Posts Tagged ‘south beach’

can I get a witness

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

On Monday I checked out a South Beach book, because I do in fact desire a healthy heart more than, say, ice cream.

Usually.

I discovered that the first phase (the one I learned about on the internet, that bastion of accuracy) was not for me. It’s to help control cravings, which I have, but also to bring about immediate rapid weight loss, which I don’t want any part of.  I’m now working towards a balance of Phase 2 and Phase 3, with some things that I have laying around worked in for the next couple of days.

I explained all that in case you were wondering why my baby food colored pumpkin smoothie of the past several days has been replaced by:

Oh oats, how I’ve missed you. Plus, everyone knows oats are good for your heart.

I don’t know how they know, but they do.

For the oats, I threw half a frozen banana in with the water while it was boiling, then added the oats, canned pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spices. I finished it off with two big spoonfuls of yogurt. The yogurt particularly was a little odd, but it worked for me today.

I had to leave the house early, so I pieced together a sort of ridiculous lunch to stick in my backpack. Cottage cheese, check. My second to last apple cheddar scone, check. Apple slices, check. (I love how the apple sort of looks like an egg in that picture. A weird egg.)

After my 9 am commitment, I attempted to go to the gym. It went about as well as you might expect, what with the cold and all.

I did see this, though.

I don’t know why I thought this was funny. Who put the towel on the sign, the people from the gym or someone being a jackass? Either way it’s kind of funny. To me.

After my very very hard two miles on the treadmill (at 12 minutes each – there is seriously something wrong with my lungs right now), I swung through the “food court” because my goofy lunch no longer seemed appealing. Of course, a tortilla station, a pizza station, the HOME ZONE (I have no idea what they serve there), a burger station, and a deli didn’t seem appealing either. A salad bar would be nice, but … actually, I was going to make excuses, but why haven’t they put in a salad bar? Can it be that much harder than keeping raw beef on hand?

My lunch didn’t quite do it, so I delved into my trusty Larabar stash that I keep in my office at all times.

After getting a rave review from my advisor on my fellowship application, (yeah, THAT happened), I finally got to take my headachey coughy self home.

One good thing about being on the road during sunset is that you really get to appreciate it.

When I got home, I had two very important chores. First, to put some beans in a bowl of water so I could take a blurry picture of them.

And then tomorrow use them to make sort-of Italian wedding soup.

Second, to put a pot of water on a very low burner and add some baking soda and some cinnamon. I just read today that the baking soda in the warm water helps absorb kitchen smells, and .. cinnamon smells good. I did this, of course, so I could take a picture in which the white balance was so unbelievably screwed that black and white was my only option.

I’m fun like that.

Now I’m eating dinner. This is roasted brussels sprouts with spaghetti squash (I baked it the other day, scraped it out, and stuck the scrapings in the fridge), pesto, and lotsa parmesan cheese.

Actually, I’m going to get back to it. Night, y’all.

I got a feeling

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Today, I woke with the Black Eyed Peas song I Got A Feeling stuck in my head on endless loop.

I hope this doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone – sometimes I spend the night at Crockett’s house. I know. It’s ok, though, cause we’re old and responsible and also I always bring my dogs with me, so they’re fine. All concerns allayed? Excellent.

One of the many reasons I love waking up at his house?

He buys really good coffee from a local coffee shop, Paul’s. Paul’s roasts the beans in house and gives all the blends names that are full of supercool, like Jitterbug.

He makes it either in a french press or in this Chemex coffeemaker that I got him for his birthday.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I buy my coffee pre-ground and make it in a little countertop Mr. Coffee.

So delicious. So so delicious.

With coffee like this, and my computer and books in hand, why would I go home?

I didn’t. Crockett made me a truly perfect egg.

He was on a role this morning. (Ok, he forgot that I’m not currently eating toast, but Maida may or may not have licked the hell out of the piece he gave me, so it didn’t go totally to waste.)

When I’m camped on Crockett’s couch, Cloey likes to camp with me. She’s loyal like that.

Homework failed to eradicate the Black Eyed Peas. Star sent me a link to UnhearIt.com, which temporarily helped by refreshing my memory of Barbie Girl, but eventually failed me.

I faced off with some serious C++ and didn’t get my ass totally kicked, so Crockett took me to lunch.

It’s a little embarrassing how fantastic he was today. Perhaps he’s buttering me up for some ski trip or something.

Lucky Pie, our local pizzeria, is now serving lunch.

A pizzeria when you’re not eating sugar, you say?

You say correctly, but I figured something out. Crockett had this chicken salad sandwich with a side of KIND OF AMAZING polenta. When I make polenta at home, it never comes out like this. I think it’s a combination of too light a hand with the butter and too fine of polenta. I need to branch out into stone ground.

You know, in two to five weeks. When I can eat it again.

It’s time for me to stop whining about South Beach, isn’t it? Ok. Done. Starting… now.

I had a salad with roasted chicken, olives, and gorgonzola. It was no polenta, but it was tasty.

We walked through downtown Louisville afterwards, the better to enjoy the 29 degree weather.

I love Louisville. I love Crockett’s puffy green vest.

We got back to Crockett’s and my mom managed to solve the whole Black Eyed Peas problem for me.

She restarted our ‘John Deere Green’ feud. (It’s a country song. We intentionally try and stick it in each other’s heads. It’s cruel and if I were not 29, I’d report her to the authorities.)

I wanted to do more homework, I really did, but … but….

there were movies to be watched!

I did take my books downstairs with us, just in case the mood struck.

It actually did, for a little bit…

…but then Maida interrupted as only a lapdog can.

After two movies, Crockett left me for a bike riders club of some kind. I was hungry and his pantry sparse, so…

… walnuts!

His meeting ran longer than expected, and he called me on the way home to discuss dinner. Again, sparse pantry. Frozen pizza! (Yeah, not South Beach friendly, but not eating at all isn’t healthy either, dontcha know.) The California Pizza Kitchen pizzas are good, y’all. It could be my carb starved taste buds, but we split a flat crust bbq chicken one, and I ate almost half.

I kind of wish there were more.

Anyway, obviously I had an INSANELY productive day. You?

wonderwall

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Oh, yesterday. Ok, there’s this phenomenon wherein you’re not particularly busy on the outside, but your brain is all ‘zoom zoom zoom’, and it wears you out. And by you I mean me, because I don’t know if anyone else experiences this. (Do you?) Yesterday was one of those days.

Hurro smoothie. Don’t you look delicious, and not at all like baby vomit.

This smoothie did a MUCH better job of filling me up than my Tuesday version. I have no idea why, but I made it at 8, had my 12 o’clock class and my 1 o’clock meeting, and still wasn’t hungry. The only difference was that I added yogurt. Oh, and ground flax and some pumkpin pie spices. I wonder if it was the flax?

I did eat several handfuls that look like this while on campus. Because, cashews? Basically the nuts that god would eat, were god a nut eater.

Also?

Just reminding you that you’re in the presence of genius. (I hope my project partners aren’t reading this. Guys, if you are, your genius contributed too. Obviously. If you’re not reading this… wait, then who am I talking to?)

Doesn’t it seem like 100% is more than a ‘good job’?

My prof for my 3 PM class got sick, so I came home early and ate some mushrooms and half a chicken breast. Straight out of the fridge with a fork. This south beach thing is making me into a strange eater, y’all.

On the way out of school, I saw this.

I don’t know if this is a band or what, but I love it.

Not that my bumper stickers aren’t cool too.

Then? Can I get a wine wednesday please? All together now. (It was Crockett’s idea, otherwise I would have forgotten. This is why I love him.)

Yes, I am wearing full on ragamuffin gloves. Yes, I do think they look fantastic.

We camped out at the bar, as per usual. Bread, butter, and bourbon (all for Crockett – not on my diet. Sad.) Cell phone providing updates on the Sabres game.

I have a usual, at The Empire. Calamari salad. Last night, though, we branched out.

I know, I was surprised too.

We split two specials. This was a brussels sprouts salad. It had sliced raw brussels sprouts, frisee (my hands down favorite green), shaved pecorino, and walnuts. It was dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.

Crockett hates brussels sprouts, but he ate (ahem more than ahem) half of this without complaint. I dug it, but I think I prefer my sprouts lightly cooked.

Seafood stew. Mussels, squid, mahi mahi, scallops…

…octopus, and chickpeas.

Chickpeas. I don’t know why they were in there, but it totally worked.

I was thisclose to licking the bowl

That wine book is there because I’m trying to talk Crockett into going to wine country with me during Christmas break.

We could basically live here.

I ain’t never loved a man, the way that I, I love you

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

It did get cold. Brrrrr. When I ran into my mama outside she was wearing SANDALS and making a run for her house before her toes fell off. (Have I mentioned that my gorgeous mama lives less than 100 yards from me? She bought a townhouse in my complex.) The girls and I were making a run for home too – it was semi raining at this point.

Turn out the pumpkin smoothie, not the universe’s most filling breakfast. I topped it off with some (expired) yogurt. This is why I don’t buy individual tubs – they get stuck in the back of the fridge and then when I notice them again it’s November and they expired in September. It looked and smelled fine, though, so I ate it. Expiration dates are baloney, like, 76% of the time. I’m pretty sure.

Insert roughly three hours of banging my head against the desk, trying to work in Java.

(The programming language, not the coffee. I love coffee.  I hate Java.)

I had picked up some ingredients for the dinner we were supposed to have with Crockett’s old friend last night, so I made myself this tasty warm bacon, shallot, spinach and egg salad. (Scroll down for the recipe.)

Then it STARTED TO SNOW.

About damn time, y’all. We’re a third of the way through November here, and this is Colorado.

The dinner that was postponed last night? On for tonight. Cast of characters:

Crockett’s brother Danny, their old friend  Whitney,  Crockett himself, lil P in the middle, and lil L’ s back down there in the corner. Not pictured: Danny’s wife Kim (out of town, which is sad because I love her), and lil A.

Oh, wait, there’s lil A. Dressed, oddly, as Harry Potter.

The apple bread shown above was made from scratch by Danny, and I passed, bummed out but feeling South Beach righteousy. I did not, however, pass on the beer. Which, obviously, not on the diet. Whoops. 2 Below Ale is super tasty. I have a low hops tolerance, and this beer pretty much nails the upper limit while being kind of cozy. Yes, cozy. I called beer cozy. It is.

Crockett has some mad knife skills, yo.

For dinner I made a version of the same salad I had for lunch, minus the egg and mushrooms and plus some roasted apples.

Crockett made the world’s best guacamole and my favorite tamales. Which, if you think about it, was mean.

So I ate one.

I mean, I’d already had a beer. What was a tamale going to hurt?

(I’m totally nailing this self control thing.)

Warm Spinach Salad with Bacon and Eggs

Very slightly adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything.
4 servings.

2 pieces bacon
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
4-6 cups spinach
1/4 cup red vinegar
1/2 Tbs dijon mustard
Apple variation: 1 firm cooking apple, sliced into thin wedges
Egg variation: 4 hard boiled or poached eggs
Optional: anything else you have in your fridge. Pictured: crimini mushrooms.
salt and pepper

Fill the bowl you’ll be serving the salad in with warm water.
Put the bacon in a skillet over medium heat. If absolutely necessary, add a little olive oil to keep it from sticking. When it’s crispy crispy (like if you’d ordered it in a diner and the waitress yelled ‘burn it!’), take the bacon out and add the shallots to the bacon fat. Turn the heat down and cook them for a couple of minutes, until they’re soft and starting to color. When they’re the way you like them, add the vinegar and mustard and stir it all together. Bring it to a low boil while you crumble the bacon and empty and dry the salad bowl.
Add the spinach to the bowl. Sprinkle the bacon over it and pour on the dressing and onions. Toss. For apples: while the dressing skillet is still hot add the apple wedges, one side flat. If necessary, turn the heat up – you want the apples warm and with caramelization on one side. As soon as they reach that stage, throw em in with the salad. For eggs: chop if hardboiled. Throw em’ in with the salad. Anything else: (you guessed it) – throw it in with the salad.
Eat.

bringing avoidance to a new art

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

I have three programs to write today. In Java.

I hate Java. It’s a stupid language.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

I may or may not be practicing heavy avoidance.

Since I remembered to pick up silken tofu at the store yesterday, I had an option for breakfast that didn’t involve zucchini cakes. Pumpkin smoothie: silken tofu, milk, canned pumpkin, almonds, vanilla, and Splenda. (I think the pumpkin may be against the South Beach rules, but because I don’t want to know, I’m not going to check. Done and done.)

Crockett thinks it looks like something he had to clean off his niece the other day.

Wait, now you’re thinking that too, aren’t you. Shoot. That wasn’t the point.

Oh well.

After I ate, we watched this music video that this DJ made by composing the music on her iPad and shooting video with her iPhone. It’s charming – she gets a boyfriend by ordering a man in the mail who has an interchangable iPad face.

Wow, it sounds less charming when you type it out that way.

Crockett and I decided that doing homework would be ridiculous when we had a handy iPad available!

Scared?

How about now?

You MUST be scared now. If you’re not, you have no soul.

Then I stuck beer stickers all over my new Cisco waterbottle.

At this point, I got nothing.

I guess I have to do homework.

survival of the fittest

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Crockett titled this post.

Just saying.

Apparently my creativity was all fueled by sugar.

After my healthy and delicious breakfast, I took my ladies for a walk. It’s our last 70 degree day here, theoretically, and we figured we might as well enjoy it.

Results? The girls enjoyed themselves. I didn’t stop sneezing and throwing out the occasional cough. Cold? Allergies? Only the Shadow knows for sure.

This is my favorite fence. What is it protecting? From who? It’s not clear. The whole thing is less than 20 feet long. Most amusingly, it was built recently – it’s not like it USED to serve some purpose and no longer does. It went up less than two years ago.

I considered eating these, as they probably have sugar in them. I passed, because of the whole red/poison thing.

I really do think I’m getting a cold, which sucks. When I feel like I’m getting sick, I tend to put on clothes that are as close to pj’s as possibly while still being mildly acceptable for leaving the house. Today – complete success. The part you can’t see is capri length sweatpants and little black Crocs.

Shut up, they’re cute.

For lunch, I made what seemed like a truly massive amount of food.

Left: an entire yellow summer squash and a third of a cauliflower, roasted with olive oil and salt. Right: a spinach salad with half a breast of chicken, as much spinach as I can handle, almonds, and a mustard vinaigrette.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I must admit that I hate spinach.

CLEARLY I rock at this whole ‘diet’ thing.

Anyway, vegetables are full of water and fiber, right? Aren’t they supposed to fill you up? Isn’t that the whole point?

I went to the gym after class and was starving after a mile on the treadmill. It was a crappy mile, too – further proof that I’m getting a cold. I did some strength training and then spent an hour and a half in the quad working on my NSF grant application.

Oh 70 degrees, I will miss you.

Tonight I played homebody. Crockett has an old friend in town, but she’s been busy – he saw her for a drink but I haven’t met her. We had discussed dinner, so I had no solid plans regarding what to cook. She couldn’t make it tonight after all, so I pulled together some mushrooms stuffed with white bean puree and some golden-crusted brussels sprouts.

I would give you the recipe for the mushrooms, but since they were possibly one of the worst ideas I’ve ever had, I’m not going to.

They didn’t even photograph well. It was all very sad.

However. No chocolate. No wine. No bread, even. Today can be said to be the first successful south beach day. I want chocolate so badly I’m about to knaw Crockett’s arm off, but that’s to be expected, right?

Right?

follow through

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

Yesterday was a day of big plans and very little success.

Planned: start my hearth healthy diet, do homework, clean my house in preparation for the lunch I’m having today, run, and then head down to Denver for a sleepover with some of my favorite ladies.

However, I woke up at Crockett’s and hadn’t given him appropriate notice with regard to the diet. Plus, he grocery shops like once every three weeks, so even if I had it’s unlikely he would have been able to whip up a super fancy low carb low fat phase 1 South Beach appropriate breakfast. He did well though – he busted out his signature delicious weekend breakfast staple. ______ chilaquiles.

Chilaquiles, if you’re not familiar, are usually tortilla chips cooked with salsa and eggs, making sort of a crispy eggy tasty mashup. Crockett has developed an ability to turn anything into a delicious chilaquile. This particular version was based on leftover barbeque chicken pizza. South Beach friendly? Nope. Delicious? Yes.

Then we spent several hours attempting to install Snow Leopard on my Dell, after I swapped out my RAM and hard drive for faster and larger versions, respectively. Apparently, such a thing is called a Hackintosh. Hackintosh. Say it out loud, it’s fun.

Sadly, we failed, and I had to come home and reinstall XP. (There was a failed Windows 7 attempt in there somewhere too, if you’re curious. And I call myself a computer scientist.)

I spent an hour or so in the kitchen making zucchini cakes and soup for my lunch today. The zucchini cakes are grated zucchini, pumpkin soup, and eggs. I made a whole bunch, because zucchini apparently quadruples in size when you grate it. Who knew.

Then I returned to setting up my computer, and did so for many many hours. Apparently. In my defense, I had a lot of programs to install.

Our sleepover was postponed due to sickness and ennui.

I even managed to bore my girls. Maida found it necessary to take every toy out of the box, one by one, and strew them across the floor. (Can you tell which one is her?)

“Bored now, Mom. Entertain me.” I took them for a night walk, which we don’t usually do. Crockett was downtown crashing the parties of strangers. (That’s true.)

Night dogs – much shinier than day dogs.

I did well at lunch, South Beach wise. I did. I had zucchini cakes and a handful of almonds. However, at dinner, I cracked.

I think I have a sugar problem.