Sunday, June 29, 2014

My Favorite Things

Let's start with breakfast.  My favorite meal.  I usually wake up with a raging appetite, but this morning I wasn't starving so I had the patience to chop veggies and take my time creating the best omelet I have ever made - a masterpiece.  Spinach, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, provolone cheese and s few scoops of guacamole smothered on top.  I also mastered the art of the difficult egg fold-over.  And don't stress when some of your ingredients pop out the sides of your omelet, just dump them right on top :)

Now on to another favorite.  I have always had a sweet-tooth, but I also have a "booze-tooth"?  So when I discovered port, my life basically got ten times better.  Last night, I was reminded how much I love port when Travis and I enjoyed some post dinner Dow's after dining at our favorite neighborhood restaurant, District Kitchen

Next is the snack plate.  I always get hungry around 4 in the afternoon and can never decide on a snack.  Luckily my snack drawer at work is filled with a lot of options.  I usually grab three different favorites.  More variety equals more nutrients and more cravings fulfilled!  Can you tell I have been on a guacamole kick?  This also meets my "balanced plate" goal - fruit, veggies, carbs and healthy fats. 

What are your favorite foodie things?  

Monday, June 23, 2014

Sometimes you Just Need a Good Beer

While it is obvious that I love cocktails, I also sometimes just crave a good beer (and even Coors light if the occasion permits) - don't judge me!  Though I don’t usually chose it at meals over wine or a cocktail, I definitely have some favorites for after-dinner sipping.

Stone Cali Belgique
My all-time favorite beer.  And hard to find on the East Coast.  But now that my family lives near Stone brewery, it has shown up in care packages every now and then.  My parents know me well.  Perfectly hoppy, perfectly balanced, easy to drink Belgian IPA.

21st Amendment Back to Black
Was reminded how much I love this one this weekend when I drank it while escaping a storm in a tent while camping in the Shenandoah mountains.  It is an American Black Ale - I would describe it as a comfort beer for me, and is best in the winter or on rainy nights.  Pure malty perfection.

Avery White Rascal
This witbeer is my favorite summery beer.  I enjoy IPAs, but hefeweizen and witbeers have a place in my heart as well. It has almost a creamy texture, but with the classic orange/citrus flavors typical of this genre.  Loves it.

Firestone Wookey Jack
This beer won me over when I visited the Firestone Brewery near Santa Barbara a couple years ago.  Similar to the Back to Black, the Wookey Jack, another American Black Ale, has a creamy texture and is less carbonated.  A great balance of hops and rye.

Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale
I love this Bell's paired with food.  I had it recently with pizza at a local Neapolitan joint.  It has great flavors and is not overly filling, if that makes sense?  Another American IPA, the Bell’s is crisp and refreshing with tons of hops.

Troeggs Hop Back Amber Ale

I also love hoppy amber ales like this one.  A little sweet, with a hint of caramel, but also rich and hoppy.  In this section, I also need to give an honorable mention to Greenflash’s Hop Head Red – another favorite with similar flavors.

Do you have a favorite beer?  

Ever tried any of these?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Let's Talk Healthy Living Over Potatoes

Thanks for all the support after my downer post on Monday.  I am feeling MUCH better now that the work week is wrapping up and the memories of last weekend are mostly smiles and sun.

When it comes to “health”, we sometimes get caught up in healthy-living as it is defined by society rather than what makes us healthy and happy at an individual level.  And we try to meet these “expectations” from “health experts” that tell us that less calories and more control is good.  That we should feel guilty when we fail to meet those expectations, and somehow “make up” for our “bad” behavior, which merely starts a cycle of disappointment, regret, and obsession.  Not to mention the impact it has on our self-esteem alone.   Sam wrote a beautiful post about this, everyone should read it. 

I think that this is something that we should talk more about and challenge.  Health is different for everyone, and at the end of the day, a margarita and some ice cream may be exactly what the doctor ordered for me.

Moving on to something more simple.  Potatoes!  Sorry, I know this is a random switch, but this simple recipe is totally worth the digression. 

I love potatoes!  I usually eat sweet potatoes, but I decided to spice things up the other night and make some roasted pesto potato wedges.  These are crunchy like fries, but with the added flavor of pesto, which bumps up the nutrition as well.  I also keep the skin on because it is my favorite part of the potato and is super nutritious.

1 large russet potato
2 tablespoons of store bought or homemade pesto
Salt to taste
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.  Cut the potato into small wedges and spread out on the baking sheet.  Spray the potatoes with a little cooking spray or olive oil to keep them moist.  Season with salt.  Bake for about 20- 25 minutes, tossing once or twice during cooking.  Remove from the oven when golden and crispy, wrap them in foil with a couple tablespoons of pesto.  Fold up the foil like a bag and shake them in it to get the pesto evenly distributed.


Anyone else get too caught up in health as it is defined by society?

Do you think health is associated with how thin a person is?
(Side note, I would definitely argue that IT IS NOT based on my poor boyfriend’s performance in our bootcamp class this morning.  He is thin, but man is he out of shape – good thing he doesn’t read this blog ;)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Fighting the Feelings

This weekend was amazing.  I got to meet one of my favorite bloggers, Caitlin, dined at one of my favorite restaurants, Estadio, and spent Sunday in the sun with drinks and great friends.

But I need to admit that I am having a difficult time today coping with guilt, regret, and the frustration that I haven’t moved beyond some negative feelings today. 

I have made so many positive changes in my life over the past several months.  I have kicked old restrictive eating patterns and started changing my focus from body perfection to self-acceptance.  My weekends lately have been carefree, eating and drinking what I want, and appreciating my stronger, happier body. 

But this Spring has been full of weekend trips, lots of drinking, and more rest days from exercise.  While I have felt good for many weeks – I am feeling pretty bad about myself today.

My pants are feeling really snug and I cannot stop thinking about my lack of self-control yesterday - how I wish I hadn’t had so much to drink, that I should have exercised more, and that I definitely shouldn’t have eaten that Ben and Jerry’s ice cream last night.  But wow it was good - chocolate fudge brownie!

I am trying to remind myself how silly it is, how life is too short to not let yourself enjoy these things. 

But I can’t help but think that maybe I am enjoying myself too much.

A lot of friends who read my blog probably have no idea why I would feel this way over a wonderful day drinking and laughing with friends, but for someone who has been so consumed in their past with body perfection, compulsive exercise, and restrictive eating, weekends like this are a true measure of where I am in my effort to kick that destructive mindset. 

Today I can proudly say that despite the crappy feelings I am having about myself, I am in no way going to act on them.  That means not increasing my exercise, and not cutting any calories.  I am focusing on all the progress I made and the fact that I am so lucky for the amazing weekends I have had this Spring.  I am trying to remember that I am more than my body and that I am loved by friends and family for so many other reasons.

It is a little embarrassing to think about what people will think when they read this.  But I have written so much about all the great healthy changes I have made in my life, that I would feel like a fraud if I didn’t address some of the tough stuff too.

I mean, come on, I got to dance all night with this girl. Someone who has been a huge inspiration for me over the past year.

And I got to watch Game of Thrones with this guy.  Someone who loves me unconditionally every day.

And I got to laugh with these girls.  Friends who accept me for my foul sense of humor and ridiculous dance moves.

So today I am going to make a promise to myself to feel better tomorrow. 

I may even have more Ben and Jerry’s tonight :)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Just Crack an Egg on it

Last night I was going to roast a pork tenderloin, but it was still too frozen.  I had to think quick – we didn’t have any frozen or boxed meals and I knew we’d be starving if we had to wait for takeout, so I got creative.

We had some sweet potatoes, onions, a bag of 10 minute farro from Traders Joes, and some asparagus, so I roasted up the veggies and boiled the farro.

I try to keep a balanced plate most of the time, which means about 1/4- 1/3 carbohydrates, 1/4- 1/3 protein, and 1/2 veggies (with some form of fat mixed in as well).

But what does a girl do when she realizes her plate is missing protein and fat?

Just crack an egg on it!  (Well actually, you should probably cook it first).

I am a firm believe that you can enjoy a fried egg on just about anything, from toast in the morning, to salads and even meat.

Give it a try, there is nothing like a big runny yolk to add tons of great flavor and nutrients to just about any meal – except maybe ice cream…but I am open to trying it.

Do you have any creative egg recipes?

Do you like eggs for dinner?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

This is Bad

I am starting this post with a disclaimer.  I am not a nutritionist and all of my insights and opinions are my own. 

I have strong feelings about our society’s acceptance of the serious food issues that rob us of our health and limit our happiness.  We accept that the media glorifies stick-thin women and perfectly toned men.  We are constantly told that we could always improve our bodies and that we are never enough as we are.  We are promised that losing weight will bring us happiness and that strict diets are the only way to reach this blissful state.  This is our world.  A world that says that a 12 year old girl should do a “cleanse.”  

I was so saddened when I saw a report on Good Morning America today about young girls doing cleanses with their mothers.  During the interview, one of the girls said “I am CRAVING kale right now.”  Bullshit you are craving kale!  Get that kid some ice cream and send her outside to play.

Our bodies were created with such genius and precision that they cleanse themselves beautifully on their own.  On a cleanse diet these growing girls won’t get the nutrients they need, they will lose weight, they will associate fad diets with this change, they will associate losing weight with success, they are heading down the path to an eating disorder and I can only imagine all the amazing childhood experiences an eating disorder would ruin for them.  Luckily, the reporters from GMA addressed many concerns from doctors; one equated this to “reverse bulimia,” which surely would never be supported by mothers.

Though I wouldn’t do one, I don’t have a problem with cleanses for adults, everyone’s body is their own.  My nutritionist wrote an interesting article about them recently if you are interested in learning about the different types and their effects.  My argument here is that children do not have the knowledge and how-to to ensure they are getting the nutrients they need for basic brain function and growth.  And I hate the sick message it sends them.

Okay, enough ranting.  Time to finish my bagel.

Anyone else have opinions about cleanses or ever tried one? 

Do you think this could lead to disordered eating?