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Attempt #2

31 Dec

Fair warning: Things are gonna get a tish personal.

I took a wonderful trip to Guatemala with friends back in 2010. It was totes amazeballs, fo realz. The pictures of me in Guatemala? Eeeshhh… For one, I had a remarkably icky haircut. For another, and to be 100% honest, I looked fat. And then I got home, stepped on the scale, and saw a scary number. To Weight Watchers I went. I stuck with it for a good 3 months, and I lost weight. About 15 pounds. And then for some reason I got bored with points and decided to go back to eating all the cheese. And I kept paying for my membership for a really long time – all the while still eating all the cheese. Eventually I quit the program altogether. And yup. The weight came back. And then some. Especially now that I live with Kris. It’s sooo easy to get in to that groove of thinking “Ehhh. Whatever. You’ll still love me if all my pants are sweatpants and I live off Bagel Bites and chocolate?” (side note: how delicious are Bagel Bites?) This is a relatively new thing for me. Up until Kris, I wouldn’t eat tons of bad stuff in front of a dude. Since living with Kris, it’s like bring on the Chinese takeout! Not so good for me and Mr. Scale.

For work we had to have a health risk assesment done to receive a discount on our health insurance. Mine came back. And? And I am medically, wait for it, obese. Oh.Bese. Ummm. Excuuuuse me? Maybe I’m a bit tubby. Overweight, okay. But obese?? Yikes. And wow. And ugh… And how I am going to not be considered obese? To me, obese is Fat Gina at work. Obese are the people who use scooters because they are too tubs to walk. I’m one of them? Hell to the no.

So I did it again. I signed up with Weight Watchers. And this time I went big time. Meetings too. More pressure and more $. Yesterday was my first day on it. I was within my points. But around 10 pm, as we were coming home from seeing a movie (Secret Life of Walter Mitty – screw the reviews, I thought it was wonderful) I told Kris I could seriously eat an entire other supper. I was really hungry. I rounded out my points with a carrot and a measured out tablespoon of hummus. Prior to yesterday, I don’t think I would have gone straight for a carrot. But that’s what this is all about. I think weight loss is about a million different little decisions everyday. So here I am. And I have to keep telling myself that not being obese trumps bad eating habits.

I’ve also observed a lot too. Thin people might have better metabolisms, etc, but from what I have seen, they also simply eat less. To throw out Ali as a prime example of this (sorry, Ali, just go with me) we met up for some delicious Mexican food in our college town last weekend before her flight back to Denver. True, we ordered the infamous queso, which is nothing, if not pure tastebud Heaven, but her meal was one single tamale. My point is not that all thin people are anorexic. Not at all. But they do just eat less. Which is, long story here, what I am trying to do. I trained for and ran an entire marathon, and people, I didn’t shed one pound of lard. Not one. I think, at least for me it’s got to be about food.

Pretty cliche of me to be writing this on New Year’s Eve, right? I know. It really is. My friends and I are taking a trip this spring and I don’t want to have to wear a one piece suit with a skirt like obese (ugh, I hate that word) women wear. Mayhaps I will start a separate blog to document this journey. I thought about just documenting it personally, but I fear it will get way too “Dear Diary” to be of any use to me. We’ll see. Here we go Day 2.

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Long time, no blog.

13 Sep

Well, hey there internet world.

I’ve been quite a neglectful blogger of late.

Stuff that’s happened in my life:

  • Finished some classes
  • Started some new ones
  • Went to Wisconsin
  • Went to a 10 year class reunion (not mine)
  • Minnesota State Fair
  • Went to SW Minnesota

Class-wise, I finished Art Law, one of the most difficult classes of my life, late last month and (bum, Bum, BUM!) got an A! Shameless, shameless bragging. I know. Got a deserved B in the other class I was in, but let’s face it, I put ALL my effort into Art Law. And as much as it’s a little bittersweet to say adios to my lovely 4.0, this is grad school. One B doesn’t matter. In fact, does any employer at this point really care about GPA? It’s a pride thing. My joy with an Art Law A overwhelms my disappointing B in the other class. New classes have started, both have “Culture” as part of the title. I am going to be ridiculously cultured in a couple months 🙂

My boyfriend and I have been very busy lately. Almost a month ago we took a little day trip to Wisconsin. This involved blueberry picking, hiking, small town style eating, aaaand the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum.

We Kris purchased $16 worth of blueberries. In the world of pick your own berries, that’s alotofberries. I also would like to say that as we were walking up to pay for our bounty, I said, “I bet this is worth $16.” And I was exactly right. Why have I not been on Price is Right yet?

Then we went hiking. But actual, what-the-what? legit hiking. Like, where is the trail? Why is my entire body covered in burrs? At this clearing, Kris opted for the explorer pose, while (let’s face it) this is the perfect opportunity for a fake senior picture. Am I right?

I can’t remember the name of this town off the top of my head, but it was adorbs. We had lunch and then stopped at the ma and pa-iest place ever. Pie and ice cream. Something about getting to the country, out of the metro, traffic, and noise is a bit refreshing. As obvious as it sounds, going to a town where you don’t have to pay to park everywhere is refreshing.

And then, obviously, I made Kris go to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum with me. It was hokier than I could have even imagined. Also, apparently it does not take much to be a museum. This place had a few photos, the copy of a letter LIW wrote, and a “this is what Pa’s fiddle probably looked like” fiddle. Yup. We did that.

And then I was thrown into school. Please don’t judge the wine.

I literally finished my Art Law class and immediately left to attend Kris’ 10 year high school reunion. Got to see his hometown. Tried to avoid the “What do you do?” question like the plague since it’s not exactly super impressive to say I’m unemployed and go to school part time. I thought about coming up with a new backstory, but I didn’t get the chance to use it.

And then we went to the fair. Oh, the fair. Iowans luuuurve them some Iowa State Fair. Guess what? Minnesotans love their fair with almost as fierce a passion. And me? You know, I just am not that into fairs. Here is why: it is impossible for me to go to a fair without leaving feeling DISGUSTING. It’s always hot, uncomfortable, my feet hurt, I’ve eaten fried food, and I always, always have a headache.

At least I got some Tom Thumb donuts, recommended by my mom. Those were quite tasty.

And then we went camping. Most people that know me know I am not really that into camping, but it can be fun! I practically camped the entire summer of 2005 working at Camp Wesley Woods. I got this. Kris and I went to Blue Mounds State Park, about 3.5 hours southwest of the cities. There are some cool rocky cliffs, which I obviously needed to climb around. This picture makes me think about the time my family was in South Dakota when I was a kid. Apparently I got too close to the edge for my brother’s taste and he started to cry. I get some twisted pleasure from that. (Which is the reason my siblings say I’d be in Slytherian if Hogwarts were real. Um. Maaaaybe a little chance. But please, I am obviously a Gryffindor.

After hiking I put jeans on, only to sit, catch my ass on some kind of hook, and cartoonishly rip the back of my jeans. It was one of those slow motion moments. Bye jeans, it was nice knowing you.

The next day I thought it would be good to get to Pipestone. I remember going there as a kid, but my memory is pretty vague. It’s a National Monument where Native Americans can have access to quarry specific stone to make peace pipes with. It’s a really cool place. I’ll recommend it to anyone who finds themselves in Southwest Minnesota.

Staring contest you and me. You win. You always do. (Taken at a store called Indian World. How could we not stop?)

Other than that, life is going along. It was warm today, but I can feel the air getting crisper. I think fall in the cities is going to be awesome.

Green Goddess Soup

22 Jul

I love reading blogs. There are a handful of blogs I read from people I know. There are also numerous blogs I read from people I don’t know, but seriously wish I did. For example, when telling my boyfriend about one of my favorite food blogs, Iowa Girl Eats , I actually said the phrase, “This is my friend’s blog.” Let me go ahead and admit that I have never, not even once, met Kristen from Iowa Girl Eats. So the fact that I introduced her as “my friend” must be about the biggest (non-sexual) Freudian slip ever, right?

I also so, so, so, so wish I could be best friends with Liz from One Twenty Five. (I know, I’m sounding creepier by the second!) This girl is me. Well, pretty much a way more awesome, cute, and witty version of me. I feel like I actually know this girl, even though we’ve obs never met as she’s Canadian and currently living in Melbourne. BUT…if we met, I have no doubts that we’d get along swimmingly. Check her out. She’s the shiz.

There are also Cara and Phoebe of Big Girls, Small Kitchen. These 2 fantastic gals found a niche in the “I’ve been out of college for a little bit, have no money, and a very small kitchen” market. They even have their own cookbook, In the Small Kitchen. Did I mention these 2 are my age? And they have their own cookbook. #jealous

Today I woke up with the need to eat healthy. Do you ever feel that way? Maybe I’ve just had an abundance of processed food or something lately, but man, I woke up in a “Ugh, I need veggies stat” kind of way. Fear not. I made Green Goddess soup. Even if you’d rather play dead than eat veggies, this is a pretty yummy way to get them in.

This recipe was taken from In the Small Kitchen and I am going to share it with you! (There is proooobably something illegal about that, but I am giving credit to Cara and Phoebe, AND telling everyone to buy their book.) Am I good? I hope so cause here.I.go.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 large Swiss chard leaves with stems
  • 2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock for all my vegetarian friends)
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped zucchini (about one large zucchini)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • couple pinches of lemon zest
  • Pinch of cayenne (I didn’t have any on hand, so I used paprika)
  • Sour cream (optional)

1. Remove the Swiss chard leaves from their stems. Rinse both thoroughly under running water until all the grit and dirt is removed. Coarsely chop the stems (about one cup). Chop the leaves (you should have 2 cups, tightly packed.)

2. In a medium Dutch oven bring the stock and chard stems to a boil over high heat. (Just at a boil, my apartment was filled with delicious aromas.) Reduce the heat, and simmer for 4 minutes. Then add the chard leaves, zucchini, and salt. Cover, and simmer for another 5 minutes. When the vegetables begin to soften, but are not completely cooked through, add the cilantro and cook for an additional minute. You want to cilantro to wilt just slightly.

3. Transfer the entire contents of the pot to a food processor or blender. (I used a blender, which worked fine, but ordinarily would have chosen the food processor. However, I lost the blades to my food processor. (Seriously, who does that?) Add the cream if using (which I did) and puree until the mixture is completely smooth.

I then transferred the soup back into the Dutch oven.

Add the lemon juice, cayenne (or paprika!), and lemon zest. Serve hot.

Delicious! After the photo was taken, I did choose to add a dollop of Daisy. Because why not make a very healthy soup slightly less healthy? I also had a fresh ear of sweetcorn as a side. Is there anything better than sweetcorn in July? The soup honestly tastes better than it looks and is just perfect for those “Ugh, I feel disgusting” type days.

Hope everyone is having a splendid weekend!