Grapefruit for Breakfast

I’ve been thinking about resolutions and suchlike for the last little while. I’m about to embark on a fairly life-altering diet plan (life-altering in the sense that I’m doing this to alter my interaction with food in a big way). And I’m thinking about why I’m doing this.

I haven’t always been overweight, as a very young child I was pretty well regular sized. But marching into puberty (which we all remember with fondness and joy. . . Right. . .), kinda messed up my metabolism as it can for girls and I got heavier. I’ve never gotten really big, cause I’ve never been fully sedentary, but I’ve certainly always had issues with how many pounds I was carrying around with me. It didn’t help to have a grandmother who’d exclaim “Why you so fat?!?” at me every time she saw me. (of course. pots and kettles. I get my Eastern European farmer-peasant physique from her side of the family. if you know what I mean. . .).

I’ve worked through the psychological issues to some extent (I’m still not a fan of the terms “fat”, “chubby”, and “hefty”. but “zaftig” is a great one. so, I’m progressing), with occasional lapses. For instance, about a year and a half ago, I was getting pretty depressed about my unemployment which led to me kinda giving up on going to the gym regularly. Which then had the net effect of me balooning. Well, “balooning” is probably being overly dramatic, but that’s how it felt at the time. Nothing I owned fit right anymore, and I just got more and more discouraged. And it did end up affecting my relationship with the boyfriend a bit at the time (though our forthright relationship definitely helped in that respect). Plus, right around the same time, I got hosed by the CRA (the bastards. erm. maybe I shouldn’t say that on the Internet. . . Ah well.) so I had massive sudden financial woes too.

And I’ve always turned to food for comfort. Luckily, I mostly prefer the making of than eating of food, so I didn’t get really unfit. But I definitely had my fair share. And a bit extra.

But then I got my job last summer, and that’s led to a year of employment, so I’m in a better place financially. And I gave myself a kick in the ass and started swimming more again and going to the gym regularly. And it’s paid off, to some extent, and I’ve definitely worked off the majority of what I gained, and several inches gone has made my closet a friendlier place.

But. And there’s always a but. It seems, that once I was able to relax a little, my body decided that that was it. So I’ve been struggling with minor health issues for the last year or so. Some things have been there prior to this period, but they’ve intensified unpleasantly. And adding more exercise isn’t quite doing the whole trick. So, diet plan! Because, while I generally eat fairly healthily, I do still indulge cravings. Mostly in the carb department. So starting July 9th, I’m going to be trying out the Whole Living 2012 Healthy Living Action Plan thingy. Hopefully it’ll help me decipher what my body does and doesn’t want to be consuming, and I’ll also be able to think more thoroughly about my relationship with food and how I eat.

That’s not to say I’ll stop reading my favourite food blog, nor making the tasty treats she makes, but I’m probably going to be more conscientious about what I eat and the role it plays in my life.

 

This is all feeling like one big First World Problems, amiright? But I think a major problem, in North America especially, is our relationship with food. The amounts we eat, the amounts of unhealthy food we eat, the amount of food we waste, the lack of knowledge about where our food comes from and how to cook simple and healthy and tasty meals. I’m so lucky to be where I am, I have so many advantages that the majority of the human population will never see, and yet I have periods of boredom and self-centredness, and I’ve noticed that “the blahs” are starting to run my life. And I want to stop that in it’s tracks. I want to live life to the fullest, to the best of my abilities. And take charge of my health and well being.

Life is a huge gift, and I want to stop looking that gift horse in the mouth. And this is my way of kicking myself in the ass and getting to it, instead of talking about it endlessly.

 

So this week and next week, I’m going to go to the gym every day after work (yup, EVERY day. well, except for the holiday Monday coming up), I’m going to take the stairs (10 flights!) to work every day, and I’m going to start weaning myself off of the foods I’m going to be avoiding during the cleanse so that I”m ready to start. And I’m so excited! I’m not expecting an earth-shattering revelation, nor a total mind-body transformation. Cause that’s kind of dumb/hokey in my opinion. But I just can’t wait to feel excited when I wake up in the morning. To greet the day with energy instead of a groan and a roll over and a hit that snooze button 17 times. And this is one step to that end.

 

So I had a grapefruit for breakfast. And it was marvelous.

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Acceptable Uses of Houndstooth

Yeah. Don’t like houndstooth. Especially if it’s printed and in stark black and white. Like this:

Fleece houndstooth? WTF??

From Fabric.com

(And don’t ask me why it was printed on fleece of all things. Houndstooth is a fairly conservative and dressy pattern. Fleece is the antithesis of dressy. WTF??) Other colour combinations are preferable. And proper woven houndstooth is the best option.

Anyway, I recently came across an acceptable use of houndstooth:

Current progress on the Teknika gloves

Nothing like non-standard colour choices to help me change my mind 🙂 Probably also the simplified design too. . .

You can find the pattern here, at Knitty.com. If you’re a knitter, and don’t know about Knitty, you’re welcome!! There are actually a few great patterns in that issue, so check the rest of the issue out too! Nothing like freely available patterns, amirit?!? I’m also currently mid-progress on the Vines cardigan, from the Fall 2010 issue, in an excruciatingly gorgeous teal coloured yarn.

Sorry about the overly dark image. . .

It looks pretty navy here, but believe me – gorgeous! I also am mixing the teal wool with a lovely variegated blues and purples wool I found on etsy:

Looks MUCH blue-er in real life

And here’s the colour card for the teal yarn I’m using from the Berroco website. It’s actually (from my monitor anyway) pretty accurate to the real colour:

A photo on the web can't even come CLOSE to how gorgeous this colour is.

And before your start wondering why this blog is called “My life in food and music“, I’d like to share the last two baking projects of mine. That’s right! It’s time to see the final products of my Wine & Cheese baking!

Here are the Bourke Street Brownies, with the genius (if I do say so myself) substitution of dried cherries:

Definitely Sinful. . .

They’re at least twice as tasty as they appear in this photo. And they vanish quickly too, which makes me happy 😀  They’re almost entirely chocolate, so they’re definitely melt-in-your-mouth.

And here’s the phyllo appetizer I made:

The tasty innards mixture!

Phyllo might be an ass to work with, but it's sure worth it!

These also miraculously vanished at the speed of light. It’s quite simple too – sautée a bunch of sliced shallots with as much garlic as you like (lots, if you’re like me. . .), add roughly chopped mushrooms of whatever varieties you like (about a pound), then add a cup or so of white wine (whatever you like to drink), and cook covered for a few minutes. Take some sundried tomatoes you’ve soaked in hot water (to plump them up), chop them, and add to the mushrooms. Cook the mixture, stirring occasionally until the liquid has almost completely evaporated, but before the mixture has started to stick resolutely to the pan. Mix together with chopped parsley and basil (however much you like) and add a bunch of panko breadcrumbs and grated parmesan cheese, and season to your taste. Let it cool and then make it up like spanakopita (use the Smitten Kitchen’s recipe – works well for me. Though I use olive oil, instead of melted butter, as a nod to healthfulness. . .).

And, on the music side of things, I’ve been madly learning my part for a piece we’re going to sing in a couple of weeks:

(this is my first video post, so hopefully it works. . .)

I’ve been listening to this recording nearly nonstop for the last few days. Nope, not obsessed at all. Not me. Nuh uh. . .

We, obviously, won’t be having instrumentalists as it’s just us singers. But nevertheless it’s such a gorgeous piece and I’m beyond thrilled we’re going to attempt it!! We’re actually going to be rehearsing this coming Friday (also playing Catan!), looking at things for the Lenten season, and the ATB/TTBB stuff we’re going to sing on Ash Wednesday since our lovely soprano will be off in New York that week. We’ll also be looking at Ronan’s Tenebrae, which are liquid in their gorgeousness. Cannot wait!

I have a substandard Valentine’s Day planned – doctor’s appointments – and an interview on Wednesday to look forward to as well (I’m not at all nervous, why do you ask?), so the Love Day itself isn’t really on my radar. Plus, with the boyfriend’s insane schedule, it’s unlikely we’ll be able to spend time together tomorrow. . . Ah well, our anniversary is in a month, it’s not like Valentine’s has an enormous place in our hearts . . .

How about you, Dear Internet? Any chocolate-based plans for tomorrow?

One more things. . .

I almost forgot!!!

I have one more area in which I’d like to resolve to be the best me I can be:

6) Procrastination Issues? What Procrastination Issues??

– try to stop putting things off in the hopes that they will magically do themselves. Cause they end up either getting massively horrible to accomplish, or good opportunities fizzle into nothng. Both of which suck. Massively. So, stop it. Dumbface.

– post to the blog more often. Cause I keep meaning to, but having a nap is so much more enticing.

– be better about finishing projects once started, and starting projects that need to be accomplished in a timely manner

That’s it, for now. Over and out!

Another Newfoundland Post – i.e. Photo dump!!

Yes that’s right!! More Newfoundland Photos!!

The second full day, I got up early and made the braided lemon bread from You-Know-Where in the morning. Using a paper towel roll covered in waxed paper for my rolling pin. . . I’m going to try this recipe again in less rustic conditions, but it turned out really well!

We went to Witless Bay, just south of St. John’s, to go on a whale and puffin tour. We saw fin whales and humpbacks (a mom and her kid), lots of seagulls, puffins, and common murres. And a poop-covered island. It was an AWESOME boat ride!! Though one of the guys got super-sea-sick and it wasn’t too fun for him 😦

We then went to Cape Spear which is the most easterly point in North America. And there were pretty lighthouses, flowers, and a (less pretty) WWII battery. We went to St. John’s for dinner, which was great – I had really nice scallops.

You know, Dear Internet, my Newfoundland memories are getting that misty glow that only some time elapsed can give. I want to go back and see more of the island, and hike in Gros Morne. Maybe next year.