HoydenSeek’s Weblog

hoy·den: a boisterous, bold, and carefree girl; a tomboy + seek: to go in search or quest of

Perfect Mix & Match Salad February 23, 2009

Filed under: Food,Health & Beauty — suzanne turner @ 12:20 am

I always crave the same kinds of flavors- complex, contrasting, crunchy, bold, balanced. I have found I can often achieve the correct blend of flavors to satisfy me in a salad. But the formula is nearly always the same, and its nothing new. I first had this type of flavor combination in Marcia Dow’s AMAZING salad years ago. I have lost that recipe and asked her for it again so many times, but now I pretty much have the main points committed to memory because I can’t bear to be without it. Then I had a similar combo at Panera, and now they are doing it everywhere. The basic recipe is always greens + cheese + fruit + nuts + dressing (poppyseed vinaigrette is my favorite and always seems to pair well with these ingredients.) You can add anything and use practially any variety of each component. I add chicken like Panera did in order to get protein, add some warmth and make it a seriously satisfying meal.  Marcia’s salad used candied pecans, feta, and craisins and it is seriously good.  Tonight I used sliced almonds, crumbled gorgonzola, and halved grapes and sliced apples. Then I topped it with chicken that I had cooked stovetop with halved cranberries and sliced onions in 1T butter, about 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, and a splash of real maple syrup and about 1 T honey. I reduced that and let the chicken strips and onions brown all over adding black pepper to taste. I was really just throwing things together hoping it worked, but it turned out exactly as I had envisioned. The gorgonzola is so creamy and delicious. I would say I used about 2 T for a medium-sized salad. The greens were a mixture of green leaf lettuce, red chard, and the “fresh herb mix” from Sprouts’ small box. I always rinse the greens for a minute and then chop into small bite size slices. I think it helps the other flavors mix into the greens easier when they are small, and it’s easier to eat. So I plan to play around with this a lot more and try all the combinations! Here are the basic combos:

Balsamic glaze with turkey breast, chicken, pork chops + strawberries, cranberries, or raspberries

Red or white onions raw or in glaze

Pecans, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts

Apples, pears, plums, grapes- cold and crisp on top

Feta, blue cheese, gorgonzola, goat cheese     

Diet Bonus: You get a good amount of protein, antioxidants, a bit of calcium plus good fats and a limited amount of carbs from the fruits. I try never to add anymore sweetening than is neccesary, which makes this a great way to control your blood sugar, especially late in the day.

In my current self-designed nutrition plan, I try to eat complex carbs mostly in the morning with a little protein, and then swith the ratio the other way throughout the day, adding protein and subtracting carbs as the day progresses. This gives me sustained energy for the day’s activities, and then prevents carbs from storing as fat toward the evening. I also try to stop eating 2-3 hours before bed to keep any remaining carb calories from being stored overnight as fat. That is the reasoning behind the salad as a dinner choice. If I had it at lunch, I would want to have a small bowl of whole grains on the side, like brown rice or barley. They could also just be added to the salad. This never bothers me. I just have to be mindful about adding the right portion size of grains. Usually, I cook a good amount of barley each week to have in the fridge ready to add to soups and such, but I’ve noticed it needs to be used within a day or two. I also just have a few crackers or a bit of granola or cereal. I could also add whole grain croutons, wonton strips, or crumbled Terra chips. I have Terra chips in small portions as a topping or a treat from time to time. I can’t resist them if they’re on sale. The apple slices also give a little bit of low GI carb content.

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The Business of Being Born February 9, 2009

Filed under: Entertainment,Health & Beauty,Very Good Things — suzanne turner @ 12:48 am

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ – Documentary

I gave The Business of Being Born 5 hearts because it is exactly what I want from a documentary: life-changing, enlightening information presented in an interesting way. This film was inspired by Ricki Lake’s (yes, the former talk-show host) experiences during the birth of her first child, when in the hospital she was given little choice in the way the process unfolded. It chronicles several pregnancies of women who have decided to have a certified nurse midwife attend their home births, rather than have a doctor deliver the baby. It is filled with sobering statistics and sensible explanations regarding the correlations between doctor interventions with drugs and the rise in recent years in the number of caesarian sections performed. I think this is something everyone should know about, and this is a great way to find out more. If you have had a child, plan to someday, or know anyone in either of those situations, this should be mandatory. Not everyone may agree completely with the all ideas presented, but having more information with which to make important life decisions is never a bad thing in my opinion.

 

Women’s Health Mag & Barley Salad September 6, 2008

Filed under: Books & Mags,Food,Health & Beauty — suzanne turner @ 2:41 pm

When I was at the airport in Seattle coming home from Aaron & Brenda’s Lovefest, I picked up a couple mags for the flight. Shape, and Women’s Health. First I started flipping through the Shape, and it took a while to get past the ads to any meat. The articles were mainly about products, clothes and accessories, just like any other superficial women’s mag. There wasn’t much solid advice on food or exercise, and I was getting a little bummed and felt ripped off. I could have just bought Cosmo- at least that would have had some juicy stuff too. I’m so glad I also bought Women’s Health! It was everything I had wanted: tons of exercise stuff, interesting news and studies, food and recipes I tried and love, and sultry tidbits similar to those you might find in Men’s Health. It was so awesome and refreshing, and I’m so glad I got it. If I had just grabbed Shape, I would surely be bitter. But I plan to subscribe now to Women’s Health. AND they have a great website where you can grab recipes and stuff you missed! I wish it came out weekly. 🙂

One of the recipes that is now in my regular rotation is a barley salad, a sort of variation on Tabbouleh. I ate it so many days in a row, I had to give it a rest for a little while. Eveyone who tasted it loved it too. I can’t seem to find the recipe right now, but when I do, I’ll update you with it. But now that I’ve made it, I kind of just wing it anyway. It’s cooked barley, lemon juice, parsley, green onions, chopped greens, chopped hazelnuts, olive oil, salt, pepper. I tried walnuts and it was still good, but hazelnuts are better. I love parsley, so I could eat this everyday. I love chopping everything for this, and it is so hearty for a salad- it’s a one bowl dinner. Plus the cooked barley makes this a warm salad which is a nice change. Although it definitely makes a delicious snack right out of the fridge the next day.

 

Asian Acorn Squash Bowls & Banana-berry Muffins June 4, 2008

Filed under: Food,Health & Beauty — suzanne turner @ 4:09 pm

I had never made squash, though sometimes I like it when I have it out. I know that when it’s in tempura, I love it… but anything fried is usually good! So I tried it yesterday, and was pleasantly surpised! Acorn squash is really beautiful, especially when open and filled- its like a natural bowl. One less dish to wash too! 🙂 So I looked around online and tried to figure out what kind of flavor would go well inside, but all I could find suggested was sweet stuff like brown sugar and butter. Now I understand the idea, as it would produce a Thanksgiving marshmallow & sweet potato type combo. But I decided to go spicy, as I usually do. I used red peppers, green onions, mushrooms, carrots and cashews as the filling. Even before it was dressed at all, this simple filling was amazing. I’ll make it again for sure. But it got even better with a little soy sauce, grade b maple syrup, sesame oil, chinese five spice, and crushed red and black pepper. The cashews- yes! Such a perfect touch. I don’t even know how I came up with this idea, but it worked. I want to experiment more with combining the filling ingredients in many different ways now.

Cutting the squash open was the hardest part. You have to scoop out the seeds, like a pumpkin, and it smells like one too. That worried me a little, but it doesn’t have that taste in the slightest when cooked. The texture and taste are somewhat like a sweet potato which was a great suprise. Next time I will probably use the sweet potato fries seasonings I usually use and fill after baking with carmelized onions and maybe steamed spinach.

I also want to experiment with spaghetti squash as a pasta or sort of asian slaw with my new secret weapon salad mix. Today I don’t feel like going to safeway and spending even more. So tonight I plan on making some new sweet potato creation. Maybe a hash…? Hmm. That is if everyone doesn’t convince me to go out. Did I tell you about the balsamic portabello mushroom cap with smoked cheese that we had at Zephyr? Wow. I have to learn how to make that!!! It was unbelievable. That got me really into Balsamic vinegar for a few days too. I love all vinegars though.

So after the squash, the oven was already at 350, so I decided to try a muffin recipe I found which didn’t seem as unhealthy as the one I used last time to make banana bread. Given that banana bread was wonderfully sweet and buttery, an alternantive was badly needed. The healthy recipe was pretty good! It had wheat gern, oat bran, buttermilk and a mashed banana. They came out very moist, and very blue! But everyone loved them.

I’m trying to make better choices now, even if we go out. I’ve been really blowing it when Joel comes down and we go out. This time, I’m planning a picnic at the beach. They have covered table areas right at the shore, so we can go even if it rains. I want to make something with rosemary for sure, as it will recreate the first camping trip we took where we made rosemary red potatoes. I don’t think I’d ever smelled anything so wonderful. Then we have to grill pineapple for dessert like we did that night. I’m craving a little extra romance, and I think that will be the perfect way to get out of the house and into nature. I miss him so much right now, I almost just called the glacier phone to tell him I love him. But it’s sort of only for emergencies. I find it urgent, but that’s probably not what they mean.

That camping meal reminds me: I love cooking with foil, whether camping or at home. You can roast things for a long time without them burning and it really keeps the moisture and flavor in. That’s what I did with the squash. So I want to get a lot more recipes for that method. I still haven’t ventured into the fresh fish available here, which is rather silly. So that’s on the menu soon too. I could do that in foil!

I’ve been thinking of things I used to really enjoy and remembering what the essence was, and what could be taken away. For instance: I used to live on Togos sandwiches- cucumber, avocado, turkey, mustard & mayo on honey wheat. I think I could make this into a great lettuce leaf or spinach tortilla wrap with sliced turkey, cucumber slivers, red onions, greens, and an herbed buttermilk/cream cheese dressing.

I’m in a stage right now in my working out where I feel almost fatter. I know that this is something I’ve had before where it gets worse before it gets better. I feel smaller, my clothes fit better. My boobs are definitely smaller! But I still have to dig for my abs. I hate that. I want to get through this stage this time! So I’m trying everything until something works. I’m trying several smaller workouts throughout the day, along with the smaller more frequent meals. Gillian from BBC’s “You Are What You Eat” (whom I admire and adore) has a strict regimen when she helps people lose weight which includes 20 minute workouts before each meal, which I think is genius. So yesterday I did 40 minutes of aerobics, 30 minutes of pilates, and about a 20 minute evening walk/run. It was actually about 10 o’clock but totally light out still. I’m not a runner, but I think I could get there. I think I could learn to really enjoy it. And I know it works. The most ripped girl I’ve ever met was a runner. She also happened to have incredible style, and was the smiliest, kindest person I think I’ve ever known. I ran into her at Barnes & Noble a few years ago, and she was still with the same guy from high school, whom I never really knew, but always seemed extremely nice also. I was very happy to see them so happy together. Some people have it all. I call it the Carrie Underwood phenomenon. 🙂 Anyways, Lanelle Cox was absolutely ripped. She had these ridiculously muscular thighs, but she was still so feminine. I mean there’s Jennifer Anniston and all those people who can pull it off, but Lanelle was a real person who I actually knew. So I know runninng makes you very fit. And I know its possible to enjoy it immensely. She loved it and did it every day, so that’s what I’m going for now, though I know it will take a while. I think it would be a great way to get out and relax alone, but also it would be great to be able to take a nice jog together with Joel, or my dad. My mom & I really enjoyed our brisk walks. You end up talking about all sorts of things that you probably wouldn’t have if sitting on the couch watching TV. 

Sorry I jump around so much, and that this had turned into a food blog/personal health diary. I thought it was crazy that I was writing so much about food, but I’ve found so many great blogs just about food lately that I know I’m not the only one who obessesses over food. At least I’m starting to get into healthy foods and a bigger variety at the same time as exercise. They have never really aligned before.

Bear reminded me that I should find a tennis court or even just a wall to hit against. Hitting on a wall is very aerobic and fun for me. I can get out so much agression hitting as hard as I can, it really makes me want to move. So that needs to happen for sure. The gym here is super expensive, so hopefully I can find a high school or something instead.

Oooooh, I just learned a new word on Top Chef which is very intriguing: gastrique. That could be a restaurant! It’s a reduction usually with fruit. Sounds amazing in more ways than one! A must-try. Well, I’m determined to watch Jeopardy today, so I better get my chores done before it starts! I’m moving to the other side of the duplex today too! Better get going!

 

This week’s weapons: Willpower & Water…. and eff Wal-Mart! June 3, 2008

Filed under: Food,Health & Beauty,Rants (Politics) — suzanne turner @ 3:18 am

I’m finding lots of challenging opportunities to test my willpower. Eating, shopping- it takes focus. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes… not so much. But I know right after and think of a way to overcome it next time. There’s no use in beating yourself up- just do your best. So a couple days ago a few of the expeditors brought back a tip that was given to everyone and it was decided that we should celebrate by getting 20 spring rolls from Peter’s, the Chinese place down the road. Grrr. They reminded me of lumpia I had many years ago- and never forgot. So maybe its not even Chinese. I don’t know. But these things came in smelling amazing and I knew I had to have one. So then of course I had another one. There was still one there taunting me after everyone had some, and so I ran to find Samantha to give it to her. But she wasn’t there! I was tempted to eat it right there. But I ran until I found someone. And Ron in maintenance was very happy when I found him. Still, I felt yucky after eating the greasy things. So when today another challenge arose- tons of food from Peter’s wafting about, I had none. Then Dan the expeditor noticed I was practicing my willpower, and decided to leave his Maui onion chips lying about for hours, telling me to eat some. I had none. The secret to my success was actually two-fold. I pictured how I would feel after each course of action- guilty and bloaty, or proud of myself and feeling slimmer. Then the real savior was that I have been bringing tons of snacks to have to grab instead. Apples, tea, dark chocolate squares, tricuits, nuts, soyjoy bars, turkey jerky and instant soups have been getting me through. Variety is definitely a big help.  And eating and drinking more rather than less keeps me from that rock bottom where I crave the worst. I have been tempted to buy gadgets lately in order to help me monitor exactly what is happening as far as blood sugar, body fat, lean mass etc. But I resisted that too. 🙂 I read reviews that say they aren’t as accurate as everyone had hoped. Instead, I ordered a few dance & cardio DVDs to add variety to my workouts.

I also stopped buying bottled water, which is purportedly not as clean as I thought, and also wasteful- especially in Juneau where there is no recycling!!! Arrg! So Joel got me that fabulous Sigg bottle and I got a Britta faucet filter. Easy! And the bottle is bigger than the old Aquafina, so I drink more. Plus, those bottled waters are made by practically all sold by Pepsi and Coke, so you can’t get away from them even when you try. You have to think outside the box, but then it clicks. I was sad to see that even the Odwalla juices I enjoy so much are made by Coca Cola. Have you ever googled Coca Cola and seen the staggering number of smaller names they have created and/or engulfed? Do you even want to know?

The trademarks listed below are owned or used under license(*) by The Coca-Cola Company and its related affiliates, as of May 31, 2007. These trademarks may be owned or licensed in select locations only. 
 
A&W Ades Alhambra* Ali
Alive Ambasa Andina Fortified Andina Fresh
Andina Frut Andina Nectar Apollinaris Aqua
Aquabona Aquactive Aquarius Aquana Aquarius
Arwa Aybal-Kin    
Bacardi Mixers* Bacardi Premium Mixers* Bankia Barq’s
Beat Beautia Beverly Bibo
Big Crush Big Tai Bimbo Bimbo Break
Bird’s Nest* Bistra Bistrone Bjare
BlackFire Boco Bogadera Bom Bit Maesil
BonAqua/BonAqa BPM Brazzi Bright & Early
Bubbly Burn    
CAFE ZU caffeine free Barq’s caffeine free Coca-Cola caffeine free Diet Coke/Coca-Cola light
Calypso Canada Dry Cannings Cappy
Caprice Carioca Carver’s Cepita
Chaqwa Charrua Chaudfontaine Cheers
cherry Coke Chinotto Ciel Citra
Club Coca-Cola Coca-Cola Black Cherry Vanilla Coca-Cola Blak
Coca-Cola C2 Coca-Cola Citra Coca-Cola with Lemon Coca-Cola with Lime
Coca-Cola with Raspberry Coca-Cola Zero Cocoteen Coke II
Cresta Cristal Crush Crusta
Crystal      
Daizu no Susume DANNON* DASANI DASANI Active
DASANI Balance DASANI Flavors DASANI Nutriwater DASANI Plus
Delaware Punch diet A&W diet Andina Frut/Andina Frut light diet Andina Nectar/Andina Nectar light
diet Barq’s diet Canada Dry diet cherry Coke Diet Coke/Coca-Cola light
Diet Coke Black Cherry Vanilla Diet Coke Citra/Coca-Cola light Citra Diet Coke Plus Diet Coke Sweetened with Splenda
Diet Coke with Lemon/Coca-Cola light with Lemon Diet Coke with Lime/Coca-Cola light with Lime Diet Coke with Raspberry diet Crush
diet Dr Pepper/Dr Pepper Zero diet Fanta/Fanta light/Fanta Zero/Fanta Free diet Freskyta diet INCA KOLA
diet Kia Ora diet Krest diet Lift/Lift light diet Lilt/Lilt Zero
diet Master Pour diet Mello Yello diet Nestea/Nestea light* diet Oasis
diet Quatro/Quatro light diet Schweppes diet Sport diet Sprite/Sprite light/diet Sprite Zero/Sprite Zero
diet Squirt diet Tai/Tai light diet Vanilla Coke Diva
Dobriy Dorna Dr Pepper  
E2 Earth & Sky Eight O’Clock Eight O’Clock Funchum
El Rayek Enviga* Escuis Eva Water
Fanta Far Coast Finley Fioravanti
Fire Five Alive Flavor Rage Fontana
Fresca Fresca 1 Frescolita Freskyta
Fress Frestea* Frisco Frugos
Frugos Fresh Fruit Solutions Fruitia Fruitopia
Fruktime Frutina Frutonic Full Throttle
Full Throttle Blue Demon Full Throttle Sugar Free    
Georgia Georgia Club Georgia Gold Gini
Godiva* Belgian Blends Gold Peak Gold Spot Golden Crush
Goulburn Valley Grapette Groovy Guaraná Kuat light
Guaraná Kuat Zero      
Hajime Hawai Healthworks Heppinger
Hero Hi Spot Hi-C Hires
Hit Horizon Hot Point Huang
Ice Dew INCA KOLA Ipsei Izvorul Alb
Jaz Cola Jericho Jet Tonic Jolly Juice
Joy Joya Just Juice  
Kapo Karada Meguri-Cha Keri Kia Ora
Kilimanjaro Kin Kinley Kiwi Blue
KMX Kochakaden Kola Inglesa Koumi Soukai
Krest Kropla Beskidu Kuat Kuat light
Kuli Kyun    
Lift Lift Plus Lift Plus light Lilt
Limca Limelite Limonade Linnuse
Lion Love Body    
Maaza Mad River Malvern Mare Rosso
Marocha Master Chill Master Pour Matusov Pramen
Mazoe Mello Mello Yello Mer
Mezzo Miami Mickey Mouse* Migoro-Nomigoro
Minaqua Minute Maid Minute Maid Antiox Minute Maid Deli
Minute Maid Duofrutas Minute Maid Fresh Minute Maid Heartwise Minute Maid Juices To Go
Minute Maid Light Minute Maid Mais Minute Maid Nutri+ Minute Maid Soft Drink
Minute Maid Splash Mireille Mone Montefiore
Morning Deli Mother Mr. Pibb Multivita
Nada Nagomi Nalu Namthip
Nanairo Acha Naturaqua Nature’s Own* Nectarin
Nestea* Nestea COOL* Nestle Choglit* Nevada
Neverfail Next Nico Nordic Mist
Northern Neck      
Oasis Odwalla Olimpija Orchy
Paani Pampa Parle Pearona
Peats Ridge Pibb Xtra Pibb Zero Piko
Pilskalna Planet Java* Play Energy Drink Pocket Dr
Poiana Negri Poms Ponkana Pop
Portello POWERADE POWERADE alive POWERADE AQUA +
POWERADE light POWERADE OPTION Powerplay Pulp
Pump      
Qoo Quatro Quwat Jabal  
Ramblin’ Real Gold Red Flash Relentless
Rich Richy Ripe N Ready Riwa
Rosalta Roses Royal Tru Royal Tru light
Safety First Safia Sahtain Samantha
Samurai San Luis Sarsi Saryusaisai
Schweppes Seagrams* Seltz Sensation
Senzao Shizen* Shock Signature
Sim Simba Simply Lemonade Simply Limeade
Simply Orange Smart Sobo Sokenbicha
Solo Sonfil Soonsoo Southern Sun
Sparkle Sparletta Sparletta Iron Brew Splash
Splice Sport Sprite Sprite 3G
Sprite Flavors Sprite ReMix Spur Squirt
Stoney Ginger Beer Sunfill Supa Surge
Sweecha Swerve    
TaB TaB energy TaB X-Tra TADAS
Tai Ten Ren The Wellness From Coca-Cola Thextons
Thums Up Tian Yu Di Tiky Toka
Top Toppur Top’s Tropi
Tropical Turkuaz    
Urge Urun    
Valpre Valser Valser Viva Vanilla Coke
Vault Vault Zero Vegitabeta VICA
Vita Vital Vital O Vitingo
VIVA!      
Wilkin’s Wink Winnie the Pooh*  
Yangguang Yangguang Juicy T Youki

Amazing, huh? I just think its crazy that these companies sell water. They don’t just sell it, they SELL it. Dasani, Aquafina, Evian… it’s WATER. So, yeah, this has quickly turned from “food” file to “rant” file as well. But come ON! I’m glad Safeway has a decent real health food and bulk section. Marketing has turned health food into a joke. I take my mom’s advice and avoid the middle of the grocery store altogether. The only think you need in the middle is frozen stuff, and even then, you must be careful. I get frozen mangos, edamame, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. The fruits are great for mixing your own yogurt. Yoplait? No way! Yucky sugar. Activia? Umm, yogurt already has good bacteria, “Activia” did not suddenly originate it. Its sad how they prey on us, and still lie so much to make a buck.

Enlightening sites I now feel I should share:

http://www.mcspotlight.org/beyond/

http://www.amnesty.org/

http://www.corporations.org/corplist.html#apparel

http://www.ethicalshopper.com/issues/human-rights.html?page=4

http://www.karmabanque.com/

http://www.knowmore.org/

I haven’t been able to find the one site I was getting a lot of good info from- I remember it being badcorp.org or .com or something, but those are both bogus now. The corplist one is pretty much that same site, it just looked better then. 🙂 It is still very informative though! But anyway, as I’ve shared recently, I’m not always all over it when it comes to strict boycotting, but I’m trying to get there. Correct discipline in every area if life brings abundance in other places I believe. So little by little, it will happen.

 

 

 

New food finds, secrets and switcheroos May 27, 2008

Filed under: Food,Health & Beauty — suzanne turner @ 6:08 pm

Sometimes the simplest answer is the best, but you’d never think of it. Yesterday at work, someone brought popsicles which was weird but cool. And I really wanted one, but I’ve been really good about cutting the extra, refined sugars and so I resisted. I also started thinking about a healthy alternative, because finding a substitute really helps you feel satisfied. A really good site for that I found is hungrygirl.com. I really like that one because she develops ingenious substitutes all the time. While I’m thinking about it, the other sites I’m loving right now are happyfoody.com and the post punk kitchen (theppk.com). Really great recipes! Anyway, the popsicles- when I got home, I decided to try the simplest thing I could think of and it worked. I already had some frozen mango and strawberries in the freezer waiting for smoothie time. Instead of trying to make frozen yogurt sorbet like I did a couple weeks ago (which wasn’t bad either but takes longer) I just took a few chunks of mango out of the bag and threw them in a bowl & sucked on them like a popsicle piece. Totally satisfying, refreshing and sweet just as they are! They last longer and aren’t messy either. 🙂 Another tip I read in a magazine from some celeb is to freeze grapes and suck on those instead of dessert. To me, fruit is dessert. Strawberries need no more sugar than nature gives them. Neither does anything else. A baked apple with just cinnamon is awesome. Figs, dates, raisins- they have sugar but a decent kind. You only need a few to satisfy that sweet tooth. I really don’t have a huge sweet tooth to begin with, so that’s easy. I used order onion rings at Dairy Queen. 🙂 Hmmm, I’m sure there’s a substitute I can come up with for that, or just make it my cheat meal for the week. Damn Twisted Fish- it’s so goood. But this reminds me: eating small meals all throughout the day is really helping me not overeat, and avoid bad stuff. I used to go in a cycle of nothing for hours, then I’m starving let’s hit the drive-thru fast! So now, I never get overly hungry and cranky and so I don’t crave terrible things. Well, it’s going to take vigilence and effort to keep up on it. I had one slip up at Twisted Fish, which was my cheat meal, but I want to cut out even the cheat meal, or make it just one cheat item or so a week. I know what happened: I was very hungry when I got home from work, so I probably hadn’t had enough to eat that afternoon. Then we waited a bit for people to get ready and decide where to go. Then they seated us pretty quickly which was suprising because it was a busy Friday night at the docks. But then, I got shakier and crankier as they took no less than 30 minutes to bring us any food. By the time I even ordered, I went straight for the onion rings, halibut sliders again- which come with curly fries and, tartar and watermelon. THEN Joel and I had dessert. Instead of sharing, we EACH had a Turtle pie thing. Then we both felt gross. Same thing a few nights later. Waited too long, walked around trying to pick a place, settled on Canton House. I love Asian food, but Asian food out always sounds like a good idea, but the MSG or whatever chemicals and crap they use makes me unbelievable bloaty and fat feeling. So I really have to make sure to get enough protein, carbs, and water steadily so that my mind doesn’t go to the bad stuff. We decided if we go out here, we should just go to Subway, and most nights we should just make something at home. When I want chips, I have a few Terra chips- they are exotic vegetable chips baked with olive oil. I also found Annie’s Sour Cream & Onion, or Cheddar Bunnies. These are awesome for little snacks. Then there’s Pirate’s Booty, Pirate’s Cannonballs, and Veggies Booty. Instead of having salsa with chips, I eat a chunky salsa with a spoon or fork. When I want something hot and buttery, I have edamame in shells, just like Kim & I would share on sushi nights. Or baked sweet potato chunks with a little olive oil, paprika, cayenne pepper and seasoned salt and pepper. Soooo amazing.

The new veggies I’m going to grab next grocery trip are acorn squash, lima beans, and maybe an eggplant. I haven’t had good luck with eggplant or tofu in the past, but I’m not quite ready to give up yet. I’m also going crazy with making my own marinades and salad dressings. Olive oil and balsamic vinegar are new must-haves for my Meditteranean diet kick.

I was considering doing the “master cleanse” I’ve read about for a few days. That is where you make a lemon-water drink and add organic grade B maple syrup, and cayenne pepper. Then you have nothing but that concoction for a number of days. The more I read about it, the more I’m inclined to change my mind. I may do it for a day or two, but not 7-10 like they suggest. It’s not a diet, but a detox process. The idea is to give your system a break from digestion in which the systems cleans out and resets. I know that fasting a day or two now and then is very good for the body, but then on the third day, I will be adding yogurt and smoothies. I want to keep good bacteria and I think you need some protein too. I don’t think I have too much that needs serious detox. I haven’t had beef but a few times in the last few years, which is the main colon culprit. I avoid processed foods and sugars and stopped absolutely all soda about a month ago. I used to only have soda when I went out, but now I just have water. I don’t really miss it. And if I do want it, it’s never laying around for me to grab because I don’t buy it. If I need caffeine I have green tea. I have learned to love pomegranate juice, and green superfood smoothies. Joel got me an awesome aluminum sigg bottle which fits right on my purse caribeaner and goes with me everywhere. So as long as I drink enough water, and get protein, good carbs, and exercise, I’m doing fine. I’m glad I discovered the organic grade B maple syrup though. It is absolutely delicious- smoky, woody, sweet. It has a lot of vitamins and minerals. I love it.

After cutting the soda, I had to cut the duck farts out. Sad but true. I was enjoying a little “dessert” here and there when I first got here. It’s the true Alaskan drink and it combines all my favorite liquors: Baileys, Kahlua, and Crown. It’s creamy, choclatey and delicious. It’s like a white russian which I also love, but am not indulging in either. Then Robbie, one of our roommates here introduced me to the brave bull, a mixture of Tequila and Kahlua. Intersting indeed. It tastes like… Kahlua and tequila. Strange. But I’m not having any more. Major calories sneak onto the belly through drinks. I’ll only have a duck fart when at the Red Onion in Skagway, I’ve decided, which may be a while. Now about once a week I have a shot of port, slowly enjoyed with a square of 70% cacao dark chocolate. Very nice. Also, I break off the square, and put the rest of the bar away right away so its not sitting in front of me. Even better, you can get the pre-packaged Ghiradelli squares which you can take to work as dessert too.

When those times come at night especially when I just want to eat, eat bad stuff, and a lot of it, I have a bit of something, wait and drink some water, a little bit more and repeat. And when its just time to stop eating, I brush my teeth and/or put on some lip gloss. Sephora has new glosses with FUZE juice flavors that are supposed to curb appetite. I haven’t noticed a huge difference, but I sure feel like eating less when I’m wearing gloss at all. Burt’s Bee’s lip balm has minty oils that give you that teeth-brushed feeling and signals time to quit the binge. So I keep those very handy. And my lips are very healthy! Just drinking more water will make your skin look and feel better. When I need SPF for the glacier, I love Juice Beauty’s 3-pack of tinted lip moisturizers, which smell like popsicles and are around $15. From Sephora of course.

Today, I did 40 minutes of Pilates and then only got through about 30 minutes of Plyo, but I feel great now. Nearing my limit during Plyo, I got that sick, hot feeling you get when the gym teacher made you run too far. But it was nice to feel again. I just took it easy cooling down a few minutes and then had some water. I feel so loose after Pilates. I tried my old favorite yoga video the other day, but didn’t get all the way through. But I remember when I first started it before that it only takes a few days to get back into it. So I’ll keep at it. I just need some handweights to start on my arms. So far, I’m just working up to more push-ups.

If I do end up doing the cleanse, I’ll keep you posted. I made the drink today in my thermos, and I think it will be great for sipping through the day. I used less maple syrup because I’m still eating food- don’t want to add too many calories. There are so many reviews on the web, good and bad. I want to see for myself. 🙂 We’ll see! Bye for now.

 

What I’m Eating…what I’m trying not to, and what’s eating me May 22, 2008

Filed under: Food,Health & Beauty,Travel — suzanne turner @ 1:33 am

So I have been trying new things lately because it perks up my day and broadens my horizons, culinary and otherwise. And in my search I have found a few staples that now I don’t know how I lived before without. I’m trying to add protein, fiber, and good fats while cutting sugar, bad fats and chemicals. I’m eating small meals frequently with tea or water in between each. Each time I shop, I try to pick up something I’ve never had or seldom buy. So far, I’ve grabbed a daikon radish, pasnips, red radishes, garbanzo beans, and bok choy. Next I’m going to try tomatillos, textured vegetable protein and tofu. I’ve also been doing plyometrics, pilates, dance aerobics and walking a few miles a day. Though the pounds aren’t falling off, I’m reminding myself they didn’t fly on overnight either. Both ways, they creep. I feel much better already; now I just want to really firm and tighten, and have lots of energy. (I already see a significant improvement both in my energy and my mood and attitude.) I would also like to define the muscles in my arms. Even when I was playing a lot of tennis, these muscles were fairly big and strong, but never as cut as I would have liked. Mind you back then, I was prone to get into eating contests at fast food joints and fell into many a pizza and red vine movie night. Then dating Joel is a foray into our shared love of food night after night. We tried to eat well, but boy was it hard when we love to sit, eat and talk- especially out. And especially late night Any-bertos drive thrus. He even got me eating dessert(s!) after an already over-the-top dinner. We love to share food, but right now were sharing a body-conscious guilt that doesn’t feel good. We love each other no matter what, of course. But loving ourselves is often not quite as easy. Ergo, vis a vis- time to put some extra effort into it.

Nobody really likes being a .5er. A “point fiver” at my job is what we call a person who takes up a seat & a half in the helicopter, hence they are 1.5 rather than 1 in the books. It’s also generally used to speak of a person who’s obviously overweight. Sad but true- every job has its ascenine ways of passing the time, and so often its gossiping about the customers. In the hospitality/tourism industry, its like shooting fish in a barrel, making fun of the tourists. Its usually not mean-spirited, but just silliness among coworkers stuck in an office while others are vacationing. It’s like Office Space, or Waiting, or sometimes…Clerks. And there are quite a few point fivers. Some are tall and muscular, some are just plain overweight, and some are stout, muscular, and with a little of the soft stuff. (Just goes to show that the body mass index is useful, but not a real tool when measuring health.) Men generally don’t mind and don’t give a second thought to writing or telling their weight. But women! Oh, the women. It’s rather curious: whether on the phone, in front of me thinking about how much they can lie without getting caught, or standing on the scale and writing while covering the card, they are always embarrassed and secretive. At any weight, at any age, they do NOT want anyone seeing that helicopter manifest. Like I give a flying eff- it’s a small aircraft that needs to be balanced- do you really want to lie about that? And we will make them get on the scale if its iffy- a point fiver is charged 1.5 fare, which adds up! They just LOVE that. They’ve lied up to 90 LBS to try to avoid the charge before! Anyway, its a funny thing I witness on a daily basis.

As my adorable friend Debbie Dow-Howard used to say, “Um, okay, back to me?!” It probably doesn’t help that I show extra love through cooking and baking lately. I made a carrot cake for Joel (which because of scheduling shenanagans turned into everyone else’s cake) for his birthday, but luckily had a key lime cheesecake recipe given to me by one beautiful newlywed, Brenda Turner! (Congratulations, Lovebirds!) And it came out rather nicely! (Though because of that crazy schedule, it got crumbled and stuffed into party cups, covered in foil and sent up to the glacier, some cups full of raspberry sauce, some just cheesecakey goodness.) Hopefully he enjoyed it nonetheless. For his birthday dinner during his 12 hours down with me, I splurged on BBQ ribs, and he on filet mignon at The Hangar, a nice but casual (as everything in Juneau is) steak & seafood joint overlooking the cruise ships docking and leaving, turning on their pretty little twinkle lights at dusk. 

I made Cecile’s amazing lasagna recipe, which was awesome. Not as good as hers, of course. He was happy, but not as much as if she’d made it. Which I’m ok with. ‘Cause she’s magical. I made hummus for the first time the other day, which is such a wonderful, easy protein-packed snack. And so much fresher, better and more economical than buying the little container at Vons.

Last night I invented a pizza-bake in which I threw all the veggies & stuff I love on pizza (I used red onions, green peppers, pineapple, olives, three italian cheeses, and my first homemade marinara) all in a Pyrex dish and baked it for a while. It really was pizza without the guilt! There’s a gooood pizza delivery place here which people grab for lunch and get you really wanting it. So this is a nice craving squelcher to have at the ready. And cutting the fresh pineaaple was pure delight. I was dancing and singing to oldies and savoring each little last bit I could get off the core. I was as happy as I could be, without my Prince Charming around. Today one of the girls at work laughed as I enjoyed my snap peas, and said “with you, everything’s ‘delicious!'” And I smiled and took it as a compliment. I do try to enjoy and appreciate little things. To share a favorite quote of Joel & mine from the quirky film Eagle vs. Shark, “some people in the world don’t have sleeping bags.” It’s what we say to each other to gently remind: We have everything we need. We are warm, and fed, and we our health, we have each other. And it makes us smile and puts things in perspective.

This is a good mantra for me right now. When I got to Alaska, I realized I’d packed in organized chaos- I tried to bring the right stuff, but its hard to know exactly what that is before you go there a time to two. The lack of a lot of my favorite clothes mixed with a lack of favorite stores to pick up a girly pick-me-up drove me to an online shopping spree, the likes of which my bank account had never seen. My closet here is secretly filled with shipped boxes full of tissue paper and ripped off tags. (Now the cat’s out of the Sephora satchel.)  Every day for a while was like Christmas. Packages were literally arriving every day. Once my tax return was blown through and I still was finding things “I needed,” I started to wonder what I’m trying to compensate for. What void am I trying to fill, really? Well, I really like stuff is the easy answer. Which is true. I love Sephora, Express, Victoria’s Secret (clothes, not lingerie) and REI. I dreamed of being at Sephora the other night. A super-knowledgeable, fun & yet somewhat bitchy gay man was helping me pick out one of those new brushes with mineral powder inside. But when I got it home, the bristles all started falling out. When I woke up, I though nothing of it and reveled in the thought of shopping. But then I started to dissect it, as I do everything. And I started to wonder if its not a symbol, a lesson: I like buying new, quality things. I like the experience, opening it, smelling & feeling it, and folding the packaging. But soon, I often find something imperfect about it. Or I rarely end up using it, or I tire of the scent. I bought a shirt before we left at REI which I loved so much, I then bought a second in another color. And the other day, I was searching the net for a thrid. Why would I not go downstairs and get the ones I already own out of the dryer and be done with it? Its something I’m overcoming slowly through logic and self-inflicted guilt trips. Those two favorite shirts for instance- there are some people who only have one or two shirts and they appreciate them. These particular shirts are also NIKE, and so were probably made by overworked, underpaid people forced to take a factory job or risk starvation. Buying two was too many. Counseling myself in this way is keeping me in the middle road- somewhere between overindulgence and self-deprivation. I’m limiting myself to $50 a month at Sephora.com. 🙂 Hey, I’m working my butt off. A girl’s got to keep some fun in her life. They really get me with the samples- spend $50 and not only is shipping free, but you get to choose 3 samples! How I adore them! And every hundred bucks and you get a deluxe sample- a bigger version or a super spendy product they want to hook you on. Plus, I like putting on a little cologne before bed and pretending Joel’s head is on his pillow as I breathe. Current fave: Ralph Lauren Polo: Double Black. And for me: Kenzo: Amour. Creature comforts. Small luxuries.

I’ve made sweet potato fries twice, upon popular demand. They are deeelish. And good for you. I love sweet potatoes!!! And Joel hates them, so I get my fill while he’s up on the ice. 🙂 These veggies are packed with vitamin A, and way less starchy than the white ones. They need absolutely nothing added to make them wonderful, and toting one to work and popping it in the microwave at lunchtime (though it makes you look like kind of a weirdo) couldn’t be easier. I love having something warm and comforting, and boy does this hit the spot time after time!   

I tried a green smoothie as I found a recommendation for having one daily on a great raw website. Feeling adventurous, I blended blueberries, bok choy, and an apple. When you put an apple in, it doesn’t matter what elase is there, it tastes pretty good! It tasted very fresh and “green” – a little like very sweet wheatgrass. I love wheatgrass and miss it a lot. So discovering I could sort of make my own green was really nice. It’s not nearly as good the next day from the fridge, so next time I’ll make less. The produce here, like everything else is really expensive! The blueberries were $5.89 for a VERY small plastic container. The smallest container for berries you can picture. But I guess you’d probably pay that for a big mac & supersized fry here too. I’ll definitely experiment more with that. I like blending the smoothie a lot more than juicing- it leaves a little pulp & stuff, but that way you still get the fiber and all the nutrients in the skin. I’ve read that one of the drawbacks of an all-raw food diet is that people may have dental problems later (because of too much fruit I suppose.) But studies found that when more greens were added to the smoothies, there was hardly any trouble. I also try to brush right after- which you may as well do while you make sure there’s no bok choy bits in your chompers.

As for Alaska, it’s very different. We’re surrounded by water, mountains PACKED with trees, and the spirits of animals and natives of years past. The fog is dense and low, hanging heavy in the treetops, obscuring the mountains completely. And then it may lift, and it may not. When it does, it is so crystal clear and sparkling and green, its unbelievable. One day walking home from work, I almost cried at the beauty of it. I think I’d like to experience other parts of Alaska after this; one’s that have no cruise docks. Juneau is certainly small compared to San Diego, but it’s way too bustling for a lot of Alaskans to consider true Alaska. It’s so small for so many people. If you drive in any direction, you’ll reach the end of the road or a bridge to another island all too soon. But it’s very fun in a way. Whether you want to or not, you’ll probably see a few people you know on the way to anywhere, and then the rest of the people you know are there when you get where you’re going. There are only so many places to go here. There are a few motels, and one overpriced pretty B&B I’ll maybe try once. I definitely want to start kayaking. I can see that being our next big spend when we’ve got the dough. I’ve always wanted to live near a lake and go out on the water all the time. It’s been in my ultimate picture in my mind for a while. Now I want to start painting that picture. A house off the beaten path, but now too far from town. A nice yard we can till together, and eventually a baby or two. Staying happy, active, adventurous and continuing to travel some even after a baby comes; that will be the ultimate. Having a house would be the ulimate. A place to get away that we can fix up and really make our own.  That’s the dream. I’m going to be 27 in a few months! I’ve got to really start working toward it. But I already have a good deal of it figured out, which I’m super happy about. I’ve graduated college, and met the man of my dreams which is more than I had dreamed could really happen. The rest is icing on the cake as far as I’m concerned. Mmmm icing. 😛 …. No, no icing! Bad Suzy!