this road trip and all the foods that I may experience through my social media. I have yet to determine if I’ll be posting about it on the Eco-Vegan Gal account. It’s likely I’m going to be posting there and on my new account @WhitLauritsen, and then perhaps also on @Wellevatr if I want to take on a lot or maybe Jason can reshare some of my Instagram stories. I’ll tag him in it and make it easy, but we want to make it easy for you.

For those of you who don’t know yet, I’m eventually going to transition away from Eco-Vegan Gal, the brand that I’ve had for many years, mainly because I want to do things a little bit differently and that name doesn’t serve me. I thought about changing the username, but I think it’d be nice to preserve it and maybe dip back into it when I felt like it. We’ll see what happens. The more I’m talking about, the more I need to post on Eco-Vegan Gal, but I’ll be trying to drive more traffic to the new account, @WhitLauritsen. If you’re somebody that doesn’t want to miss out on anything, you might as well follow all three of those accounts including @Wellevatr so that you can stay up to date on things.

We’re on Instagram as well as Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, TikTok, all these different platforms not to overwhelm you, but just to give you a lot of variety because we don’t know exactly where you are unless you tell us. We have our websites. That’s the main hub. You can subscribe to the show if you haven’t yet so that you don’t miss out on the episodes that are coming up. We have three episodes a week. We have a lot coming your way. It’s not meant to overwhelm you, but it’s to give you a lot. Clearly, we have a lot to say on a lot of different subject matters. Jason, should we save your story for the end of the episode? Are you eager that you can’t contain it anymore?

I want to save it to the end. I also in real-time want to tell you about a compliment that we received on our show, which I felt was poignant, and a piece of feedback that I felt was wonderful before we get to the frequently asked queries and my epic, legendary, hall of fame fart story. Our friend, Ele Keats, which we are long overdue to have her on the show. She’s in Hawaii doing things there. We’ll make it happen at some point with Ele Keats. Ele’s younger sister, Caitlin, as long as I’ve known Ele. I had the great pleasure of having matcha with her. She’s like, “I’ve been listening to the show.” I had no idea she was. She said, “I think it’s great.”

Two things. Caitlin has been in entertainment, voiceover and acting for a long time. Her opinion brings a weight in that sense. Beyond that, she also is the host of a few podcasts on Spotify. That’s what she does now for her business. She’s deeply entrenched in the podcast world. I said, “I didn’t even know you’re listening.” She said, “You guys are phenomenal.” I said, “This is crazy to me.” She’s never mentioned it. She said, “The subject matter is interesting and diverse, but the thing I think that is great about it is the relationship you and Whitney have. You dig into the psychology of why people listen to podcasts. Some people are interested in the subject matter, but the real fervent fanaticism and what people get hooked on and come back for is especially with multiple host podcasts is the relationship dynamic.” I said, “I had no idea.” She said, “My favorite part is the banter and the relationship you and Whitney have built over many years. That authenticity, that heart, that connection comes through. I like subjects. I think they’re great and interesting, but it’s the relationship and your dynamic that has me coming back and listening to multiple episodes.” I thought that was one of the loveliest pieces of feedback. Thank you, Caitlin. If you’re out there, we love you. We appreciate you and you sharing it with your friends. Thanks for that feedback.

That is a lovely feedback. It’s interesting with the show because the feedback we get often takes longer to receive than it does on other mediums. It is fascinating. Not to be doing things in real-time, unlike Instagram, where you can post and you immediately get feedback, TikTok or most other platforms are quick. I feel like you can adapt fast and you can give people what they want and stop doing what they don’t like or do whatever the hell you want. Ultimately, with the show, it’s been fascinating, especially as we’ve done over 100 episodes. It’s a lot of trying things out and slowly getting feedback on it. That’s lovely to hear. That’s a reminder for us to ask you the audience. If you haven’t given us feedback, we enjoy hearing it, whether you do that publicly or privately.

Publicly, it could be on social media. It could be comments on our website, the show notes at Wellevatr.com. You can send in questions, requests, comments, feedback, whatever you would like. You can also do that through iTunes and one other platform. There are only two platforms that I know of where you can leave reviews. You might be able to do it on an IMDB, which we are on. Whichever you fancy. Most people like to leave a review on Apple iTunes. That’s where people think it counts. If you are on an Apple device, you can easily leave a little review there. We love the authentic ones. We liked this specific feedback. You can rate with stars and you can type something if you’d like as well.

Whatever you think is beneficial for other people, that’s who it’s for. If your reviews and feedback do help us and it’s flattering sometimes, but reviews ultimately are to help other people. If you want somebody else to know this show, you can be part of that by leaving a detailed perspective on why you read the blog and what you like about it. We love reading that. Thank you to anybody who has done that. If you haven’t gotten around to it yet and you want to, whenever you’re ready, we’ll look forward to hearing from you in whatever capacity, publicly or privately. We usually do brand shout-outs, but we have our sponsor. I think we’ve done enough shouting out of all these other brands but as a reminder of our amazing sponsor, BiOptimizers, who makes these incredible enzymes. We’re going to be talking about them throughout a few upcoming episodes.

We’ll talk more about Jason’s gout and the other enzymes they make. They make probiotics. They make all sorts of wonderful vitamins, minerals and a whole line of supplements to help you feel your best, which is what we’re all about. Optimizing your life is something we’re passionate about. Although, we do recommend doing that in balance and not living your entire life optimizing because you need time to rest too. What’s cool about things like Gluten Guardian is it makes sure that your body feels balanced and it doesn’t feel like it’s overworking itself. It allows you to relax a little bit more and enjoy foods that might be hard for you to digest. You can check that out through Wellevatr.com or you can go directly to their website, BiOptimizers.com and be sure to use our discount code, which is WELLEVATR10 for 10% off.

We have come a long way since the days of disgusting vegan pizza. Now, these treats can be as good as, if not better than dairy-based pizza. Click To Tweet

We would love to hear any feedback you have about their products and if it works as well for you. Be sure to check if you are vegan like we are because not every single one of their products is vegan. They use some animal products in some of their products, but if it says that it’s vegetarian and capsules, there’ll be listed as a non-dairy as well. You can always email them and double-check some things. Some things are listed as vegan, and you can email us as well and we can get in touch with them for you because we want to support you in making that easy. Jason, I don’t have any super exciting Frequently Asked Queries to go over. I’ll take a quick peek but sometimes I’m a little bit more prepared with this than others. I don’t know if I feel super excited. What can I tie into this? I love to find queries that feel related to what we’re talking about. I feel like we covered some good ones and then sometimes that leaves me with less. This one’s cute. This falls into an interesting category for me. Somebody typed in a bulldog mindset. What do you think that means? Since you talked about Bella at the beginning, what’s a bulldog mindset?

It is being incessantly determined to get what you want to the point of annoying someone until they capitulate. Being a bully and also wantonly and ruthlessly farting anywhere and everywhere on anyone you choose. The bulldog mindset is dogged determination and extreme flatulence to coerce your guardian to bend to your will.

I think that’s good. Although your dog, Bella, I feel like she’s not like a bulldog in the traditional sense. She’s soft and gentle a lot of times. She gets riled up, but she knows when she needs to calm down. She’ll go lay in her bed and be chill.

There are moments where I’m like, “It’s a bulldog.” She’s not going to let you forget she’s a bulldog. Sometimes when she wants to play, she’ll bring her bone over, “I don’t want to play right now. Bring the bone back over.” She can be very insistent but she’s a great teacher because it means that she’s determined to get what she wants and I admire that about her.

I love it when animals teach us things like that. One that I found, which is funny simply because it’s like a bit of an inside joke for us, Jason. If somebody was searching for flabbergasting meaning which is interesting. I always think of flabbergasted but gasting. Is there a difference between being flabbergasted and flabbergasting?

I don’t know that flabbergasting is a thing. The definition of flabbergast is to surprise someone greatly or astonished them. Use of that would be like, “I went to Nic’s On Beverly for the first time and I was flabbergasted. They had Detroit-style deep-dish.”

That’s exactly the voice that I was thinking. I want to give that character a name. If he had a name, what would it be, Jason, that voice that you do?

I feel like it’s a middle-aged, white, suburban man who happens to be a high school teacher. I don’t even know what his name would be. Because all that’s coming to mind is like a Herb or Norman, but no one’s named that anymore. That’s like our grandparents’ era. I feel like it would be a white, suburban, male, Midwestern name. What’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Neil? “I’m Neil and I get surprised and flabbergasted by things all the time.”

I was going to say, Bert.

That works too.

There’s a character in Saturday Night Live, but he’s the happy-go-lucky Midwestern dad with glasses. I don’t know what his name is on that show. If anyone knows who I’m talking about, you can shout us out on social media. He’s the dad that comes down to the basement when the kids are having a little pizza party and he’s like, “Just checking in. Do you need anything?” I wonder if you’d be that type of dad, Jason. Would you go down to the basement and be like, “Just checking to see if you need anything?”

It depends on the age because at a certain age if they’re teenagers, they’re probably masturbating or doing drugs.

I hope you do become a dad, Jason because I think that you’d be good at it for the most part. One more query. I have a bunch of serious queries, but I feel we’re not in a serious mood. I think we should go ahead and pull the trigger and you should let it rip.

Hall of fame fart story. It is junior high school. I am in seventh grade. I am probably 12 or 13 at this point. It’s Tuesday morning Homeroom class and the Homeroom teacher is a gruff, angry, grisled, Hobbit-like man named Mr. Chaparian. “Hello, class. I am Mr. Chaparian and welcome to Homeroom.” Mr. Chaparian was angry.

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You’re not doing a cultural voice with the accent.

I’m attempting to do Mr. Chaparian voice. He was Armenian, but he didn’t move his mouth much. He always had a crispy, crunchy rasp to his voice and he was mad all the time. Homeroom class, it’s Tuesday morning, God knows what I ate for breakfast that morning, but I have a rampant case of SBD. SBD is great. If the readers don’t know, it means Silent But Deadly. That means you can rip away and no one knows. No one can detect who the culprit is. You also don’t want to announce it because we know the first rule of farts is he or she who smelt it, dealt it. You don’t want to announce like, “It’s disgusting.” I’m quiet. I’m minding my own business. This is DEFCON 5, drop me in the middle of a war zone and I will clear the battlefield. These are some of the worst farts I’ve ever conjured from my shrinker. They’re bad.

What did you eat that led to this?

I mentioned that I have been allergic to dairy my whole life. It doesn’t mean that I cheated. Every once in a while, I’d get a Dannon Fruit on the Bottom Yogurt and then put up with the flatulence and the stomach pain.

You’re telling me that when you would indulge in dairy, you would go for a Dannon Fruit on the Bottom Yogurt. That was what you decided to risk it all for?

Breakfast, Whitney, it’s 8:00 AM in Homeroom. For breakfast, I would do a Fruit on the Bottom Yogurt. I was a mango and blueberry kind of guy.

I will say that there are more vegan yogurts now that have gotten tasty because we also went through that phase where vegan yogurt was horrific. Now, there’s more vegan yogurt that I can keep up with. I’m seeing some that have fruit mixed in. Sometimes it’s on the side where you get to pour it in. I think there are some vegan yogurts with Fruit on the Bottom so we’ve come a long way since those days.

The far cry from 1991. In 1991 Fruit on the Bottom yogurt, my stomach’s not having it. Gastrointestinal system, red alert, DEFCON 5, drop him in the battlefield status. I’m launching an all-out assault on Homeroom and people are getting disgusted. People are making gagging noises. If I start cracking up, that’s going to be a dead giveaway. I am biting my tongue and I’m pinching my inner thigh so that I don’t laugh because then they will immediately give me away. I want to be incognito fart ripper because it’s bringing me so much joy to see how disgusted people are. I’m poker face, I’m biting my lip and pinch my thigh. The Homeroom bell rings. Mr. Chaparian shuffles in his grumpy ass self. He walks in the room, shuts the door to his Homeroom and pauses and everyone gets quiet because he’s angry.

You see him look blankly and rotate his head like an oscillating fan with this quizzical puzzled look on his face and he starts sniffing the air. It’s like a dog. You see a dog looking around and sniffing the air trying to figure out where it comes from and he goes out loudly to the entire class. He goes, “Who is the animal? It smells like a barnyard in here.” I lose my shit. I fall out of my seat laughing and everyone’s like, “It’s Jason who did it.” It broke me when he said that. I broke my cover. Poker face was done and I was outed. I was ostracized for a few weeks after that fart session. I’m still proud of that moment years later.

I will say you have told me the story before, Jason, not to burst your bubble. I do recall it now that you’ve shared it again. It does remind me of a similar story on the airplane that you had with our friend, Ele.

Ele, if you’re reading, I’m sorry but I’m outing you. You are a legendary ripper and you have created scenes on airplanes as a result of your flatulence many of which have brought me great joy to see how uncomfortable you’ve made people on airplanes with your farts.

I’m trying to think if I’ve ever been on the receiving end. In those situations where you can’t leave, you have to sit there in it of somebody else’s fart. I don’t have any immediate memories of that. Do you, Jason? Some stranger and you’re like, “I can barely breathe but I’m stuck.” You’re laughing about this almost as if like it brings you joy to be the person that puts somebody in that compromising position. If you’ve been on the receiving end of it, you might not laugh hard.

The one situation that comes to mind that is consistent is at concerts. You’ll be in a giant crowd and that is probably the safest most inconspicuous place if you are a chronic fart ripper. It is undetectable and virtually impossible to attract on the origin of the said fart.

I’m curious who stuck with us through the end of this. Who enjoys hearing fart stories? You might be a glutton for punishment. Maybe have some sick pleasure or you like laughing at fart stories. I hope that you tell us. If you want to privately message us through email or direct messenger on Instagram, we would love to hear from you. If you have a fart story that you want to share even anonymously, maybe we’ll share it on your behalf in an upcoming episode, because we’re going to be talking about digestion at least one more time because of our sponsorship with BiOptimizers. I wonder how they feel about it as a brand. What if they came back to us and they were like, “Please don’t talk about farts and our brand together anymore?”

We’re taking big swings, Whitney. That’s what we do here.

We would not be fulfilling the name of our show if we didn’t do things that polarize people. That’s it for this episode. Thank you, dear reader, if you made it through the end. We look forward to hearing from you and your fart stories if you would like to share them. If you don’t want to share them, that’s okay with us too. Until next time. Thanks for getting uncomfortable with us. We’ll be back with another episode.

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