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MarketStEl

eG Foodblog: CaliPoutine, MarketStEl & mizducky - The Shrinking

305 posts in this topic

Wow, a triple-gay blog! That in itself is very interesting, even if the rest of the topic weren't. Which, of course, it is. In my world losing weight is easy, and keeping it off is impossible. I've lost hundreds of pounds in my life and have little to show for it, except that I can tell you how many points in any food on earth with my eyes closed, which is a skill of limited utility.

I'll be following this with interest.

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I'm pretty excited to see the three of you posting! I always read your respective blogs with delight. I can't offer much in terms of weight loss tips and help as I'm one of those unfortunate svelt people, but I wish you three the best of luck in the New Year!


Eating pizza with a fork and knife is like making love through an interpreter.

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I am thrilled! Three of my favorites, as Rachel noted. Sandy's posts are always among the most interesting and educational (in a good way!) on eGullet, I love Randi's feeding the multitudes thread (I vacilate between wanting to come up and cook with you and gasping in horror at the lack of appreciation you get from some of those folks) and I always want to join MizD on her exotic (to me) restaurant visits so she can show another white girl how to eat like that :laugh: !

The weight loss issue is one I will be watching, too! I had a gastric bypass and lost about 100 lbs. and need to lose an additional 30 and it won't budge. I'm hoping for some inspiration!

Looking forward to this week, y'all!

Kim

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Well. Here's my next question, directed mostly (I suppose) at CaliPoutine, but I'd be interested in the others' take on it as well.

Although I can understand the value of a point system - it's easy, it helps you balance your choices - for changing a diet, I can't imagine using it myself. I swear, you trotted out the points just now and my mind seized up as though it were already tax time. If I were to try something like that, I think its chief benefit would be that the very effort of dealing with it would put me off food. Did you have to do any mental gymnastics or calming exercises to take on the approach of points? Or did it just work for you, right from the get-go?


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I have to admit, I was a bit hungry at 4pm. I ate a mini bag( half an ounce) of pretzels( bought after Halloween for 50% off). I was still hungry so I ate a grapefruit w/ a touch of agave syrup. My sparkpeople( see, obsessive!!) says with dinner my total calories are 1436. I feel like I might want some dessert after dinner.

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Today I was asked to quote a catering job that will take place every Monday in April and May. They're going to base their decision on the menu so now I have to think about food and dessert later tonight/tomorrow while I plan the menu. When I'm seriously dieting, its best that I don't watch foodtv or read any dessert cookbooks. Cake is a serious weakness of mine.

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Well.  Here's my next question, directed mostly (I suppose) at CaliPoutine, but I'd be interested in the others' take on it as well.

Although I can understand the value of a point system - it's easy, it helps you balance your choices - for changing a diet, I can't imagine using it myself.  I swear, you trotted out the points just now and my mind seized up as though it were already tax time.  If I were to try something like that, I think its chief benefit would be that the very effort of dealing with it would put me off food.  Did you have to do any mental gymnastics or calming exercises to take on the approach of points?  Or did it just work for you, right from the get-go?

Nancy, I'm like Abra in that I've done this plan so many times that I can probably tell you the points of something when I'm half asleep. Its something that is just so familar to me that it doesnt bother me at all. What bothers me is the near obsession I develop regarding menu planning and mealtime. I'm already thinking about what I'm going to eat tomorrow and Wednesday when I'm in London around lunchtime.

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  What bothers me is the near obsession I develop regarding menu planning and mealtime.  I'm already thinking about what I'm going to eat tomorrow and Wednesday when I'm in London around lunchtime.

But I am not watching my calories, and I am still obsessed with meal planning and what's for dinner tomorrow: so maybe it is just a foodie thing. :biggrin:

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Stupendous idea for a blog...as a fellow weight-loser (and -gainer, and -loser, etc.), I'm always looking to see what works for other food-focused peeps...

Blog on!

mem

Me too!

It's hard to be a foodie and maintain, although I try.

I have an elliptical machine that I work out on every day for 30 minutes. I get up at 4:30 every morning to do so. I have to leave for work by 6:30 in the morning and by the time I get home I'm ready for a glass of wine so it's best that I exercise first thing.

I live so far out in the country that I don't have the fast food temptations that some do, however, I love to cook, so that's temptation enough!

Oh, and I give myself one day off a week from the exercise. I usually take it on Fridays for some reason. I find that Wednesdays I'm the most exhausted for some reason. I don't know why. :huh:

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A great theme for a January foodblog - thank you three for having the courage to share the personal details. Health really is everything, without health it's hard to enjoy just about anything.

It strikes me that gourmandry and weight management are at heart at odds with each other:  I notice that truly svelte people appear to be absent from the ranks of food lovers.  Yet at the same time, I also note that truly obese people are not overrepresented among them either, though we may have a disporportionate share of overweight people like myself.  Perhaps we will figure out why this is so in the course of this blog; perhaps not.

I think you are right. For some, food is merely a necessary part of sustenance - these people are usually thin and don't read foodblogs. Like most folks I have had ups and downs in the weight department. In 2004 when I was 37 my goal before turning 40 was to run a marathon (and to have a baby - I managed two of each) and when I crossed the finish line after four and a half hours of unremarkable running, my BMI (Body Mass Index) was 31. At 6'-1" and 230 lbs, a BMI of over 30 means obese. I neither looked nor felt obese, I felt fantastic for achieving such a goal. Here I am, and here.

My point is . . . a bathroom scale is a tool with very limited utility. Use it when you have to, then give it away . . . preferably to somebody you don't like. And the Body Mass Index is totally useless for a lot of people. I'm proud to be a man of girth and density! :biggrin:

edit to add: I love the name "The Shrinking". Very Stephen King.


Edited by Peter the eater (log)

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Dinner tonight.

gallery_28660_5521_44272.jpg

My backsplash is brand new so I think the smudges are from the camera.

gallery_28660_5521_411116.jpg

Robin asked me if a plantain is a fruit or a veg. Does anyone know? I removed the skin from the chicken.

gallery_28660_5521_77717.jpg

I felt hungry and deprived after I ate so I had 1/2 cup of bryers triple choc. ice cream. I probably should have waited 10 min for my dinner to digest. I feel full now though.

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Wow, a triple-gay blog!  That in itself is very interesting, even if the rest of the topic weren't. 

Oh yeah--we thought that was a pretty entertaining subtheme too. You should have seen some of our list of working titles for the blog ... I think one of the earliest was something like "Dieting--that's so gay!" :laugh:

(Somewhat) more seriously ... our respective affiliations with the greater LGBT community does have some on-topic implications for the blog. For myself, I know my thinking about body weight was massively (so to speak) influenced by time I spent in the lesbian feminist arm of the fat liberation movement, back in the 1980s. I eventually broke with their radically anti-dieting stance, but I still owe that movement props for unhooking my brain from society's tyranny of slenderness, the social conditioning that compells people to strive for unhealthily model-like thinness at all costs, including personal health.

Well.  Here's my next question, directed mostly (I suppose) at CaliPoutine, but I'd be interested in the others' take on it as well.

Although I can understand the value of a point system - it's easy, it helps you balance your choices - for changing a diet, I can't imagine using it myself.  I swear, you trotted out the points just now and my mind seized up as though it were already tax time.  If I were to try something like that, I think its chief benefit would be that the very effort of dealing with it would put me off food.  Did you have to do any mental gymnastics or calming exercises to take on the approach of points?  Or did it just work for you, right from the get-go?

Nancy, I'm like Abra in that I've done this plan so many times that I can probably tell you the points of something when I'm half asleep. Its something that is just so familar to me that it doesnt bother me at all. What bothers me is the near obsession I develop regarding menu planning and mealtime. I'm already thinking about what I'm going to eat tomorrow and Wednesday when I'm in London around lunchtime.

What Randi said--I've done a bazillion different dieting schemes over the years, enough so that I too can look at just about any food item and tell you its calories, fat grams and carb grams per unit. All these systems, whether measuring points or grams or calories, are merely tools, means to an end. If they work for you, good; if not, it's no biggie--just come up with a tracking system that works for you.

The underlying issue, at least for me (and I suspect others) is not about the rules or the food values, it's about remembering to stick to those rules and not give in to the raging Lizard Brain in your head that wants to eat everything that isn't nailed down. Or even better, to mollify the Lizard Brain enough that it's just go to sleep and leave you alone to serenely commune with your healthy meal.

I got a whole bunch of photos to upload, and a light dinner to make for Mr. E, and then a cooking project for myself with which to entertain you all. Back shortly...

(edited to fix tyops :biggrin: )


Edited by mizducky (log)

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So, my afternoon's food adventures ... I bid fond farewell to home (and to the neighbor's lime tree hanging over the fence):

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...and headed out into the most un-SoCal-like weather (it's been raining like a sonofagun for the past three days):

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I finally live in a neighborhood where it is not only possible, but entertaining to go walking, which has been a boon to my lagging exercise routine. More on that anon.

First, my tummy was growling so I needed to tend to that pronto, so I headed here:

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I'm still just beginning to explore all the fun things on Golden City's extremely extensive menu. I wanted a vegetable-centric meal, so I ordered the lunch special of "sauteed sliced lily root in pork beancurd sauce":

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The lotus root was nice and tender-crunchy. Interesting sauce, with the faintest touch of heat. There was a goodly amount of tender pork strips in there too. Soup, spring roll, and fried wonton strips were included; the latter two items were totally ignorable, but the hot-and-sour soup, while not that spicy, had an impressive amount of veg and shroom content (I love the crunchy texture of the "ear" fungi). Not bad for $6.25 before tax--oh yeah, I'm still a tightwad gourmand. :biggrin:

As I climbed into my car, I noticed for the first time that there was a bakery seconds store tucked in next to Golden City:

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So of course I had to check it out:

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I bought a couple of things that are more for Mr. E than me ... you'll see them later.

To be continued...

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Next stop was my old friend 99 Ranch Market:

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... to stock up on two of my favorite ingredients for weight-conscious meals, konnyaku:

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... and tofu:

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Meanwhile I was casting about for something around which to build my supper, and got inspired by the contents of this chill chest:

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Wrapped up there, and went on to Food 4 Less to buy some more mundane items:

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The big warehouse-y interior usually, though not always, contains some good food bargains. I buy most of my household's meat and packaged groceries here--but produce only when it's on sale, because otherwise there are much cheaper and better places for fruit and veg (which I'll show you later in the week):

gallery_28660_5521_100902.jpg

Then homeward with my purchases (to be continued)...


Edited by mizducky (log)

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Talk hydration, gang. Water, coffee, tea, diet pop, bottled whatever, alcoholic beverages all in the context of weight loss, body image, working out, etc., etc.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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So here's my haul from the afternoon's shopping:

gallery_28660_5521_156213.jpg

In no particular order:

Two types of tofu (firm and baked)

Two types of shirataki (plain and pre-tied into little bundles)

Fig bars*

English muffins*

Minneola tangelos

Bananas

Soybean sprouts

Low-fat granola bars

Boneless skinless chicken breasts

Ground beef, 7% fat

Chinese cooking condiments (shaoxing wine, light soy sauce, hoisin sauce, toban jian)

Dried shiitakes

Plain lowfat yogurt

Plain white mushrooms

Bok choy

Spinach

CHeerios*

Store brand hamburger helper*

Prunes

Sugar-free energy drinks

The asterisked items I buy mainly or totally for Mr. E. The full-on Asian ingredients I buy mainly for me. The energy drinks are a strange obsession I have fallen prey to in recent months--I harbor no delusions about these drinks offering anything beyond a kick-in-the-pants quantity of caffeine, but they're a fun no-harm indulgence.

The secret ingredient to my dinner will be revealed as soon as I upload more photos. In the meantime, let me give you a tour of my "new" kitchen (well, new since I moved in with Mr. E six months ago):

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Not a whole lot of counter or storage space. And the counters are that damfool ceramic tile that chips and cracks so easily and collects crud in all the crevices. But glory be, it's an all-gas range! I didn't think those existed in SoCal! :laugh:

These fridge shots were taken Sunday evening--you can see why I needed to do a major grocery reload:

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The bagels and lox in the freezer are from a Zabar's care package my brother sent me in December for my birthday. For the sake of my weight management sanity, they went straight into the freezer. :laugh: Yes of course I can defrost them in minutes ... but making them require that little extra effort makes them less attractive as snacking-out-of-bounds magnets.

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The big warehouse-y interior usually, though not always, contains some good food bargains. I buy most of my household's meat and packaged groceries here--but produce only when it's on sale, because otherwise there are much cheaper and better places for fruit and veg (which I'll show you later in the week):

I will be interested in the fruit and vegetable places, since I might be spending 3 months there, starting in about 3 weeks.

Christine

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Talk hydration, gang.  Water, coffee, tea, diet pop, bottled whatever, alcoholic beverages all in the context of weight loss, body image, working out, etc., etc.

Coming up, Susan. I'm batch processing the day's pictures now.

There will also be walking and riding involved. It wouldn't be a MarketStEl foodblog without a trip on public transit. I guess I could walk the 30 miles from my Center City home to Bucks County -- it would do wonders for my cardio and take off a chunk of weight -- but I need to sleep sometime. So my walking gets in at the ends of the journey. (What's that? Bike, you say? I haven't gotten up to the stamina level yet where I could negotiate the rather hilly terrain of the Neshaminy Creek valley and Lower Bucks County. And I'd still have to get up an hour and a half earlier at the least.)


Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Talk hydration, gang.  Water, coffee, tea, diet pop, bottled whatever, alcoholic beverages all in the context of weight loss, body image, working out, etc., etc.

Staying properly hydrated IMO is crucial to a weight loss regimen, because it helps your kidneys better process and expell all those metabolic byproducts of your weight loss. However, proper hydration remains one of my biggest personal challenges, mainly because I find plain water boring. I've gone through phases of drinking mass quantities of diet soda and those artificially-sweetened powdered drink mixes, but eventually felt overdosed on that weird chemical-ish sweetness. I've also had mixed results from iced herbal tea--the flavors are just not quite punchy enough, plus I really prefer carbonated beverages. Recently both I and Mr. E have had great success with flavored unsweetened sparkling waters, like the Crystal Geyser stuff carried by the local Trader Joe's. The flavors are interesting and dry, not sweet--and boy are those things ever carbonated!

I do also drink my share of caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, but as both caffeine and alcohol are diuretics, I tend to not count them towards my daily hydration. And juices I tend to count as food, rather than hydration. I really don't go in for those sports drinks and sports waters--the sugared sports drinks I just think of as empty calories, and the sports waters seem overpriced to me. And they're not carbonated. I loves them scrubbing bubbles! :laugh:


Edited by mizducky (log)

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I knew that tonight, Mr. E would be out of the house for one of his many support and social groups, so that's my cue to cook things that would weird him out if he were home to see them. :laugh:

But first I had to cook a dinner for him. I made one of his favorites, a simple cheese omelette, using his beloved Cabot white cheddar (he's an old-line Yankee from Vermont, all the way):

gallery_28660_5521_273019.jpg

Little lettuce-and-mushroom salad on the side; he also had an English muffin with this.

Then he left, and it was time for me to make with the "exotic" cooking ingredients:

gallery_28660_5521_45012.jpg

There's a couple of meaty little catfish heads in the metal bowl; the shirataki knots are simmering in some leftover broth I'd saved in the fridge from another cooking project. Also into this soup went some sliced bok choy and scallions, a slice of gingerroot, and a glug of Chinese light soy sauce.

Now, isn't this a photo worthy of the "Gallery of Regrettable Foods" anti-dinner topic? :laugh:

gallery_28660_5521_123175.jpg

If there's any way to make fish head soup look a little more attractive, I'd love to hear about it! But IMO it really is a meal one must either eat alone, or with understanding friends, because boy is it messy to get all the yummy tidbits out of the heads. But the good news--besides the yumminess--is that the net amount of meat isn't all that much--but the size of the heads, and the amount of work you have to put into getting all the meat out, tricks the ol' Lizard Brain into feeling like it had a nice big meal.

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But first I had to cook a dinner for him. I made one of his favorites, a simple cheese omelette, using his beloved Cabot white cheddar (he's an old-line Yankee from Vermont, all the way):

gallery_28660_5521_273019.jpg

After trying Tillamook from Oregon, I'm afraid Cabot, good though it is, doesn't quite do it for me like it used to.

But now to the day. Atkins devotees will probably be highly disappointed to see what I ate.

Susan: I do pack my lunch most days. This morning, I assembled my salad as is most often my wont:

gallery_28660_5521_45317.jpg

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and fixed myself a bowl of childhood:

gallery_28660_5521_71426.jpg

Make that the dregs of a bowl of childhood. I don't think that even Mikey would like this:

gallery_28660_5521_21939.jpg

Add milk:

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and down with juice.

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My fridge was as full this morning as Ellen's was empty. The large object in the lower of the two plastic bags on the top shelf was tonight's dinner, which I will probably get around to posting in the early A.M. Tuesday.

One could ask, Why is a confirmed cheesehead drinking lactose free milk? Truth to tell, I probably should be taking Lactaid tablets with my meals, for as the salad above should indicate, I still work cheese into a lot of my dishes, and I think I am somewhat lactose intolerant, as many African-Americans are. Perhaps I should just work less cheese into my dishes.

A cup of coffee would ordinarily materialize here, after I finished the green tea warmup, but both our coffee mills chose this morning to die. (I had a blade grinder I purchased at a used furniture store near me, and I also responded to an e-mail offer of a free burr grinder from a roast-your-own coffee outfit. Regarding the burr grinder, I got what I paid for -- its motor seizes after a few days of grinding coffee.)

You'll have to wait 'til Tuesday for the rest of Monday. It's late, I had problems processing the large batch of pictures, and I need to get some rest. Exercise, such as it is, is among the highlights, along with the commute.


Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Oh gosh, question time here! Even without trying to reverse the weight that snuck up on me over a few stressful years, I have a hard time balancing meals for hungry teen boys, underweight husband and overweight me.

Great idea to do a troika - it's interesting to see different approaches.

1)That salad colander - does that maybe go in the fridge with a lid on, and keep salad greens usable for more than one meal? If so, does it work, and how many days will salad greens keep?

2) Lactose intolerance - my Japanese husband (just to differentiate from all the OTHER husbands!) can and does eat a lot of yogurt (whole milk, unsweetened, home-made), a little cheese, and almost never milk.

3) Carbonated drinks. When I was helping out with food and drink for my mother in hospital, the medical staff were adamant that she should not have carbonated diet or sports drinks because of the high sodium content. She flatly refused to drink plain water, and despite a considerable weight problem, staff told me they'd rather she was drinking watered down juice or still drinks than diet sodas. Do any of you diabetics get warnings about diet sodas, or is it a non-issue for people in reasonable health? Here in Japan, I can fortunately drink Japan's single greatest contribution to human culture - mugicha, or roasted barley tea!

4) Does the weightwatcher point system combine easily with the diabetic "food exchange" system?

5) What kind of starches do you find easiest/best for weight loss.

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Great start to your weight loss blog..as I know, it isn't easy, and it's great you guys found a way to make it work for you.

Mizducky..are the shirataki (sp?) noodles made out of tofu? I heard that they are a great substitute for pasta, if you are watching carbs. I have yet to experiment with them yet, but plan on it. I guess you have to rinse them and then par boil to get the smell/fish taste off?

I agree with the comment upthread regarding the scale. Since I have started on my weight loss, I try to only look at the scale once a week. I do it at the same time every week,that way I have a better idea of what's going on. It's interesting how you can weigh yourself at 7am, drink no water, use the bathroom, walk around, weigh yourself again and be up .5 lbs or down .5lbs. My BF can fluctuate 5-10 pounds on a day to day basis. Of course it's water, but that would frustrate me. That's why its once a week for me.

Blog on and have fun!

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What Randi said--I've done a bazillion different dieting schemes over the years, enough so that I too can look at just about any food item and tell you its calories, fat grams and carb grams per unit. All these systems, whether measuring points or grams or calories, are merely tools, means to an end. If they work for you, good; if not, it's no biggie--just come up with a tracking system that works for you.

The underlying issue, at least for me (and I suspect others) is not about the rules or the food values, it's about remembering to stick to those rules and not give in to the raging Lizard Brain in your head that wants to eat everything that isn't nailed down. Or even better, to mollify the Lizard Brain enough that it's just go to sleep and leave you alone to serenely commune with your healthy meal.

Check. I too have developed into a vast (well not that vast) storehouse of nutritional info as a result of our health-related diet changes over the years. And yes, this in itself will not lose you any weight. Even subduing the Lizard Brain on a daily basis isn't quite enough for me.

In fact, as I get older, it's becoming clear that, for me, there is one critical (and difficult) element without which there will be very little lasting weight loss, and it is...building muscle. There, I said it. Now I'm going to go try and live it...my first gym visit of 2008 is hopefully in my very near future, if I can just leave my cozy apartment and get outside. Oh, and keeping yourself hydrated. Do that too.

Thanks again for talking about all this stuff as openly as I know the three of you will...

+++


Edited by markemorse (log)

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      Hello Everyone!
       
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      Here is a brief bio about myself: Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA by my Filipino parents. Having no brothers and sisters, I am very independent and surprisingly social with others but also love spending time on my own and with my boyfriend Louis, who is my kitchen partner in crime (this is how we actually met, working BOH at a local Vietnamese restaurant in LA). Having attended college majoring in accounting as an undergrad and grad, I orignally wanted to become a licensed accountant for finance and real estate, but it was not fulfilling and the content honestly bored me to death! I also desired to leave the corporate business world and join the professional kitchen. So I took the leap, graduated culinary school, quit my desk job, and worked in the professional kitchen. Then my health and finances took over, and I had surgery and I needed more money to survive in a city of ridiculous rent prices. I had to leave the kitchen and go back into accounting. Fast forward to 2017, I am currently unemployed having been laid off two days before Christmas the prior year! Using this as a sign and as an opportunity for self growth and realization, I am once again on the culinary path. Not necessarily to work on the line, but to learn more, cook and bake more at home, and expose myself out there to all things food and kitchen. Not also forgetting to mention I am always surrounded by food: Louis is also still in the professional kitchen, and we WILL have that restaurant one day (dreams DO come true, I just know it!).
       
      Anyhow, I am super excited to be posting here and exchanging ideas! See you out there! 
       
      Margie
    • By ElsieD
      We are at the airport waiting to board our flight.  As we seem to have interested folks from different parts of the world who may not know too much about our province,  I thought I would start this blog by giving you an overview of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL).
       
      Before Newfoundland  became part of Canada in 1949, it was a British Colony.  Cupids, a town on Conception Bay, was settled 406 years ago, and is the oldest continuously settled official British community in Canada.  Most of the early permanent settlers came from southwest England and southeast Ireland although  the French also settled here and in the 17th century Newfoundland was more French than English.  French is still spoken in Port au Port Penninsula, on the western side of the island, with English spoken everywhere else.   Just off the coast of south west Newfoundland, St. Pierre et Miquelon are islands that are still a colony of France.  There is a regular ferry service between Fortune, NL and St. Pierre et Miquelon.
       
      Geographically, the capital of St. John's is on the same latitude as Paris, France and Seattle, Washington.  In size, Newfoundland and Labrador is a little smaller than California, slightly bigger than Japan and twice the size of the United Kingdon.  NL covers 405,212 sq. kilometers (156,453 sq. miles) with over 29,000 kilometers (18,000 miles) of coastline.  By itself, the island of Newfoundland covers 111,390 square kilometers (43,008 sq. miles).
       
      The population of NL is 510,000, of whom 181,000 live in St. John's.  While there are some larger towns, vast areas are sparsely populated.
       
      In Newfoundland there are no snakes, skunks, racoons, poisonous insects or arachnids.  There is also no ragweed - allergy sufferers rejoice!  There are over 120,000 moose and it is home to one of the world's biggest caribou herds.   They also have some of the continent's biggest black bears.
       
      Note: This information was taken from the official Newfoundland and Labrador web site.
    • By chefmd
      My son married a lovely young lady from Yakeshi, Inner Mongolia, China.   Mongolian: ᠶᠠᠠᠠᠰᠢ ᠬᠣᠲᠠ (Ягши хот); Chinese: 牙克石; pinyin: Yákèshí
       
      We had a wedding in the US but her family also wanted to have a traditional wedding in China.  DH and I have never being to China so this was an exciting opportunity for us!  We spent a few days in Beijing doing touristy stuff and then flew to Hailar.  There is only one flight a day on Air China that we took at 6 in the morning.  Yakeshi is about an hour drive from Hailar on a beautiful toll road with no cars on it.  I wish we took pictures of free roaming sheep and cows along the way.  The original free range meat.
       
      The family met us at the airport.  We were greeted with a shot of a traditional Chinese spirit from a traditional leather vessel.  Nothing says welcome like a stiff drink at 9 AM.  We were supposed to have a three shots (may be they were joking) but family took pity on us and limited it to one only.
       

       
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