The Husband Makes A Funny

Today’s Meatless Monday had me greeted with the smell of The Husband’s bacon (which he makes very well, but I had to rush out the door to see the doctor for my yearly, so temptation was avoided successfully).


Once again, without much difficulty… except I did learn that even a 5-ingredient dish can be a PITA* if it wants to be.  I’ve never cooked a lentil in my life, though pictures of masala I found on the inter-webs suggested that I maybe did it right.  Not sure.


Dinner was Weight Watchers Just 5 Red Lentil and Black Bean Masala, and while I’m not sure I did any of it right, it came out very delicious.  I even included (as The Husband loves to call it now) “Random Spinach.”  It was, however, an incredible mess to make and clean up… fortunately, the worth it kind.


The most delicious item, however, was the below snippet of conversation while we waited for dinner to finish… dinnering.


B’klyn<3: [Hint of sarcasm] Vegetables?  I hate vegetables.


The Husband:  I just want you to know this is, like, the first conversation of three conversations that leads to you being a vegetarian.


I wish you all A Very Merry Messy Meatless Monday!


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*Pain in the patootie.  Except replace “patootie” with a similar word beginning with the letter “A”.**
** This is not an invitation to come up with other words for “patootie” beginning with the letter “A”, to be clear.

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Entertain (if you will) This Possibility: I Simply Do Not Want It.

Hisashiburi, ne?*  

This will undoubtedly also be a long post.  Grab your coffee and tuck in!

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Pre-roasted tomatoes and thyme.  I’d been doing this
for a while now over eggs (but using grape instead of
plum and dried instead of fresh).

I apologize for the long absence from the blogosphere (or what does one call this?) as there are many things lately that have sucked up a lot of my general internet leisure.  Mainly, a lot of time I spent eating a quick meal while surfing the net has been spent just eating the meal.  I’ve found that I really enjoy eating away from any type of social media, working or playing computer games; it’s given me time to not only think about what I’m consuming, if I enjoy the flavor and texture, the warmth and the nutrition, but also given me time to think about life and what I want to do and where I want to go.  Time to think about my friends, family and life.  It’s become quite Zen actually, and I think I’ve really needed that.

It’s helped a bit on my search for happiness and inner peace.  As I continue to quest toward a good place for my weight and physical fitness (finally and officially changed the blog header from 150+ to 160+, go me!), I’m now looking toward the (seemingly endless list of) other things I can improve about myself.  One glaring area is attitude, which has grown increasingly negative over the past few years.  I am trying very hard to look on the bright side of things, or actually become the person who hates everything (which really is meant to be a joke or shrug off, though sometimes it gets scarily accurate…)

I try to smile more, and not get too-too stressed or worried.  Right now, it’s far from perfect, but it’s a start.  The oatmeal in the morning as I stare out my window and think about my day certainly helps.

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A couple of weeks ago, my department at work had a quarterly meeting.  For me, this becomes a little scary unknown food-wise as (kindly!) food is provided but I also get anxious as to exactly what that food might be.  I try not to be too stressed and worried about these things, but then again… I’m me, so I do.  I packed some reasonably light things just in case.

I am unable to take an attractive picture of
cooked meat.

Of course, I could have skipped the lunch piece entirely, brought my own, ate away and just do the meeting bit.  Unfortunately, despite my social awkwardness that has plagued me since age three-months, I didn’t want to pursue that route.  I’d see what was there and eat accordingly and with my colleagues.

Lunch was pretty straight forward (and paper bagged even!).  The contents of my selection (there were a variety) was a turkey and swiss sandwich on whole wheat bread, a bag of Utz potato chips, and a macadamia cookie.

I decided the sandwich was workable, though I didn’t want the full of it.  I did take half the sandwich, half the turkey, and all of the lettuce and tomato (seriously, I’ve turned into a veg-aholic… The Husband has witnessed me in the produce section and has likened me to a kid in a candy store at this point).  Left out the cheese as it wasn’t worth it to me.  As far as the chips and cookie went, I decided I could do without and asked if anyone else wanted those items.

There was an enthusiastic taking of the cast offs, but then something I didn’t want to happen did happen.  One of the folks at my table looked at me almost forlornly and sighed, “I guess that’s forbidden, huh?”

I don’t think I could have prevented the half snort/disbelief/anguish look on my face as I sputtered, “No!”  I quickly regained composure and reiterated, “Nah, I just don’t want those.”

And it’s true.  I did not want those!

But how could I not want chips or a cookie?

It’s a strange thing, but I sometimes think or feel that folks think I’m very pious when it comes to this weight loss thing.  The truth of the matter is, I’m not.  These past two years have not been about being on a “diet”, because I am not (and I tend to get myself in trouble when I slip into that mentality).

Granted, a lot of what I choose is based on the food being nutritionally sound; fuel for the body and things that keep me full so I don’t have to reach for chips or cookies or the endless fields of pizza…

I should have added more spinach, but then
I would have hogged the whole thing for myself.

(One moment, drooling over this last thought.)

Another thing that the last two years have been about is choosing my indulgences wisely.  If I am going to have chips, I’d love for them to be chips I love.  If it’s going to be a cookie, it’s going to be the cookie of my dreams.  So had I opened that bag and found a small bag of Doritos (despite my 2 in 3 chance of it giving me digestive problems afterward) and an oatmeal raisin cookie, I’d’ve been hard pressed not to go for it, or at the very least saved them for a later time or date.  The chances were extremely good those items would not have been given away.

As for Utz and macadamia cookie… while they are good things that I’ve enjoyed from time to time, they do not sing to me, and given the myriad of other things I could eat that would sing to me later that day… it turned out that (truly and I promise this is true) I simply did not want them.

It can be hard for others to understand, especially if it is something they’d themselves want.  It can be hard to explain (alas, I thought it would be quite easy to explain here, but I’m seeing that it is not), but my choice is not one of deprivation or piousness… sometimes, I just really don’t want something.  I tend to want the things I really, really want.  Added bonus: if I don’t want it, then someone else will usually happily take it.

It’s a good thing!

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I really love food apparently, as this last item is also about just that.


I’d looked at several of the last cookbooks I purchased and noted with amusement that I’m apparently very likely to purchase one if there is a picture on the cover involving a) pasta and b) cheese.  Macaroni and Cheese or some Italian-style pasta.  The second amusing thing is that I almost never wind up cooking that dish from the book (at least, not without a lot of modification in the end).

This week, The Husband and I have been making our way through one such book that I picked up more recently, WeightWatchers Just 5.  While I wish each dish was “Just 5” PointsPlus (those are in there, but also things that are less and things that are more), I do appreciate the ease with which these dishes can be thrown together.  Simple foods are indeed a great thing.

So far, we’ve eaten four dishes from the book.

Things I love include The Husband,
Spinach, and gaaaaaaahlic

Monday was Smoky Greens and Beans with Polenta (to kick off my jumping on the Meatless Mondays band wagon).  This was quite possibly my favorite dish of the ones I’ve made so far from the book, tasting rich and flavorful and confirming that not only can a dish do with less meat, it can do without meat at all.  I blame the chiles en adobo… ah, I have fond memories of this one.

Tuesday was The Husband‘s turn at bat with Pork Medallions with Marsala and Mushrooms.  I found it tasty, but he was a little grumpy about the recipe, thinking the pork and the mushrooms were cooked too long and the dish entirely too peppery.  I thought it was tasty.

Wednesday saw us tucking into Rigatoni with Spicy Sausage and Beans… which was quite like Monday’s dish (Kale and Beans being heavily featured in both) but replacing tomatoes with chicken broth, chiles en adobo with replaced by hot italian sausage (which was not very spicy at all), and polenta replaced with Rigatoni.  Ultimately, I did not find it very satisfying and kind of wish I’d made Monday’s meal again (which is destined to be a repeat in my kitchen… it was very good!)

Friday should be reserved for being in love, but I found tonight’s dish was worthy of such an occasion.  I kind of modified this one, which was two dishes:  Roasted Tomatoes with Thyme and Olive oil (and that’s the ingredient list… I served this over some Ronzoni with spinach as I continue to be spinach obsessed… and truly, this was the before-mentioned mod), and Filet Mignon with Garlic Cream Sauce.  I worried as the cream sauce involved using Laughing Cow cheese…. but it worked.  It was truly an enjoyable gaaaaaaahlicy, cheesy experience.  The Husband also approved, which was nice, since this was again very easy to pull together.

All in all, I enjoy the simplicity of the book, and I am sure there are many hits (and likely also some misses), but I recommend it to any of my health-conscious friends who are are looking for quick and easy meals.  The only failing (and I think a lot of WW books are like this) is that vegetarian and less-meatatarian dishes are grossly under-represented.  However, for someone like me, I will start thinking about making some of the meals using an inspired by approach.  This Saturday I’ll attempt the attractive cover dish, but using a lot less meat than called for and much, much more veg.  It likely will wind up being… I don’t know, 6 or even 7 ingredients… We’ll see how it goes!

I can also appreciate a cookbook that allows for a
romantic meal on a random Thursday night.  The Husband
almost worried it was our anniversary.

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* It’s been a while.

Back from the Brink Yet Again.

I’ve had many things to say and hope to spread them out over the next several days… unfortunately, my health has not been the greatest, so I did not get to say them earlier.  I finally feel the fog lifting from my brain, so I take this as a sign of recovery from the worst cold and chest congestion I’ve had in forever.


So let’s get to it!

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It’s a new day, and I’m feeling… better than I have in a while.
Not as good as when I was in the Bahamas on the cruise
holiday last year… but working on getting better.

This Wednesday’s weigh in came with a (BIG) and unexpected surprise; the weight gained in the past two weeks had almost all come off, with me being 1 pound away from my all time low (159 lost versus the original 160).  I’d be stumped as far as why I’d gained so much weight in a couple of weeks to begin with, but I don’t know if I’m stumped about how it came back down.  As to I was doing the same WeightWatchers as I’d always done, here’s what I did differently in the past week:


Weigh myself once a day – I’ve actually stuck to this for the most part.  Wednesdays tend to be a little more as I weigh myself as “normal”, then I weigh right before I go out the door and then weigh at the meeting.  However, I like that this method as it has helped me to become more mentally stable.  I am not joking when I say I was going deep-end, Daffy Duck type of crazy that may be hilarious to observers but not so much fun for the one experiencing it!  This may or may not have any impact on the ultimate Wednesday Weigh-In, but it’s keeping me calm.


Yoga, Meditation and Belly DanceAgain, mental health to combat the crazy place I was going*.  I find more and more that I need to pay attention to my brain health… also, I find the activities are helping with flexibility of joints… and just feeling comfortable and sometimes sexy.  These are important things!  Also, I got… jingly things at the the MD Ren Festival last year and (laugh if you want), it’s fun!  In any case, The Husband approves of these activities.

I doubt you’ll see a picture of me yoga-ing or belly dancing-ing
anytime soon… or ever.  I’m trying to reach that zen place.
Like when I was in the Bahamas last year.

Two glasses of water before each mealI read about a study that suggested that drinking two glasses of water before each meal while cutting back on portion helped to promote weight loss.  Now, I don’t know how sound it is or not, but while I was getting more than enough liquids to satisfy the WeightWatchers Good Health Guidelines, I’d say only 1/3 of that was pure water (the rest was Crystal Light water – An On The Go packet spread over 32 ounces, coffee, tea and a diet ginger ale).  Nowadays, water is up in stock, and the ratio of water to non-water is greatly improved!  I’d like to think this helps.


No Distraction Eating – I think this one is another biggie.  For a long time now, I’d grown accustom to consuming my meals in front of a screen; a childhood of watching morning cartoons while munching on sugary cereals, then computers and THE INTERWEBS, eating while I play video games, eating at the computer at work… I remember everything but the actual eating.  So now, breakfast, lunch and dinner (and if I can manage, snacks) are eaten at the table.  Sometimes I am joined by The Husband, and sometimes alone.  I try not to read either if alone… I just concentrate on the meal and enjoy and savor it.  I am actually finding it is a great indicator of when I am full.  Next task – stop eating when I am full, no matter how good or how much I hate to waste food.


Avoid the Noid Excess SodiumWater may also help on this, but one of the first things my wonderful WW leader suggested (when I let her in on my disappointment and crazy “diety” thoughts) was that sodium may be playing a bigger factor in my weight fluctuations than it had in the past.  Her experience had been that the closer you get to goal, the more sodium can really boost you up.  Indeed, I’d had a whole can of Progresso light soup the day before, and while it is great tasting and low in calories… a single serve portion is a lot of your sodium intake, and the whole can is almost half!  In any case, I’m trying to be aware of the extra sodium (especially in the last few days before weigh in), and hopefully I won’t see any more strange upswings of weight (as in dramatic 2-to-3 pounds because I’m secretly eating 20  Filet-o-Fish** in my sleep…)

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I think I took some great pictures.  And I think I should likely
also try going back to the Bahamas.  It couldn’t hurt

If things go back up, or down or sideways, I hope I can hold onto these healthy habits and also to my sanity*.  I need to work on, aside from weighing even less and the stop eating when full thing, not being afraid.  When I start treating this like a diet instead of a healthy life… it winds up not being healthy for anyone.


In any case, on with the physical and mental recoveries.  I’m finding myself a lot more at peace and slightly less congested… I hope you can find some good tips here in this, and if you have any to share with me, please do!  One thing I’ve learned from the beginning… if I want to do this, I’ll need help!


Make it a great week!

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Some of my favorite songs are about sanity, or lack thereof.


** I remember really wanting a Billy Bass because I thought it was cool in its lameness and that no one else in the world would want one.  How wrong I was… so I never got one because I really wanted to be the only one.  Now I want one that sings that song.  I wonder if I care if that’s popular or not…

When Girl Meets Sidewalk

So, after a long time of being possibly the laziest human being on the planet being concerned about weather and looking into other exercise options, I decided I really needed to get back into running again.  I learned a couple of days ago what taking many days off from running can do to you (yet again… though taking 2 weeks off is much worse than taking 4 days off).  I decided to not get too bummed about not being able to run as far or as fast as I once did in my yester-week and do what I do best: start over.


Then, in what I find to be an ironic twist of fate, I decided to take a tumble onto the one thing you rarely find in my neck of the woods and often complain about the lack of:  a sidewalk.  

A couple of palm scrapes and this.  Yup.  I was a trooper…
HARD CORE TROOPER!

I was in the zone (but the bad zone where I am not really paying attention to what I’m doing, which is why I listen to music so that I’ll at least keep a minimum pace).  There was no ice nor any tree limbs to blame… the young Brooklyn Heart had moments ago stepped bravely back into the ring, and was jumped (legitimately this time) by The Pavement.


My arms flew up in front of me as I started falling, the thought going through my head “Nooooo, not my face, I need that to liiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeevvvvee”… and about 3/4 of the way through the fall (yes, it was super slow-motion), the word face got replaced by the word iPhone, with an accompanying slight body twist.


It sped up again.  Bang-slam-slide-Crash!


It was quite epic.  I’m glad anyone who saw it was in a car going 45 MPH in a 30 zone.


So, there I was, halfway through my run, my heart-rate plummeting (or maybe not).  Some slight scrapes on my palms, and I know my right arm near the elbow is likely torn to shreds.  I could call The Husband and have him pick me up while I stand there, bleeding and whimpering.  Or I can finish my run… while bleeding and whimpering.


It’ll save gas-OMIGODTHEPAIN-so let’s go.


So, despite me, nature, and the sidewalk being against me… I will be running again.  And despite my trying to buff up my arms for a future cosplay*, my arms will be a wonderful collection of scars and bruises.


In unrelated news, the quilt is almost, but not quite.  I am slow as heckery, but all I have to do is place on the binding.

The actual stitching was both not-fun and
very fun.  Isn’t that strange?



So… it’s not going to win awards.  When I tried to “stitch in the ditch”, I drove up onto the sidewalk and zig-zagged like a crazy person most of the way.  The squares of off.  It’s crooked.  It’s crazy… but I do love it.  It really does remind me of me in many ways. I can’t wait to sew some more and one day perhaps become slightly okay at it.  🙂  


In any case, hope to finish this up soon and share some final pictures with you.

Sorry sweater!  I will finish you, I promise!


* Yes, I said cosplay.  I have a lot of geeky habits.  Cosplay would have been one, but I’d always been intimidated by my size.  Now, I will be doing it.  If you know me, you know I’m a huge geek.  If you don’t… then I have some news for you.  


Are you sitting?  


Okay.  Here’s the news.


I’m a huge geek.

Marching Along (Or, Mad as a March "Hair"… Or, Could Not Decide On Title)

Tomorrow is a new day.  Will I be feeling good?  Frankly, I do not think so.  Even weighing myself once a day, I can see day-to-day my weight going up and down like a roller-coaster of… weight.  


I really wish I could stress less about it, but it’s apparently a “good moon” for me to stress, if you catch my drift?  

I managed to get all but one of the Kanji squares
upside-down!  At least the boarders are okay.



…You don’t?  Well, that’s okay.  I am more prone to stressing right about now, is all you need to know.  


… Or not.  I’m sharing, you’re reading… so there you go.


Ahem.


Despite the ups and downs (still waaaaaay more downs and ups), I will not let the last 16 pounds defeat me.  No sir/madam!  


In any case… I think I’m better off for the weighing once a day thing, though I really want to weight 8 or 11 times a minute.  It’s been doable so far… and making me less crazy.  


Really.  I know, I know… it’s barely noticeable… I am ever the crazy pants… but I can even tell it’s there!

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So here’s a NSV… really, nothing to do with weight at all… HAIR!  I got it done (where we got our wonderful one-a-day notion), and I’ve been getting a lot of compliments.  Unexpected!  Even today, when I have finally failed to re-create the original salon look so I kind of went with something, it was complimented.  I went to purchase fabric pencils and tape, and the check out person (very young and pretty) said my hair looked fabulous!  It’s all been making me feel good because I really like the cut.  The stylist (who asked me to pick out several pictures of things I liked, and then finally came up with what I have now) would be the first and only stylist that I’ve visited more than twice.  It’s great to have someone you can trust with the trusses!

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Now, the quilting thing… it’s taking me forever, and I suck at it…. but I really enjoy it a lot!  I have a ton of homework to do, so my social life has been a bit non-existent this week, but hopefully by next week I will be all done and have a lovely quilt to show you all.  Some preview pictures here of my wacky color-scheme (though the room where I took these has particularly bad lighting, but when it’s done we’ll have some nice natural light and you can see… the wacky color-scheme!)

I’m told that in actuality, I got all but one of the
Kanji squares right-side up.  Who’s counting?



Of course, my quilt top is rife with error.  Squares are not quite on square… which, I’m told, tends to be important.  The one mistake that will HAUNT ME FOREVER is despite my careful planning and checking and double-checking and triple-checking… I manged to get 31 of 32 Kanji squares upside down.  Now, my (totally cool) teacher Cheryl at Quilting Adventures has told me that, in fact, I got 1 of 32 upside down… but I think a lot of you have met me and know my ways.  31 upside-down! 😉


All in all, the new hobby is working out and I’m looking forward to making some more stuff… quilting or otherwise.  Sewing, though frustrating (to me, I still have hang ups that knitting hasn’t quite broken me of yet), is incredibly fun… and at the end of it, you get really neat stuff!  (Much like knitting that way).  I’m already thinking of the coordinating pillows (with that panel that inspired the wacky color scheme) and a coin purse from the leftover scraps (a birthday gift was a couple of quilting books, one of which had what to do with my beautiful scraps written all over it).  

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The sad news is that my sweater has been languishing a bit.  I’ve been trying to pick up collar stitches for a while now, and I find after getting half way through just fine, I get to the end being 1 to 2 stitches short….


I told you knitting hasn’t broken me of many of my bad habits yet!


Tomorrow… weigh in.  Not get upset or be crazy.  Adjust attitude.  Adjust plan as needed.  Feel energized by having a new day.  Program.  Quilt.  Sew.  Cook.  Enjoy.  


Marching right along!