I Am That Girl Now

Monday, December 04, 2006

I accept my laziness. I just work around it.

I am a weekend cook. Or rather, as I informed my Hub yesterday, I am more of a weekend sous-chef; I prep stuff that will be actually cooked during the week. There's a bit in one of the Kathleen Daelmans books (or possibly on her show, I forget) where she says that if at all humanly possible you should prep your fresh produce as soon as you get it home. Since there's no prep to be done in terms of fruit (it's clementine season, what more do you need?), this meant that I brought home a righteous ton of fresh veggies and prepped the hell out of them. As such, they're all in a state that my Hub feels comfortable with grabbing them out of the fridge and preparing a nice vegetable side dish for us on a nightly basis.

Item one: BROCCOLI. I make no secret of my love for roasted broccoli. I cut it up into small florets, peel and cut up the stems, and put it all in a zip-lock bag. My Hub has now learned how to roast the broccoli (and did it last night, hooray!): throw a tablespoon of olive oil in the bag with the broccoli, add kosher salt (thank you, Alton Brown) and grind some black pepper in there, seal the bag, shake, spread out on a cookie sheet, and bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. I swear to God we eat this stuff like it's potato chips. We went through two heads of broccoli this weekend alone.

Item two: SWEET POTATOES. I asked my Hub how I should prep 'em, and he said that if I peeled and cubed 'em then he'd be all set for roasting or steaming and then possibly mashing or using in something else. I have yet to see how this will turn out, but I've got two lovely yammies peeled and cut up and tucked in a plastic bag.

Item three: BRUSSEL SPROUTS. Ah yes. This is an experiment, on the theory that the wretched versions of brussies we've had were ruined via wet cooking. This time they have been scrubbed, an X cut in the bottom so that that bit will cook just as fast as the leaves, and are now tucked in a plastic bag awaiting the same roasting treatment that we give the broccoli.

Item four: CARROTS & PARSNIPS. Peeled, chopped up, bagged. In theory they shall also be roasted, but I don't dare say what my Hub will randomly decide to do with the things. We shall see.

Item five (not for dinners): CARROTS. Peeled, cut up, put into snack-sized plastic baggies. Grab-and-go in the morning for worktime snack.

Next week: SQUASH. I have yet to play with squash, but I feel strongly that I ought to. I may also venture into green beans and asparagus and fennel; who knows. Broccoli and sweet potatoes will probably return.

I also bought and chopped up another pineapple. I'm getting better at doing this; last week I carved off the outside too shallowly, which meant I had to do a second pass to get the little spiney eyes off. There is a seedless cucumber on my counter which needs to be cut into rounds for hummus dipping, which also indicates that I need to make hummus or some other form of bean dip. And POMEGRANATES. Lately I am enamored of pomegranates. I spent a merry half-hour yesterday coaxing the seeds out of one of them, and then ate them all. I have no shame. I do, however, have rims of purple under my nails from this extravegance.

My Hub has got me into the habit of weighing myself just about all the damn time, which I must admit gives me a much more balanced picture of how my body works. I've got a three- or four-pound range, the bottom of which happens on an empty stomach, fresh from a trip to the bathroom, and usually veering into dehydrated territory; the top of the range has me full and hydrated. I am not at a weight. I am in a range. The point is to have the range slowly maneuver downward. Thus far, it is slowly maneuvering downward, and the topmost of my two-tummies has deflated so the dreaded muffin-top effect is no longer happening with my pants.

For the record, I am still not counting a damn thing when it comes to calories. I am eating five or six times a day, trying to put a bit of protein in each time, concentrating on good carbs and lean protein, still shunning sugar and "white" foods (white bread, white rice, potatoes, etc.). Lots of fruits and veggies. I have to say, since I dropped sugar out of the equation things have become a lot easier; my energy levels are more constant, my weight doesn't fluctuate half so much, it's easier to concentrate, and best of all the urge to binge is gone. FUCK SUGAR. My Hub asked what he should put in my Christmas stocking this year; he thought maybe some high-class chocolates-- to which I said NO. Pomegranates and fancy fruits, please. Maybe some walnuts or such.

I am limping toward caffeine-free. The latest teas I've purchased have been decaf.

I keep having an argument in my head with our fat-and-calorie-counting-only friend. My Hub was telling her about protein powder and the shakes he makes with it, and all she asked was "does it have calories?" YES, IT HAS CALORIES. GOOD-FOR-YOU FOODS HAVE CALORIES. EAT THEM INSTEAD OF THE LOW-FAT JUNK FOODS AND YOU WILL FEEL BETTER AND PROBABLY LOSE WEIGHT. ALSO, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, EXERCISE. YES, IT TAKES UP TIME IN YOUR DAY. SO DOES BATHING. BOTH ARE NECESSARY. JESUS EVERLOVING CHRIST, WOMAN, THIS IS NOT ROCKET SURGERY. Argh. I have listened to this friend complain about her weight for five years and watched her go on diet after diet without ever changing her approach, and I am over it. I have read God only knows how much information from a bazillion sources and tried a lot of different stuff. If what she's doing worked for her, that would be absolutely fine-- it's different for everybody-- but it doesn't. This may be a clue. ARGH.

Anyway. Ahem. Back to our regularly scheduled program.

We have flaxseed in the house, of the ground variety. It is now hunkered in the fridge. What the heck, I may as well keep clobbering my bad-cholesterol levels with whatever I can. My Hub is dubious, but he'll get the hang. He recently discovered that the yolkless eggs-in-a-carton (Egg Beaters or your personal brand of choice) are low-calorie ways to get protein; granted, I have been using this for quite some time but apparently he never read the nutrition stats. Now that he knows what he's been missing, he's suddenly been making many fritattas and omlettes. Since that means that he throws in vegetables, too, I'm all for this.

I have discovered that http://nutritiondata.com/ has a tool for letting you put together your own recipes and see how they do, nutrition-wise. THIS IS AWESOME. It has awesome graphs that show how healthy/filling your recipe is, how it does in terms of nutrients, how you're doing in terms of complete protein, the glycemic load, if it's anti-inflammatory, all that jazz. I am delighted. I had a pretty good idea that the beef stew I made yesterday would be low in fat, high in protein and dietary fiber, and pretty nutritious, but it's nice to see it all diagrammed, you know? I'm also thrilled to have found their Daily Needs calculator, which also includes info for pregnant/lactating women (eventually, I'll probably need that). If its calculation of my daily needs is accurate, it's no wonder I'm losing weight; I only have a vague idea of how many calories I consume in a day, but I'm sure it's less than 2500.

Oh, I forgot: the Get Ripped! with Jari Love DVD review. Very nice. Can be done with barbells or dumbbells, of which currently I have the dumb ones; I tried it once with my Hub's bench and disliked the bench intensely, so now I'm using my exercise ball under my back and giving myself extra ab & glute work. It hits triceps, biceps, shoulders, back, glutes, abductor & adductors, thighs, and abs. I am currently sad that I am a wuss, but since I've only done this thing three times now, I live in hope of increasing the weights in a week or two. The first time through I thought I might die (it's 55 minutes long), but it's already getting easier to deal with. My Hub has his own resistance training, but he watches the DVD when I'm working out, and he has started incorporating some of the moves into his program (and is now very sore on account of it; apparently he'd been missing those muscles). Thumbs up.

I am conducting an experiment today on the population of our office. On a regular basis during this season, people bring in sugary sweets and leave them out in the kitchen for people to come and sample. They're usually gone by noon. I grabbed an extra box of clementines when I was at Trader Joe's yesterday and brought it to work today; it's now sitting in the kitchen, having been checked through for any mouldy peels. Personally, I'm guessing that it will still be half-full by the end of the day. If not, though, I will be a happy girl.



  • Excellent veggie ideas, particularly the roasted broccoli! Thanks!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:38 AM  

  • oh wow! i gotta try that roasted broccoli! and the vegie prep does sound like the way forward.

    and i'm glad you mentioned the jari dvd, i've heard so many great things!

    fuck the sugar... wohoo!

    By Anonymous dg, at 1:01 PM  

  • Oh, dude, if you like roasted broccoli you MUST do cauliflower. Only break it into tiny tiny pieces and roast it at 450 for 35-40 minutes, until the smallest pieces are thoroughly brown. It is the best thing ever.

    Roasted brussels sprouts may be the second best thing -- try marinating in a balsamic vinaigrette before roasting, then throwing in some walnuts for the last few minutes in the oven.

    I'm enjoying reading about your sugarless life, in a spirit of anthropological amazement. Kind of how I felt about The Martian Chronicles.

    By Blogger JM, at 9:33 PM  

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