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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

gallery_28660_5521_34516.jpg

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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      Wow, this is my third foodblog for the eGullet….  Welcome!   I'll be with you from Palm Sunday through Holy Sunday to give you all a taste of the veritable food festival that is Easter in Ecuador.  As usual, I intend to eat on the streets, visit a plethora of small shops and vendors, and talk about (and eat copious amounts of ) the specialty dishes of the holiday.
       
      A bit of background on me and where I am.  I'm Elizabeth; I'm 33 years old and since the last foodblog I've ceased to be a Canadian expat in Ecuador, and become a full-fledged Ecuadorian citizen.  I run a catering bakery out of Ambato, and I deliver to clients on the entire mainland.  I've got a large customer base in nearby Baños de Agua Santa, a hot-springs town about an hour downslope of me to the east; I'll be visiting it on Wednesday with close to 100 kg of baked goods for delivery.  Ambato, the capital of Tungurahua province, is located almost exactly in the geographic centre of Ecuador.  It's at an average elevation of 2,850 meters above sea level (slightly higher than Quito, the capital) - but this is measured in the downtown central park, which is significantly lower than most of the rest of the city, which extends up the sides of the river valley and onto the high plain above.  We've got what amounts to eternal late springtime weather, with two well-marked rainy seasons.  Ambato has about 300,000 people in its metro area; it's the fourth largest city in the country.  But maybe the most important thing about Ambato, especially to foodies, is that it's a transport hub for the country.  Anything travelling just about anywhere has to pass through Ambato on the way; it gives us the largest, best-stocked food market in South America.  I have simply staggering variety at my fingertips.
       

       
      This view, which was a teaser for the blog, was taken from my rooftop terrazzo.  It is a fraction of the panorama of the river valley that I see every morning, and since Easter is traditionally somewhat miserable weather-wise, the clouds stick to the hilltops.  The barrio you can see in the middle distance is Ficoa, one of the most luxury districts in the city.  Ambato is notable amongst Ecuadorian cities for having small fruit farms (300-500 m2) still operating within city limits and even within its most established barrios - it's from this that the Ambato gets one of its two sobriquets: The City of Fruits and Flowers.  The tendency for even the poorest barrios to take tremendous pride in their greenspaces gives the other: The Garden City.  My barrio, Miraflores Alto, is a working-class mixture of professors and labourers, and my neighbours keep a mixture of chickens, turkeys, and ducks in their yards; someone down the hill has a cow that I frequently hear but have never seen.  Consequently, if the season is right I can buy duck eggs from my neighbours (and if the season is wrong, entire Muscovy ducks for roasting.)
       

       
      Today, I'll be doing my largest fresh-food shopping at the Mercado Mayorista, the largest market of its kind in South America - this place covers nearly 30 square blocks, and it exists to both buy and sell produce from across the country.  Sundays and Mondays it also opens up to a huge, raucous farmer's market where smaller quantities are available for purchase.  Sunday is the day of the freshest food and the largest number of vendors.  And I'm going to cross more than half the city to get there - I've moved since the last blog, and my new house, on the slopes of the river valley is further away than the old one on the high plain.  I promise to take many pictures of this - particularly close to the High Holy days, the Mayorista is alive with vendors and there will be special sections cordoned off for sales of bacalao, truly enormous squashes, and if it follows the previous years' trends, a festival of Hornado (about which more later).  Apart from mangoes, which are just finishing up their season, it is harvest time across the country, and the Mayorista will be well stocked with all manner of fruits and vegetables.
       

       
      To start us off, I'll demystify one of my teasers a bit.
       

       
      The Minion head that peeks out of my cupboard every day belongs to my jar of ChocoListo, the Ecuadorian equivalent of chocolate Ovaltine.  Since I gave up coffee for Lent, it's my go-to morning beverage.  ChocoListo normally comes in the plain white jar with orange lid that you see in front of the Minion; that's now my hot chocolate jar because I just couldn't resist when the company came out with the specialty jars.  I firmly believe that one is never too old to have whimsical things!
       

    • By therese
      Good morning, y’all, and welcome to the party chez Therese.
      As per the teaser, this week’s foodblog does indeed come to you from Atlanta, where I live with my two children (hereafter known as Girl and Boy) and husband (hereafter known as The Man). Girl is 11, Boy is 14, and The Man is old enough to know better.
      Atlanta’s huge: the total metro population is about 4 million, and there are no physical boundaries to growth like rivers or mountain ranges, so people just keep moving (and commuting) farther and farther out of town. Atlantans can be divided into ITP (inside the perimeter) and OTP (outside the perimeter), the perimeter referring to the interstate freeway that encircles the downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods, separating it from outlying suburbs. The politically minded may note that these areas could be designated red and blue. I’ll let you figure out which is which.
      We’re about as ITP as it gets, with home, work, school, and restaurants all in walking distance. The neighborhood’s called Druid Hills, the setting for the play/movie “Driving Miss Daisy”. The houses date from the 1920s, and because Atlanta has so little in the way of “old” buildings the neighborhood’s on the National Register as a Historic District. Charming, sure, buts lots of the houses need some updating, and ours (purchased in 1996) was no exception. So we remodeled last year, including an addition with a new kitchen, and this week’s blog will look at the finished product.
      So, some encouragement for those of you presently involved in kitchen renovation, some ideas for those who are considering it.
      But never mind all that for the moment: What’s for breakfast?


      Dutch babies, that’s what. And even better, these Dutch babies are produced by my children, the aforementioned Girl and Boy. The first picture is right from the oven, the second is after the somewhat messy job of sifting powdered sugar on top. They are delicious (the Dutch babies, I mean, not the children) and a great weekend treat.

      The Man drinks coffee in the morning whereas I prefer tea. He's not up yet, having played poker last night. I'm hoping he makes it out of bed in time for dinner.

      I also eat fruit whereas he prefers, well, anything but fruit. This is not such a bad thing, as it means that I don’t have to share the fruit. Pomegranates are a pain to eat, but not so bad if you’re reading the newspaper at the same time. This one’s from California, but you can also grow them here if you’ve got enough sunshine (which I don’t).
    • By Shelby
      Good morning, everyone and happy Monday!  
       
      It's me again....that girl from Kansas. 
       
       
      This is VERY spur-of-the-moment.  I was sitting here yesterday thinking of all of the canning etc. that I needed to do this week and I thought, well, why not ask you guys if you want to spend the week with me while I do it?  I got the ok from Smithy so away we go!
       
      This will not be nearly as organized as my first blog was.  But, really, when does a sequel ever measure up to the first?     
       
      Most of you know all about me--if you missed my first blog you can read it here.
       
      Nothing much has changed around here.  Same furry babies, same house, same husband  .
       
      Right now we have field corn planted all around the house.  In the outer fields we have soybeans that were planted after the wheat was harvested.  Sorry for the blur....it was so humid the camera kept fogging up.
       

       
      I just came in from the garden.
       
      I snapped a few pictures....for more (and prettier) pictures you can look in the gardening thread.  I always start out saying that I will not let a weed grow in there.  By August I'm like..."Oh what's a few weeds" lol.
       
       
       
      Here's a total list of what I planted this year:
       
      7 cucumbers
      8 basil
      23 okra
      4 rows assorted lettuce
      20 peppers-thai, jalapeño, bell, banana
      4 rows peas
      5 cilantro
      1 tarragon
      2 dill
      many many red and white onions
      7 eggplant
      3 rows spinach
      57 tomatoes
      5 cherry tomatoes
      7 rows silver queen sweet corn
      11 squash
      4 watermelon
      2 cantaloupe
      6 pumpkin
       
      I killed the cantaloupes...and I tried damn hard to kill the squash lol.....sigh...squash bugs came early this year and we sprayed with some kind of stuff.  WOW the plants did not like it, but they've come back and are producing.
       


      I just love okra flowers

      Found some more smut   
       

       
       
       
       
       
       
    • By Pille
      Tere õhtust (that’s „Good evening“ in Estonian)!
      I’m very, very, very excited to be doing my first ever eGullet foodblog. Foodblogging as such is not new to me – I’ve been blogging over at Nami-nami since June 2005, and am enjoying it enormously. But this eGullet blog is very different in format, and I hope I can ’deliver’. There have been so many exciting and great food blogs over the years that I've admired, so the standard is intimidatingly high! Also, as I’m the first one ever blogging from Estonia, I feel there’s a certain added responsibility to ’represent’ my tiny country
      A few words about me: my name is Pille, I’m 33, work in academia and live with my boyfriend Kristjan in a house in Viimsi, a suburb just outside Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. I was born and schooled in Tallinn until I was 18. Since then I've spent a year in Denmark as an exchange student, four years studing in Tartu (a university town 180 km south), two years working in Tallinn and seven years studying and working in Edinburgh, the bonnie & cosmopolitan capital of Scotland. All this has influenced my food repertoire to a certain degree, I'm sure. I moved back home to Estonia exactly 11 months and 1 day ago, to live with Kristjan, and I haven't regretted that decision once Edinburgh is an amazing place to live, and I've been back to Scotland twice since returning, but I have come to realise that Tallinn is even nicer than Edinburgh
      I won’t be officially starting my foodblog until tomorrow (it’s midnight here and I’m off to bed), but I thought I’ll re-post the teaser photos for those of you who missed them in the 'Upcoming Attractions' section. There were two of them. One was a photo of Tallinn skyline as seen from the sea (well, from across the bay in this case):

      This is known as kilukarbivaade or sprat can skyline A canned fish product, sprats (small Baltic herrings in a spicy marinade) used to have a label depicting this picturesque skyline. I looked in vain for it in the supermarket the other day, but sadly couldn’t find one - must have been replaced with a sleek & modern label. So you must trust my word on this sprat can skyline view
      The second photo depicted a loaf of our delicious rye bread, rukkileib. As Snowangel already said, it’s naturally leavened sour 100% rye bread, and I’ll be showing you step-by-step instructions for making it later during the week.

      It was fun seeing your replies to Snowangel’s teaser photos. All of you got the continent straight away, and I was pleased to say that most of you got the region right, too (that's Northern Europe then). Peter Green’s guess Moscow was furthest away – the capital of Russia is 865 km south-east from here (unfortunately I've never had a chance to visit that town, but at least I've been to St Petersburgh couple of times). Copenhagen is a wee bit closer with 836 km, Stockholm much closer with 386 km. Dave Hatfield (whose rural French foodblog earlier this year I followed with great interest, and whose rustic apricot tart was a huge hit in our household) was much closer with Helsinki, which is just 82 km across the sea to the north. The ships you can see on the photo are all commuting between Helsinki and Tallinn (there’s an overnight ferry connection to Stockholm, too). Rona Y & Tracey guessed the right answer
      Dave – that house isn’t a sauna, but a granary (now used to 'store' various guests) - good guess, however! Sauna was across the courtyard, and looks pretty much the same, just with a chimney The picture is taken in July on Kassari in Hiiumaa/Dagö, one of the islands on the west coast. Saunas in Estonia are as essential part of our life – and lifestyle – as they are in Finland. Throwing a sauna party would guarantee a good turnout of friends any time
      Finally, a map of Northern Europe, so you’d know exactly where I’m located:

      Head ööd! [Good night!]
      I'm off to bed now, but will be back soon. And of course, if there are any questions, however specific or general, then 'll do my best trying to answer them!
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