Wednesday, November 30, 2011

WIAW and deep thoughts about gnocchi

Oh hi blog. Remember me?

Fewf. I thought this was gonna be awkward.

Okay pretty sure this was what I ate on... Monday... Yeah. Let's go with Monday.

Remember my very serious life or death quandary about... what to eat for breakfast? A lovely commenter pointed out that basically what I was asking for was the exact same qualifications for vegan breakfast.

Oh duh. Why didn't I think of that?

So here was my first attempt at vegan breakfast.

It ain't oatmeal!!

(I'm still boycotting oatmeal. We're not on speaking terms. On account of oatmeal being such a MANWHORE.)

It's actually bulgur. If you've never had it, I think it tastes a lot like brown rice but takes 1/3 of the time to cook.

I put it in the pan with some almond milk and then when it was done cooking I added slivered almonds and some chopped up raisin.

My morning snack was at the advice of another commenter on my breakfast post.

Green smoothie! Spinach, banana, strawberry, almond milk, sweetener. Done and done.

I started lunch off with a salad.

Spinach, almonds, roasted beets, butternut squash and poppyseed dressing.

I'm not gonna lie I ate 1/3 of the beets before I just could not take it anymore. I shoved the rest to the side and then eventually into the trash. Unfortunately their weird beety juices had contaminated the rest of the salad and I didn't finish it.

But don't worry. Cuz I had this too.

Ham and cheese PANINI!!

True story, I hate sandwiches. They are so boring and cold food doesn't really do it for me. I prefer hot meals.

But if you grill them and they get all warm and gooey and there are visible sear marks then it is no longer a sandwich... it is a... magical lunch food of deliciousness and awesome.

I am going to be eating paninis for days.

I don't have a picture of dinner. It was some overcooked honey garlic chicken (crock pot fail) with brussel sprouts, some spinach and Alexa criss cut sweet potato fries.

In a dream world after that I had a glass of water and went to bed.

In the real world where my bottom is ever-expanding I then went to my parent's house and had 4 pieces of pizza and some ice cream.

BUT let's not talk about that.

Let's talk about this.

Yesterday I made gnocchi for the first time. I made 3 different batches trying to find the perfect consistency. Unfortunately I have never had gnocchi before. I have NO IDEA what it's supposed to be like!

This was batch #2.

Chewy on the outside, but fluffy and bready on the inside. Batch #1 was super chewy and dense, Batch #3 was even fluffier than this and had almost no "chew" to it at all.

So if there are any resident gnocchi experts in the audience help a sista out.

Does this picture look right? Do you like your gnocchi chewier or fluffier?

The fate of my italian themed jewelry party rests in your hands.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Epic fail. Revelation. Quandary.

For an unknown reason raw broccoli with ranch dressing started sounding really good to me yesterday afternoon.

Let me stop right here to tell you that I like broccoli a lot, but not raw. I also do not really love ranch dressing that much.

This is already leaning towards disaster.

I tried to put the broccoli out of my mind but I just couldn't fight the craving.

(No I am not pregnant. Just super susceptible to Hidden Valley Ranch's subliminal messaging apparently.)

So this morning I got !!!!!!!!!THE MOST!!!!!!!!! brilliant idea to spread garlic herb cream cheese on some bread and top with super tiny chopped up raw broccoli.

My brain is all "Awww so cute! Broccoli sprinkles! This is going to taste so delicious! I am so excited!"

And then I tasted it.

And it was sooooooooo not delicious.

Not even a little.

You know what it tasted like?

It tasted like raw broccoli.


Did I mention?

I don't like raw broccoli.

So, don't worry, you are not missing out.

Broccoli sandwiches are pretty much as unappetizing as they sound.

Unless you cook the broccoli. And smother it in cheese and butter. Probably that would be delicious.

But since I was too low on time to bust out the saturated fat I just threw away my epic fail of a sandwich and had a banana and sweet potato instead.

Much better.

Why this sudden foray into eating vegetables for breakfast?

A few days ago I was bored at my mom's house and I randomly picked "You! On a Diet" up off her book shelf and started reading.

It mostly explains all the different things going on "behind the scenes" with our bodies when we eat. It then attempts to use this science to give guidelines for how we should be eating. There's some things about their recommendations that I don't like, but then for some reason the most simplest aspect of it all was like a revelation to me.

It's kind of a big deal.

I lost 20 pounds by counting calories. I started to determine how "good" or "bad" food was by how calorie dense it was and whether or not I considered the cost "worth it". I think I was also slightly brain washed by all the low-carb shenanigans going on around me.

(Yes, that's what I'm blaming it on. The carb counting zombies ate my brain.)

Yet in this book, the diet they recommend is based loosely off a Mediterranean style of eating.

Mostly fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, olive oil and nuts. And then some dairy. Seafood. Poultry. And then a tiny bit of meat, sweets, and saturated fats.

My brain suddenly clicked and instead of grouping peas, corn and white bread into the category of "bad carbs" it saw peas, corn, whole grains, fruit and legumes as "awesomely nutritious plant based foods" and white bread as "SUGARRRRR!!!!"

I think this could be life changing.

I've heard over and over and over again about how sugar is bad and how we should choose whole grains over white grains... but for some reason I just didn't get it. When I was eating a bowl of spaghetti I didn't understand that I was basically shoving spoonfuls of sugar into my face.

And a bowl of sugar? Just doesn't sound good.

But nutritious, whole, plant foods? Well that actually does sound good.

And all I have to do is stop vilifying certain fruits and vegetables, eat whole grains instead of white grains, and cut back on the sugar?


So here I am trying to eat planty foods for breakfast instead of my typical meat, cheese and eggs.

Oatmeal with nuts and fruit could be a good option but frankly after seeing 600,000 versions of overnight oats, "OMG OIAJ!" (oats in a jar, in case you're new here), and oat bran I kind of want to punch oatmeal in the mouth.

Seriously? You are just oatmeal. Don't get all cocky.

But beyond that... I'm kind of stuck.

I might actually try eating a salad for breakfast tomorrow.

Which is just plain weird.

So help me! What's a good breakfast that's mostly comprised of whole grains, vegetables, fruit, nuts or legumes?

And don't say broccoli sandwich.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A few things I've learned this week.

1) Grapefruit literally tastes like vomit. Seriously people. How can anyone eat that? No... Seriously. I need to know.

2) There IS a diet out there that doesn't treat carbs like they are the spawn of Satan. Yay! I want that one!

3) However pretty much everyone agrees that sugar and refined carbs are, in fact, the devil. Yep. That's right. Satan is a cupcake.

4) If you randomly start eating 90% plant based foods when you previously were eating nothing but sugar your body will be uncooperative. It has become coddled and lazy so it protests when you *gasp* eat things it actually has to work to break down into energy. There will be smelly farts and your husband will probably gag. Just handle it like I do, blame the dog, and finish the rest of your roasted cauliflower.

5) You can convince your husband to spend $70 on the new Zelda game by assuring him you will be getting 'lots' of exercise while swinging that wiimote around like it's a sword. This works because in his mind 'lots' of exercise equals cuter naked wife. Also possibly because you were smart enough to marry a nerd who loves Zelda too.

So as you can see, it's been a good week. Well except for the grapefruit.

That was just gross.

Friday, November 11, 2011

What is my problem?

There are these big issues that I'm having when it comes to taking better care of my body and getting all hott-ified.

For some reason, I've never really stopped to think about why I hate exercise, why I over eat every day, why I go out to eat too much, and why I don't eat enough of the good-for-me stuff.

Not asking why after noticing these patterns has been a huge mistake. Probably the hugest mistake I've made on this journey so far.

Because if I get to the root of my issues then maybe, just maybe, I can come up with ways to fix them instead of hoping it will all just magically go away.

So this is my brainstorming.

My four biggest, most basic problems. Why I keep screwing it up.

And how I'm gonna fix it.

  • I'm too tired. I don't wanna exert myself. I just want to flop on the couch all uselessly.
  • I had a long day. I just want to relax. See also: I just want to flop on the couch all uselessly.
  • It's not worth it. 10 minutes a day isn't gonna make me a victoria secret model, so why bother?
  • Strength training scares the crap out of me. I don't know what to do. I don't know how to do it. I'm gonna pull muscle, bust open a vital organ, and probably die if I try.
1) I'm tired because I'm not getting enough sleep. So sleep. Duh. Bed before 10 pm. Also? I should exercise when I have the most energy. FYI self, that would be the morning time.
2) If I exercise early in the morning then I can be useless in the evening. Yay!
3) Not true. I won't be Adriana Lima but I'll feel better and I'll be creating a good habit. It's all about the habits.
4) Okay, calm down. Just take baby steps. Don't act like you don't know how to do a lunge.

  • Someone else is eating
  • I'm bored
  • I'm depressed
  • I already ate "bad" earlier in the day so it doesn't matter
  • I get a craving/just want to taste something
1) Occupy your mouth. Get a diet soda as a treat.
2) Plan meals. Read. Organize something. Play with WiFi. Go for a walk. Put together an outfit. Fix something. Paint my nails. Take a bubble bath. Plan a dinner for friends. Help someone. Watch a documentary. Study/Practice. Learn to do something. Write.
3) Pray. Meditate. Throw myself into work or studying. Instead of being all selfish and focusing on doom and gloom, do something for someone else.
4) There is no such thing as bad. I didn't make the right choices. Oh well. Start making good choices now.
5) First of all, stop watching food network. Then try any of these. Gum. Flavored water. Tea. Coffee. Light hot chocolate. Baby carrots. Pickle. Roast a vegetable.

  • I'm out running around
  • I'm feeling too lazy or tired to cook
  • Nothing I have at home sounds good
1) Buy "better choice" frozen meals to keep in freezer at work. Plan better.
2) Have a few "quick" versions of foods we really like on hand. Then I have no excuses.
3) Usually this means I want comfort food. That's fine. But if I make it myself I'll eat less, spend less, and get in more nutrients. Try spaghetti. Grilled cheese. Quesadilla. Greek salad. Chili. Bean and cheese burrito. Cheeseburger.


  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Water
1) Top beds of spinach with more appealing foods like cheeses, nuts, and grains. Mix spinach into smoothies/eggs/pasta sauce. Buy vegetables I really like. Baby carrots. Squashes. Mushrooms. Cauliflower. Artichokes. Asparagus. Ears of corn. Peas. Brussels sprouts. Mung beans. Cucumbers. Green beans. Snow peas. Tomato sauce. Cabbage. Celery. Kale. Arugula. Edamame. Always have some type of cooked vegetable on hand. Make sure 1/2 of what I'm eating at lunch and dinner qualifies as a vegetable.
2) Buy white whole wheat flour and use it to bake. Find a whole grain bread I like from the store. Learn to cook quinoa, bulgur, and barley in delicious, easy ways. Don't forget that popcorn and oatmeal count.
3) Refill and drink the water from my sippy bottle 4 times. Keep it with me wherever I go. Yes it makes me have to pee a lot and my bosses probably think I'm freakish, but OH WELL.

Now I've addressed these problems and I KNOW what I need to do.

And knowledge is power, right?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

All or Nothing.

I have this problem.

It's what they call an "all or nothing" attitude.

It goes kind of like this.

"Well... considering I don't have time to run 50 miles today, it is completely pointless for me to exercise at all."

And then I just sit on the couch. For 5 hours.

It isn't a good attitude to have.

So yesterday somewhere I read a recommendation to do just one push up a day. And then the next week do two. And then do three. Etc. etc.

The idea being that something is better than nothing.

And I was like "Pfffftttt. I could totally do one push-up a day."

So I did about 15 push-ups.

And then because I was already at it?

I also worked out with the Nike Women's Training app for 15 minutes.

I'm probably not going to drop 10 pounds in a week with this mini work-out plan.

But I will say that today my butt was kind of sore from doing those squats last night.

And I'm actually looking forward to my next 15 push-ups and another mini work-out.

So maybe it's true...

Something is better than nothing.