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mizducky

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  1. I was always taught that the ones that floated to the top had probably gone "off" a little or dried out too much, and should be discarded. I usually give the floaters a closer inspection, and if they look okay anyway, leave 'em in. I PMed you my off-the-top-of-my-head guess, though now I'm having additional thoughts--you didn't specify whether it was an underclassman or a "ghost" (WHRB slang for those alumni who stuck around as active volunteers at the station). ETA: Sandy just PM'ed me to tell me my first guess was right! Trying valiantly to drag this college reminiscence back on-topic, I'll note that WHRB was the instigator of a whole lot of diet-busting behavior, mainly through a social practice known as a "feed". No, not the kind of feed that pipes in audio from a remote location event, but the kind of feed in which a bunch of crazed students, usually having worked into the wee hours at the studio or whatever, all pile into somebody's car and head off in search of mass quantities of greasy-spoon fare, thus combining the best features of road trips and diner hangings-out in one wacky ritual. I'm trying to piece together the following memory--whether it was a WHRB feed, or just some random assortment of students making like a feed--but the story went that a bunch of Harvard classmates of my acquaintance all piled in the car heading out for food. Someone sitting in the back, when polled where he wanted to eat, named a deli in New York City, and then nodded off. When he woke up, he discovered it was four hours later and they were pulling up at said deli. Ah, to be young, silly, and equipped with a car. As a matter of fact, my Harvard years were also a time of continuing stuggle with my weight and eating, a struggle that had been going on since early childhood. There's a photo of me from kindergarten in which I am already decidedly plump--and also wearing cat-eye frame glasses. Yep, all through school I was The Fat Too-Brainy Girl With Glasses, and thus the instant target of seemingly every bully in every class. Among other things, this piled huge amounts of additional angst about my weight onto my child-psyche, the kind that can keep one messed up about weight and dieting for decades afterward. And it did. That's one of many reasons why I view the current "War on Obesity" public health efforts with a certain amount of ambivalence, especially proposals for programs to be implemented in schools. These things have to be done very carefully with school children, because the risk of winding up with scapegoated fat kids is huge, and I don't ever want another kid to go through any of the hell I was subjected to.
  2. Damn straight! (Oops, sorry!) You had me almost ready to quote Sir Mix-A-Lot! Thank you, Sandy, I almost missed this line! And thank you, Randi, that line really cracked me up! Speaking about Sir Mixalot--you know he's from my previous city of residence, Seattle, right? Ahhhhh. I didn't know that the owners of Bourbon Street and Lei Lounge had a Philadelphia connection. Bourbon Street is one of my favorite bars in town. Very popular, very fun crowd, and some gorgeous antique wood bars. For some reason though I've yet to visit Lei Lounge even though it's right next door. That whole block is becoming a restaurant/bar row, including one of my favorite taco shops, El Zarape.
  3. mizducky

    Pig Stomach

    Pig stomach is a popular ingredient in Chinese cooking--there was a whole bunch of folks talking about recipes for it in the Chinese cuisine forum here on eGullet the other day. Here's a link to that discussion.
  4. Oh yeah--I understand that dilemma! I was definitely raised to do the "clean plate club" thing by my mom; I really have trouble leaving food on my plate! Somehow that same mentality doesn't affect me WRT things like the tortilla chips, probably because I'm fortunately not so much into snacking on chips--but sometimes they do call to me too much anyway, and if that happens, like I said, I'll ask the server to remove them. Otherwise, I either try to choose entrees that I know will contain just the right amounts of food for my allotment for that meal--like the soup I had earlier today, which I know from past experience has just a modest amount of protein and a whole bunch of veggies and broth. Or I'll deliberately eat more lightly the rest of the day so that I can get away with a bigger portion for the restaurant meal. Or I'll officially declare the restaurant meal one of my pre-planned splurges, which I'll then balance out with more moderate eating the rest of the week. In any case, I seldom try to force myself to eat only half a portion and take the rest home, because I know from past experience that I risk losing that arm-wrestling battle to ol' Lizard Brain. Somebody way at the beginning of this blog brought up the old See Food Diet joke. That's where my inner Lizard is at--when he sees food, he eats it. And don't anybody dare get in his way, he'll bite yer arm off.
  5. I had thought I was dining out this evening, but plans changed. Mr. E made a request for hamburgers; I decided to do them Salisbury steak style (no bun, mushroom gravy). I had a nice big bunch of fresh spinach I wanted to use, the remainder of the box of mushrooms, and a bunch of rice left over from the previous night's dinner that would be good under the gravy. Here I'm letting the washed spinach drain, and attempting to persuade the package of ground beef to finish defrosting already! (I hate defrosting meat in the microwave; some corner of it always starts getting cooked, in a not-nice way.) I buy 7% fat hamburger not by my preference, but Mr. E's; while I prefer a higher fat content in a burger, he finds that too greasy for his taste. So to keep the burgers nice and juicy I mix in a whole egg. I also add a handful of bread crumbs for texture, plus some kind of seasoning blend to perk things up a bit--tonight it was the Italian herb blend. Here's the mise for the mushroom gravy: In addition to the mushrooms, I minced up a fat clove of garlic, and a shallot. (I bought a big bag of shallots dirt-cheap at a local Vietnamese market; even if some of them are a little too dodgy to use, it's still a bargain.) Then the cooking started getting rather hectic, so there are no photos of me making the gravy (standard butter/flour roux); steaming the spinach; and broiling the burgers. But here it all is, dished up: Got leftovers of one burger, some spinach, a bunch of gravy, and still some rice left. The burger will make a nice lunch for Mr. E tomorrow. Oh, incidentally, I wanted to show you my little habit of always keeping a box of cut-up snackable veggies in the fridge: This is actually more for Mr. E's benefit than mine. His snacks had tended to be exclusively cookies, crackers, peanut butter, and the like; left to his own devices, I'm not sure a fresh vegetable would ever cross his plate. So I decided to make sure there was always a nice, high-visibility box of ready-to-eat veggies in the fridge. And he's really grown to like it. He'll maybe only eat a couple of carrot sticks or such at a go, but at least it's more than he had been doing. And whenever the veggies start getting a little too aged, I eat the remainder and refresh the box. Just call me the Human Disposal--but in a good way!
  6. My next stop was the weekly North Park Farmer's Market, staged in a parking lot behind a CVS pharmacy: Alas, the pickings were a little on the slim side today--the lady I usually buy decent tomatoes from was not there. But, my coffee connection was, and ready to serve: This guy makes a damn fine espresso drink, and has some very intriguing whole bean coffee flavors. And his mobile rig, built into the back of a fireapple red SUV, is really stylin'! Check out his outfit's website here: Presher Coffee. (I thought the company name was simply a cute pun, but it's actually the name of one of the owners!) It was getting on towards 4pm, so I headed home so I'd have plenty of time to start in on dinner (Mr. E takes the bus home from his class, so I met him there.) (to be continued...)
  7. So, what have I been doing with my day, foodwise? Well, I woke at about 9:30am, had my usual cup of yogurt and cup of coffee at 10 am, and turkey roll in pita at around noonish. At about 2:15pm I dropped Mr. E off at San Diego's LGBT Center for his weekly Gentle Yoga class: ... and then went to visit two places that happened to be the sources of my blog teaser photos. First one was Ranchos Cocina, a Mexican restaurant in North Park that is very popular with the alterna-groovy crowd because it offers many vegetarian options in additional to carnivore fare: Ranchos currently has one additional branch, over in Ocean Beach. (They used to have a third branch a little south of OB on the Point Loma penninsula, but it's been "closed for renovations" for seemingly forever.) The interiors are fun: exposed brick, lots of little prints by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, lots of little gewgaws of the sort I think of as "Mexi-Gothic": Normally I have to make special room in my daily food intake for a Mexican meal, because of all those lovely carbs. But I've come to discover there are plenty of Mexican dishes that are lighter in nature, such as this soup: Listed on the menu as "Mexican Seafood Chowder," I think this is more properly called caldo de mariscos. The broth has got *lots* of chiles in it, and I think also some tomatoes and a seafood stock base. There's a respectable sprinkling of fish filet and big shrimp in it, and slices of green bell pepper and other veggies. Comes with fresh corn tortillas. I managed to resist eating more than two tortilla chips. If they'd been really talking to me too much, I would have asked the waitress to please take them away. Ranchos also serves some very nice coffee, brewed with a nice hit of cinnamon, but I abstained as I was planning on getting coffee at my next stop ... (to be continued)
  8. Yep. This relates to one of the touchstones of my food plan, as taught to me by my instructor back at the HMO wellness program. According to her, diets that set your calorie intake any lower than 1400 calories per day are really below the minimum to keep one's bod even modestly satisfied; anything below 1200 calories is downright unhealthy, as is a rate of weight loss greater than about two pounds a week. Excessively low-calorie diets make your bod think you're in a famine, sooner or later awakening the Lizard Brain, ready to gorge on anything edible to fend off the perceived starvation state. And excessively rapid weight loss can do damage to your kidneys, precipitate gallstones, and wreak any number of other nasty havocs on your innards. But if you simply set your daily calorie consumption at or just slightly below an amount that would be adequate to maintain a reasonable goal weight--say, around 1400 to 1500 calories--your body will proceed to slowly but surely shed pounds until it eventually reaches equilibrium at that goal weight. Now, as you get closer to your goal, the rate of weight loss will slow down--in math geekspeak, you're asymtotically approaching the limit of your goal weight. This tends to freak out people stuck in traditional diet mentality, where showing a significant weight loss each week is the (IMO unrealistic) ideal, and plateaus are seen by the dieter as failure and by others as a sign that you're cheating--because if you're not losing weight you must be doing something wrong, right? Wrong, I say! The deceleration in weight loss is totally natural; plateaus are not to be dreaded, but accepted; and as long as you continue to eat healthily and moderately day in and day out, the weight will continue to come off in its own good time. Anyway, that's how I see it.
  9. I adore salmon skin. I felt so vindicated when I found out that the grilled skin is considered a delicacy in Japan, because all the time when I was growing up and my mom served salmon steaks, I kind of had to sneak-eat the skin while nobody was paying attention because my family thought it was weird. Even though, yeah, the skin and the fat just under it is where the fat-soluble polutants accumulate, I eat the stuff anyway. The fat renders through the skin when you grill the fish, and it gets yummy crispy good. At least in my experience, fish steaks are always sold and served skin-on. Filets, it can be all over the map. I've seen salmon sides sold skin-on and skin-off. As previously observed, skin-on filets are much easier to grill or broil because the skin holds the filet together and acts as a natural barrier against the metal of the grill or broiler pan. But I think the only times I remember seeing pros actually serve a salmon filet or side with the skin on is--sometimes--when they present a whole poached side cold on a buffet. The skin holds the filet together while diners slice/scoop off individual portions.
  10. So I've been trying and trying to organize my thoughts re body image and dieting/weight loss among lesbians, as well as bisexual and transgender women, as I've witnessed and experienced those, and how that influences my attitudes. And I've been struggling with it, because it's an extremely complex field, with a lot of variation. As a whole I would say that, yes, in my experience queer* women are a good bit more relaxed and reasonable about body image and a good bit more liberated about carrying some weight. Mind you, that's an "on average" observation. On the one hand, right off the top of my head I can think of three lesbians of my acquaintance who have gone for gastric bypass surgery to lose weight, and know of many more who struggle with their weight using less drastic measures. And I know from (painful!) personal experience that there are at least a few women in the community who do not get romantic with fat women because their weight is a turn-off for them. On the other hand, I think of some of the radical lesbian-separatist fat liberationists I knew in Boston in the 1980s, who were--and I expect still are--defiantly proud of their Venus of Willendorf-shaped bodies, and view any effort to lose weight, even when ostensibly done for health rather than appearance, as traitordom to the cause. But I also know whole bunches of women in the community who really don't sweat carrying some weight; who care much more about their body's fitness than looking like the actresses on The L Word ... in fact, on one of lesbian email lists I belong to there is right now a humorous discussion going on about how none of us look like, or even know any women who look like, the women on "The L Word." Myself, I think a much more accurate portrayal of all the ways our subculture looks and behaves is Alison Bechdel's celebrated long-running comic strip Dykes To Watch Out For. I think the queer women's community generally gets its greater ease around body image from two main sources. One is post-1960s feminism, which early on started critiquing the cultural imperative for women to be slender at all costs (including their health). The early landmark book on that topic was Fat is a Feminist Issue, and IMO it still offers a good, balanced, non-extremist POV on unhooking one's brain from distorted cultural attitudes about appearance, weight, dieting, and food-obsession. THe other source, I think, has been the liberation of queer women's culture, which has had several waves of development since the 1970s. I've witnessed queer women owning and celebrated more and more of their countercultural status, and feeling ever more free to look however they want to look--whether that's butch, femme, lipstick lesbian, granola-crunchy, post-punk, leather-girl, or just plain ol' all-American comfortable-in-her-own-jeans-and-teeshirt lesbian. And that freedom to present however you feel like presenting has spilled over into feeling okay about--even in many cases preferring--women who have a good bit of poundage on their bodies. How all this reflects on behavior around food, exercise, and weight maintenance, however, also varies all over the map. I know some women who are staunch vegans and others who are gleeful omnivores. I know some women who are dedicated athletes and others who are couch potatoes. There are women who are deeply commited to holistic health, and others who are smokin' and drinkin' and carrying on in the bars. I dunno if there are lesbian-oriented Weight Watchers meetings, but there are for sure lesbian-identified Overeaters Anonymous meetings. You see why I'm having trouble summarizing all this? But long story short: my personal experience is that I have run into some weird dieting mentalities even within the queer women's community, but significantly less often than among straigh women. And yes, that's still a screamingly huge overgeneralization -- but there's no denying that the relatively more relaxed attitudes about weight and dieting in the queer women's community has played a huge role in my gradual self-liberation around those issues. *There's still a wide variety of opinions within the LGBT community about the use of the word "queer". Lots of folks have adopted the term, many because they like how gleefully in-your-face it is, others because they like the politics of redeeming a bad old epithet and turning it into a positive word, and others because it's just plain ol' more convenient than typing "lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender/etc.". Other community members are not fond its use, because it still has lots of stigma attached to it; many have painful memories of having that word flung at them in a painful or threatening manner. I like the term, but at the same time I'm aware of other's sensitivities, so my personal compromise is to stick in long footnotes like this one explaining all this stuff as sort of a caveat emptor (caveat speaker? Anyone know their Latin?). (edited to catch at least a couple of typos)
  11. The video on this page purports to show the traditional Thai method of shredding green papaya--using only a knife. But my understanding is that a lot of Thai and Lao cooks do also use gizmos like that Kom Kom ... I've also seen another gizmo that looks like a standard Y-frame vegetable peeler, only with a wavy blade.
  12. Then I was off to church for meetings and supper. My church has taken to serving a weekly community supper on Wednesdays, encouraging church committees and groups to schedule their meetings for that night. They also hire childcare for that evening so that families will be encouraged to take advantage of the evening for socializing as well as meeting-going. By the time I got done with my first meeting, the supper was already served, and people were having at it: Here's my plateful of food: Green tossed salad, some turkey and a little ham, some pasta, and a little bit of what turned out to be split pea soup--it was thick enough to spoon like a side dish. All quite tasty. In fact, when I went back to the buffet line to try and get a better shot of the offerings, I found there was almost nothing left to photograph! Guess everybody liked it! There was still plenty of green salad left, so I did have seconds of that. There was also some baked goods for dessert. I managed to kind of ignore that stuff, as well as the dangerous-looking cookies that someone had brought to the meeting following dinner. Once I got home after the second meeting, I was feeling hungry. I calculated everything I'd eaten today and discovered I was still short about 4 oz of protein and 1 serving of carbs. So ... I had myself *another* mini-meal of turkey roll in half a pita. And I still need to get in the rest of my fruit. Time for some ... dried plums, yeah, that's what they're calling 'em now, eh? See, this is part of how I've been able to manage this for as long as I have. I'm not eating a lot at any one meal, but because of the many-little-meals approach, I'm seemingly eating continually at every waking hour. For someone like me, who really used to bum out over the deprivation feelings accompanying traditional dieting, this approach is so much kinder to my psyche as well as my metabolism! This does *not* mean that I don't occasionally juggle my food around so that I can have a big dinner. I do that fairly often too--in fact, I think I've got a couple of opportunities for that scheduled for later in the week, so you can see how I handle that (or not). Sometimes, when it's dining out or a special occasion, or just because, I just want to leave room to enjoy a fuller meal. But as I experienced over the holiday season, there's only so many times I can do that in any given period of time before I can start feeling it messing with my head as well as my bod. So--for me, it's a balancing act between tighter and looser discipline. I find I need both to keep me happy in this whole process.
  13. So ... here's what happened with the rest of my day's food. As I said before, I was working away at home--working on the computer, doing laundry, etc. etc. ... and every now and then, getting up to fix myself another little meal. Apropos of our breakfast discussion, I awoke at something like 9:45am, and wound up eating the breakfast I posted earlier (turkey roll, pita, banana) by 10:30am. I think it was around 1pm that I had the next little meal: the last of my leftover batch of collard greens that I'd made just before the blog started, with a bunch of pot liquor. I assure you this tasted a lot better than it looks! When I fixed myself the bowl of greens, I also put together some soup to cook: made broth with the Better Than Bouillon vegetable base I'd bought yesterday, added some broken-up shiitakes and black ear fungus, plus some leftover rice from last night. Kind of a lazy person's congee. By 3pm I was hungry for it, and it was ready: Again, I swear this tasted much better than it looked! I'm not doing so well with the photogenic foods today, am I? (to be continued...)
  14. Again, I want to preface this with the "do what works best for you" mantra. However, since you asked ... The rule I was taught by the instructor I was working with through my HMO's wellness program was that one should never go more than five hours between meals, because much longer than that, and your body starts thinking you're fasting. And in fact, while you're asleep, you're fasting--the fact that the English word for the morning meal is "break-fast" reflects that. So, when you wake up in the morning, your body is already a little behind on nutrition from the night's fast. So ideally, you'd want to get at least something into your tummy pretty soon after you wake up ... waiting for three hours is kind of pushing the limit, there. So there's my two cents on that, for whatever that's worth.
  15. So far today I've been busily doing work at home--some of my paid contract work, some volunteer work, and some plain ol' housework. Interspersed with it all, I've been successfully doing my small light meals thing, which really does feel good when I get into a flow with it. However, posting of photos of those meals will have to wait for a bit, because I need to head out for a whole afternoon/evening of committee meetings at my beloved hippy-dippy church--plus partaking of the church's weekly community dinner, which I shall also document for you all. (Mr. E is already gone for the day--he's got a group meeting at our church too, then he's dining out with a friend.) Type to you all later!
  16. Okay, catching up on some comments and questions ... Thanks, tamian! I do happen to be living with Mr. E in his condo. He and I were already friends, and by fortunate circumstance, when his health circumstances required that he no longer live alone, I was in need of a new place to live, so--serendipity struck! We've been a household since this past June, and it has been a challenge working out the housemate/friend/helper boundaries--especially since we both have *strong* personalities! But we're doing okay, and I've definitely had a positive impact on his nutrition as well as my own. Y'know, at this point in my history with food and weight, one of my guiding principles is "pay attention to received wisdom, but also pay attention to what works for you, because after all, you're the foremost authority on that." Having said that, I admit to struggling to remember to eat breakfast. Ultimately, I know I do much better in the long run with the many-small-meals mode--it keeps my metabolism on a much more even keel, without those sudden dips in energy that make one want to eat a house. But sometimes life and schedules make the lots-of-little-meals pattern hard to actualize. So--I do my best. That's all anyone can do. Stressing about not doing my regimen perfectly is totally "out" in my book--that's another recipe-for-disaster pattern from the dieting days that I no longer harrass myself with. Thank you for opening this subject up a little wider. That was one of the things we thought would be worth exploring in a way that could best be explored with an all-gay tag team blog. There does seem to be a sort of inverted, Alice-in-Wonderland quality to the subject of body image among gay men and lesbians. Much as straight women might obsess over impossibly pencil-thin supermodels, gay men have people like this (straight, AFAIK) model held up as the epitome of desirability. We go to the gym not just because we want to stay healthy or build up our stamina, but also because we seek to be sex symbols too. And just as the feminists' critique of the whole equation between thinness and beauty (hello, Ellen? I'm paging you again) helped open up a space for women to accept themselves as they are, a similar, though not as intellectually rigorous, critique has arisen among gay men in the form of the Bear culture. ← Thanks, Sandy and Maggie and others, for reminding me that I wanted to respond to this subject. I'm working on a longer post to collect my thoughts on the matter ... it'll be coming up Real Soon Now ... DingDingDingDingDing!!!! You hit what I consider the billion-dollar question about this whole "war on obesity" / "tyrrany of slenderness" / weight-loss obsession thing our culture is seemingly hell-bent on. There is a huge question in my head--as well as in the minds of a growing number of dieting dissidents--about what the hell "ideal" weight is as regards health (as opposed to slimming exclusively to reach IMO unrealistic ideals of physical beauty). I personally have proved to myself that those "ideal" weight chart guidelines are totally off for me, by the simple process of following the chart in my 20s, getting to the goal weight and keeping it off for a full two years ... and screwing up my health for years afterwards in the process. And this was with doctors and dietitians telling me throughout that my diet was just fine ... even though, according to my research years afterwards, I was showing all the classic signs of overtraining and underweight--amenorrhea, fatigue, constant hunger ... Mind you, a lot more has been learned about healthy weight loss since this weight loss misadventure back in the 1980s. But they still haven't fixed those damfool weight charts. According to them, right now I'm still obese at over 30-something BMI. And I know that when doctors as well as civilians who don't know my history look at me, they probably think "oh, she's fat, so she's not taking care of herself." I've simply decided that I don't care what they think. I know for myself that I'm the healthiest I've been in years, and I don't need my scale to say 120 lb or my clothing label to say size 10 for confirm that for me. Well ... there's several things we have to unpack here. First off, I personally reject the concept that fat by definition is a "bad" nutrient. We need fat in our diet for health. There are some fats that are healthier than others, to be sure--but at least for me, going totally non-fat is Not A Goal. Having said that, fat is definitely a dense nutrient--it supplies more than twice as many calories per gram as either protein or carbohydrate (9 cal./gram for fat; 4 cal./gram for carbs or proteins)--so its bigger bite out of one's daily calorie allotment does need to be taken into consideration when planning what one eats. And yes, eggplant is notorious for acting like a sponge, soaking up anything it cooks in, whether sauce, oil or what have you. That's why that classic middle-eastern eggplant dish is called Imam Baldi, or "the priest fainted"--what he fainted over was the small fortune in oil his cook spent on the delicious eggplant dish he just ate! There's some argument out there about whether it makes a difference to "purge" eggplant before frying in oil (salting, weighting, and draining to get excess moisture out and collapse its cell structure). In my experience, yeah, it does make the eggplant absorb less oil, plus I like its texture better afterwards. Though sometimes I just don't have time, and don't bother ... I don't sweat being incosistent either! (Edited to correct data on cal/gram for nutrients, among other things)
  17. Good morning, folks! I see lots of posts I want and need to respond to, which I will do as soon as I take care of a little business. In the meantime, I leave you with a photo of my breakfast today. I was feeling a little hungrier than usual this morning, so I did my lunch-for-breakfast thing and had some turkey roll in half a whole wheat pita, plus a banana (more on why my head doesn't seem to count bananas as part of my semi-aversion-to-fresh-fruit thing when I return).
  18. By the way, thanks to all of you for reading along and chiming in. It's the interaction that makes this blogging thing so gratifying. If there are any questions we've missed as we've been posting along, please let us know so we can do our part in keeping the conversational ball in the air.
  19. As I mentioned before, figuring out how to mesh my eating preferences with that of Mr. E has been a bit of an adventure, as he's very wary of any foods that stray too far from meat-and-potatoes middle-American fare--especially anything that might even possibly contain the slightest hint of spiciness. However, sometimes he surprises me. A few weeks ago he started talking enthusiastically about the Chinese restaurant he'd lunched at with a friend. Upon some probing, though, I discovered that the restaurant in question was a branch of Pickup Stix, a really mediocre fast food chain. Right then I made a vow to myself that I'd at least try to turn him on to something better. And I pulled that off tonight, with a chicken/mushroom/bok choy stirfry, using the vegetables and one of the boneless skinless breasts I bought the other day, plus items from my stash of seasonings. I went really gentle on the seasonings, though--I think even ginger root would displease Mr. E if its presence were to get too assertive. So--a little bitty bit of ginger, garlic, shallots, light soy sauce, and sesame oil constituted the seasonings on this dish. The mise en place, awaiting a ride in my wok (we will diplomatically ignore the dismal state of said wok's seasoning ): Finished: Plated: And--hurrah! He liked it! In fact, he asked for seconds, and declared it one of my more pleasing efforts. Score! And since the whole dish contained just one chicken breast for the two of us, plus a whole bunch of veggies, my regimen was pleased too.
  20. It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood--in the mid-50s, so a little chilly for my blood (I've lost all my New York/Boston/Seattle imperviousness to cold from barely six years of living in Southern California), but the sun is welcome after the drenching we got all last weekend: My neighborhood is not only eminently walkable, but studded with all sorts of points of interest for the foodie as well as the antiques-hound--Adams Ave. bears the nickname "Antique Row," as celebrated by this restaurant: This place does a land-office business for weekend brunch, but I've never tried it because I'm allergic to waiting in line to eat. This place has gotten a lot of good reviews, but I haven't had a chance to try it yet either--so many restaurants, so little time: I have tried this one--Cantina Mayahuel. My dining companion's mahi-mahi was wonderful, my chicken had a great sauce but was a little on the dry side: For everyday quick lunches, this place is more my speed: There's some sort of unspoken law that every Southern Californian must live within walking distance of a serviceable corner taco shop. This one fills the bill quite nicely. Oh, and then there's this market: Just look at that character-soaked facade! I just love this place's vibe. It's an old-school corner grocery--most of the stock is pretty basic, but lurking in the back is an awesome carniceria (Mexican-oriented butcher's counter) with some really good bargains. Anyhow, time for my walk to be over, and for me to get home and start dinner. (To be continued...)
  21. So here's what's been happening with me since last I posted: I dropped Mr. E. off at another of his weekly appointments -- he does keep his calendar busy! As he'd be taking the bus home, I was now free for the rest of the afternoon. So I did errands and looked for bloggable photo-ops. In the same shopping center as E.'s appointment is a Trader Joe's, so I dropped in to pick up more Crystal Geyser, and a couple other sundries: This TJ's is in the middle of Hillcrest, San Diego's "official" gayborhood, and also one of the most densely populated neighborhoods in town. Those demographics means this TJ's is absolutely mobbed at almost every hour of operation. I've gotten practiced at slipping in, grabbing what I need, and running away before I get run over by a shopping cart. Have I mentioned recently how much I hate shoppers blocking aisles with their carts while they stand there reading labels or yakking with friends or just woolgathering in the middle of everything? Anyway, one of the things I grabbed was this: Susan, you asked about hydration stuff. One of my hydration strategies is to always have some beverage I'm working on, all the time. Even if it's caffeinated and I piss half of it away, at least fluid intake is happening. I don't think any of the Hansen's natural sodas have caffeine, even the colas; the flavors are more interesting than most, and I taste less aftertaste from the Splenda than with other artificial sweeteners. Then on to grab lunch at one of my favorite healthy-eating haunts: Veg'n'Out is yer basic classic hippy-dippy vegetarian burger joint. Yeah, yeah, I've heard all the various negative opinions about vegetarian foods that attempt to mimic carnivore food--that somehow it's cheating, that the imitations are pathetic, blah blah blah. But those naysayers have not endeavored to wrap their jaws around this beauty: Piled above and below the pretty convincing burger patty is cheese, lettuce, tomato, soy bacon strips, barbeque sauce, and fried onion rings. The creamy tarragon dressing on the side salad is very good. Other choices for sides include french fries, the salad du jour (today's was apple/potato), or soup. This burger isn't cheap at nearly nine bucks--but you get a lot for your money. I love being able to indulge in a big ol' sloppy burger, and with the caloric savings of having a soy patty instead of beef I can indulge myself a lot more often. My little jar of Better than Bouillon was almost out, which gave me an photo-op excuse to drop by here: Henry's is a regional natural foods chain, and a good, more moderately-priced alternative to Whole Paycheck. Their produce offerings are extensive: They also have really good prices on nutritional supplements (omega-3 capsules and glucosamine tablets are an integral part of my health regimen--both help the osteoarthritis, and the omega-3s do all sorts of other good things for one's heart, nerves, and more). I headed home, but found I had some time to kill before I needed to start supper ... so I decided to do something radical: go for a walk. (to be continued...)
  22. So, my day today: for very late breakfast I once again had a cup of plain yogurt, plus a couple of cups of coffee. I am fortunate that I grew up drinking my coffee black, no sweetener; when I get one of them thar gussied-up espresso drinks, I choose the nonfat milk and the sugar-free syrup. Yes, I know, I've become one of those people I used to make fun of. But frankly, I'd rather save the fat and calorie allowance for something more interesting--this is how I can still get away with the occasional indulgence in pork belly, for instance. At least I'm still going full-caffeine. Right now, despite my protestations about fresh fruit, I am eating a tangelo as a snack. I have to remind myself to eat at least a little fresh fruit every now and then. Shortly, I'll be taking Mr. E to a weekly appointment, and then doing a little more food-galivanting around town with camera in hand. Oh yeah, and getting some lunch at another of my healthy-dining finds. See you all later...
  23. Okay, I'm back--briefly. First off, truth in advertising: in addition to the meals I posted about, yesterday I also consumed: a bowl of collard greens; three ounces of cheese; two lowfat granola bars; two fig bars; and six prunes. ("Some people don't go for prunes ... I dunno ... I've always found that if they ..." You didn't think I could make it through an entire blog without a single Zappa quote, did you? ) Seriously--prunes are a vital part of my personal regimen, partly because my food plan calls for four servings of fruit a day, forcing me to admit to myself that I just don't like raw fruit quite that much to get in four a day, and most fruit juice is too sweet for my tastes. Yeah, I know I'm weird that way. So dried fruit works just as well for me. Plus prunes, well, have that classic effect on one's, erm, flow ... which I need ... um, 'nuff said, right? Something else I wanted to comment on: And fortunately, ol' Lizard Brain doesn't read the internet. ← For those who missed my previous rants about the Lizard Brain from my last couple of blogs, this article gives a nice succinct explanation. I especially like this key quote:
  24. Good morning! I've got a computer lesson with Mr. E. in less that 15 minutes (I tutor him in basic computer skills twice a week), but let me see if I can catch up on a few comments ... Oh yeah ... there is a lot of recent, and better, weight loss punditry that points out that the more muscle mass you have, the more revved your baseline metabolism gets, because muscle tissue burns up a good bunch of energy just in maintaining itself (it's also constantly active--even when you're just sitting there, after all, muscle is holding your body upright and in balance). So in addition to aerobic exercise, many instructors are now making sure their weight loss clients are pumping at least a little iron. It doesn't take much--those little hand weights or elastic bands are certainly enough for many of us ... so why is the danged elastic band my Kaiser Permanente instructor gave me mouldering in a basket four feet from where I am now sitting? Because I need to get on with that part of the program too! Oops! Just turned 11am here--back later!
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