I Am That Girl Now

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Hee heee

I have ended up on a new online forum and, since I have a gender-neutral handle, never announced my gender, and it's a forum that trends toward a male majority, they all assume I'm a guy. I'm actually kind of loathe to break my cover; I feel like I'm getting some kind of inside view of male interaction. The one problem is that when they refer to me as "him" or "he" or "that guy" it really takes a while for me to realize they're talking about my gender-neutral alter ego.

Truly, this amuses me far too much.

In other news, day 5 of the CCCP (ha!) continues. I've started recognizing the feeling in my face and neck when I'm getting tense about something, and so I'm trying to relax those muscles and breathe deep and use the soothing inner voice on myself before I respond to things. So far, so good. I think the only thing I've gone mental on this week was thin-crust, easy-on-the-cheese canadian bacon & olives pizza, and in retrospect that was probably because I haven't had thin-crust pizza in so long that I couldn't believe that this was all there was to it. D'oh.

I told my therapist about using my "soothing/encouraging the small child" voice on myself, and she was pleased. She said that it makes sense, since pain is pain and fear is fear and tension is tension, regardless of age, and a loving maternal inner voice calms and soothes the inner child. Hooray!

Also, here's an interesting piece of news: yet another "intuitive eating" story. Possibly I'm onto something here. Hrm.

Still walking on the treadmill in the mornings. I intend to get back to running, but right now I'm just walking fast. Sweating like a crazy thing, even in the horrid cold. (I still prefer it to the insane heat of the summer, since I at least have the hope of heating up while I'm exercising in the winter, whereas no hope at all of cooling down in the summer.) It's a very strange sort of back-to-basics approach for me. I will not stress over this. I'm just not going to.

My Hub and I have started, at last, to hash out the Christmas plans. Having waited until the last damn minute, we are left with the options of a) driving or b) flying. Flying is prohibitively expensive, so it looks like we're driving. I got us AAA membership so that we can get help in the event of our car breaking down, and we're trying to work out a flexible days-off plan with work so that we can adjust our plans in case of shit weather. My Hub is cranky at the idea of driving, but really, what can you do? We'll pack emergency gear and just deal with it. We've got six days, counting travel days, and to be perfectly frank I top out at dealing with my folks at about Day 3. Possibly Zoloft and therapy will improve this, but whatever.

Finances are weird, man. I'm trying to figure out how much to have taken out before taxes to deal with co-pays for doctor's visits, co-pays for prescriptions, and over-the-counter medication. Argh. On the up side, I've just figured out that because of all the pre-tax deductions I use, I save about $1,500/year in taxes. Whoa.

The affect of all this on the budget will have to be figured out. I'm not looking forward to that. Sigh. This is going to be a long weekend.

Oh, and re: poaching chicken breasts; there are recipes all over the net, but this is my version:

  • Place a skinless, boneless chicken breast in a pan.

  • Put enough poaching liquid* in the pan to cover the chicken breast.

  • Bring the poaching liquid* in the pan up to the boil over medium-high heat.

  • Simmer for two minutes.

  • Turn the heat off.

  • Let the chicken breast sit in the hot poaching liquid* for twenty minutes.

  • Before declaring yourself finished, check the center of the breast to make sure it's done through. Beware of pink spots.

  • Note that the flatter the chicken breast, the less likely you'll end up with a pink center.

    * Poaching liquid may be water, but for the sake of actually adding flavor-- which I highly recommend you do-- it's not really useful. Three parts: Start with a main liquid, selected to match what you're cooking-- chicken stock, in this case, would do nicely-- or water, in a pinch. Second, you'll need an acid, such as vinegar, wine, or lemon juice; add about 1/4 cup of acid per each quart of stock or water, or until you're able to definitely taste the acid in the liquid. Third, you need flavorings. Add herbs, spices, and vegetables to the poaching liquid. These flavors will be absorbed by the meat and are what poaching is all about. Good things to add include: basil, chives, coriander, dill, oregano, parsley, rosemary, star anise, tarragon, thyme, bay leaf, peppercorns, onions, carrots. Use fresh herbs when possible and don’t worry about chopping things up. Just stick it in the pot.

    My advice is to do a few poached breasts and a) shred them, using the two-fork method, b) cut 'em into cubes, or c) cut 'em into strips. Freeze the suckers in as flat and sealed a layer as possible (a single layer on that spiffy Glad Press & Seal wrap is perfect, but a zip-top bag works, too), so that they can be swiftly defrosted, or if you're going to use them frozen, little will get stuck together. Then the options are pretty much endless. Stir-fry, potato dishes, salads, chicken pot-pie (we did one in record time last night, since I already had the potatoes and chicken cooked), to name a few.

    Potatoes, chopped and roasted and then frozen in freezer bags, are another huge time-saver. Onions cook quickly; potatoes do not. I can make a pretty quick dinner out of pre-cooked cubed potatoes, pre-cooked cubed chicken breasts, and onions-- served with a) cheese or b) a fried egg (for my Hub) on the top. Very filling.


    • Poaching chickens is my fall back "OMG I forgot to defrost anything for dinner" meal. You can defrost and cook a chicken breast by using the same meathod you mentioned - put the frozen breast in a pan, cover it with 'liquid' and then boil until no longer pink. I then shred the meat (with forks no less) and dump in sugar free BBQ sauce and throw on a slice of toasted Whole wheat bread.. yummy ;)

      By Blogger PartTimeMom, at 5:05 PM  

    • i like this soothing voice thing. it is a really good idea! and sounds effective :)

      (and thanks for the recipe. i did google it but it's better to hear a personal account! hehe)

      By Anonymous dg, at 7:12 AM  

    • Hi Meg! I've been reading your blog for a while now.. thank you for sharing your experiences. I also want to thank you for enlightening me about poaching chicken breasts. I tried it the other day and made a batch of shredded chicken that i found to be less stringy and less dry than when i grilled the chicken breasts. It was even easier when I just took the chicken breast straight from the freezer (adding about 3 minutes to the simmer time).

      I wanted to ask you a question that's somewhat on a tangent. I'm looking for a portable and easy protein source to snack on during the day at work. I see that you've got a link to AllTheWhey on your sidebar. I've tried them before, and I agree they have great prices, but I can't say I'm a great fan of the taste. I saw on one of Naomi's blog entries, you had said that you tried a "low-carb whey-powder drink mix" from Whole Foods. Which brand was it that you tried from Whole Foods? And how did the taste of that one compare to the ATW protein?

      By Anonymous Alan, at 4:38 PM  

    • Of course that poached chicken sounds like it would be good with salads. Thanks for telling us how.

      By Blogger ms ralph, at 6:24 PM  

    • i just found you and read your obligatory first entry. wonderful. i lost a lot of weight and have been struggling ever since. went from 280 to 150, 2 and a half years ago. (no wls) i have gained almost 30 pounds in the past year.

      it's hard to find the right attitude, the right way to think about weight loss maintainence. attitude is everything. i've been wallowing around in "i screwed up my body and now as punishment i don't get to eat much and have to work out A LOT. and it's not fair" .

      i like your attitude and approach. i'll come back and read more later because i think it might help me. thanks, sonda

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:49 PM  

    • Just passing through and so glad i did. Wonderful blog! Going to catch up on your past entrys.

      By Blogger Heidi, at 7:39 PM  

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