Monday, March 22, 2010

Attack of the Green Monster (and a bunch of links)

I am on vacation today- well, sitting in my living room recovering from the weekend and the passage of healthcare reform!

I just got back from Boston. I went Friday morning and got back last night. It was a great trip. I got to spend a lot of time with my sister, friends, and former home. I also got to see my nutritionist, which is always good. Here are some highlights from my trip:

1. Lunch and catching up with my former co-worker, who like me, is much happier now (She's still at the company, just made other changes in her life).
2. A walk to the Commons with old friend Matt and the cheese plate at Otherside.
3. Dinner and fancy drinks at Deep Ellum (duck confit salad, yum) followed by awesome dancing at The Pill with Katrina.
4. Banana stuffed French toast at Zaftig's with my sister Andrea.
5. Baking with Andrea- we made Rosemary Cashews and Peanut Butter Chocolate Pillows. She seemed rather impressed by my new found kitchen skills, and her roommates loved both the cashews and the cookies.
6. Chili and a cask ale at The Otherside with Julia. We also had a funny walk down Boylston and enjoyed some beers and catching up after way too long at The Globe Bar.
7. Brunch and jazz with Katrina at The Beehive. And then walking down Newbury and meeting entertaining people at Best Buy.
8. An excellent appointment with my nutritionist Alexis. She really made me think about what losing 15 pounds really would mean to me and why it seems so important to do so, or why it is so scary when my clothes start to feel tighter or I realize I've gained some weight.
8. The most delicious chicken strips ever at Raising Cane's with my sister.
9. No overcrowded flights or flight delays. The US Air shuttle is awesome.

I did do other things than eat in Boston, but food always provides such a good time marker. Plus, everything I ate was delicious, and I don't feel like going into detail about all the amazing conversations and laughs I had with some of my favorite people in the whole fucking world.

I'm really glad I decided to take today off of work. It's nice to have a day to recover, and since I had been feeling really off the last few weeks, I'm hoping to use this time to get my head back on straight, my fridge restocked, and laundry done. I had also thought of going to a movie, but I think the rain may deter me from venturing too far.

I have also decided this week to try to have one green monster smoothie a day. I plan on having them in the morning, but if I'm running late, I'll fit it in later in the day. I think it's a great way to get a lot of nutrients with a bit of sweetness. I also like trying these random things out. Gives me an opportunity to experiment while working on making healthier choices. Today I made one with a bunch of spinach, 1 frozen banana, frozen mango, frozen blueberries, a bit of ground flax seed, about half a cup of vanilla rice milk, and I added a bit of mango juice because it was seeming a little thick. This is the first time I just went with what I thought might taste good and just threw it in the blender. It turned out delicious. Still thick, but I like that because it feels like a meal.

Ok. Time to be a bit more productive- but nothing too ambitious!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Comfort zone breach

Today I had a less than pleasant exchange with someone in another office. It wasn't necessarily bad, but I am pretty sure that I sounded a bit annoyed. I also pushed back on something, which is not something I do on a regular basis. However, the edit this person wanted to make just did not make sense to me. I believe some sort of compromise was reached. Then several questions came, and I doubt I truly answered them. I do not think I said anything incorrect, but I was just feeling tired and sick of this project, so I probably just rambled a bit. After I got off the phone I felt like shit. I don't think there's a reason for me to have felt that bad, but that doesn't change the fact that I felt sick after. I also got all teary. Normally I tell my boss about this stuff. I think I may wait at least until tomorrow. Or maybe I'll send an email update. I'm concerned that I would get strangely emotional discussing it. And that is not something I want happening at all.

I do not know why I felt so upset after. I've been incredibly tired today, which is definitely a contributing factor. The thing is though that I think it is more related to my comfort levels. I'm not comfortable pushing back on something or telling someone they are wrong. I also tend to shut down if I don't think what I am saying is being heard. Usually, this stuff is annoying, but not a huge problem. Today it felt much worse though because I was speaking for my office. I had to explain things about the program and even though I think I'm right, it doesn't change the fact that I was nervous. I'm sure it could have been handled in a better way, but I think I was right to push back. The other stuff may have been a bit peripheral to what was being asked, but oh well.

After a while I decided to send a follow-up email. It just included a couple pieces of clarifying information. It may not have been necessary, or may have reminded the person of something unpleasant, but sending it made me feel better. I now feel a bit more confident about the situation moving forward.

I'll see how it goes though. All I know at this moment is I am very happy to go home now.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday morning breakfast post

I have learned to love oatmeal. It's pretty easy to make and very filling. Plus, starting a cold day with warm food is always nice- even when my apartment is pretty damn hot. Today, I made this Hearty Banana Berry Flax Oatmeal that Robin shared a while back. This is the second time I've made this oatmeal. It's slightly more time consuming than the other ones I usually make (apple cinnamon and cinnamon raisin) , but it's Saturday so I've got time. Last time, I cut the recipe in half, but I decided to make the full thing this morning so I'd have a lot of leftovers. I have a busy week ahead and want to limit the amount of cooking I need to do. Well, it turned out delicious. I didn't have nuts and had to use soy milk instead of almond milk, but it seems to have worked just fine. I also had to use frozen blueberries since I ate all my fresh ones for dessert last night, so I threw them in a little earlier than suggested. All in all it turned out well.

However, I have no idea in what world this serves two people- unless it means it serves two giants or two marathoners or provides two people with all their food for the entire day. This recipe makes a lot of oatmeal. I'm guessing it will provide me at least 4 days of breakfast (including today). So maybe that's four people, not 2, and I exaggerated a bit, but I think it points to important issue of portions, especially in this country. Even though it's a really healthy recipe from what seems to be a blog focused on living well, it still suggests large portions. Maybe I just don't eat a lot- but I'm a 5'8" woman that weighs about 155 lbs. I am pretty active. Pilates two times a week for the last 18 months, do 30 minutes of cardio at least 3 times a week, and I walk way more than the average person. I probably need a little bit more than a lot of people since I have (a little) muscle and move around, but almost all recipe portions (and definitely 95% of restaurant portions) are way too much.

Also, I think there is a problematic mentality that we can only eat at certain times, or that if we don't finish all of this food we will get hungry later. Of course we will get hungry later. That's how our bodies work. But I live in the United States, and though I understand food insecurity (the way our government avoids saying that, yes, there are people in AMERICA! going hungry) is on its way up in this country, for someone like me, who is privileged, who had ground flax seed in my fridge and a big bag of organic oatmeal in my cupboard, I will have food to eat later. So what if I need to eat again in an hour? If that's what my body needs, then I'll do it. But I'm not going to eat more than I need at a sitting. This is one of the many lessons I've learned in the last three years, and one I don't always remember. But as with everything else, I'm working on it.

Speaking of ground flax seed and organic oatmeal (and on a lighter, less soap boxy note), I usually buy Bob's Red Mill products, and thought it was awesome when I heard that Bob is turning the business over to his employees instead of accepting some buy out offer. Very cool.

Now I'm off to climb ice mountains to get to Pilates. Happy Saturday!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Peanut Butter and Chocolate...mmmm

So I've been shitty about posting. I was busy running around with my dad in the snow, cheering on the Saints, avoiding more snow, and then making a snowbunny with the fabulous Jane. I also had almost a week off of work because of the crazy snow we got- so my schedule has been pretty much fucked. I really will try to post more regularly, since I know my one reader likes my updates. Ha. And because it is a good tool for me to get out some of the stuff always rushing through my head.

Anyway, tomorrow is the anniversary of President Obama signing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. ARRA is the reason I have my job, and it pretty much takes up 75% of my time. In celebration, I decided to bake these peanut butter chocolate pillows for my office. I also decided I definitely need both Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar (which I believe includes the cookies I baked) and Vegan Brunch (which I think includes the Pumpkin French Toast that I am dying to make) . Maybe I'll try to make it when my best friend visits in a couple weeks.

My office is going to think I'm a bit of a freak for celebrating ARRA, but really I like the excuse to bake and I think the Recovery Act is pretty great. I think I may offer one to IT guy too. He does do a shitload of ARRA work- it's why we work together at all- so if he likes peanut butter and chocolate, he may like the cookies as a bit of a reward. And if he doesn't like peanut butter and chocolate, I will realize all is lost- because I simply cannot understand not liking those things together. It's like refusing to drink coffee.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Today I subsisted on chocolate chip cookies.

Last night I made these incredibly delicious cookies (with help from Robin's vegan modifications). Tonight I filed my taxes and was pleasantly surprised by the amount of my tax return. Now it is time for bed. I will get to writing a longer post tomorrow.

Goodnight, Moon.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Kitchen gadgets and burritos

Two important things happened for me over the past couple of days. The first is I went to Target yesterday and did not feel overwhelmed or uncomfortable in the kitchen aisle. In fact it was kind of fun. Second, today after Pilates I reeeaally wanted a burrito from Chipotle. I kept trying to convince myself that the spinach salad with cornbread I had planned to make for dinner would be better, but it wasn't working. As I walked up Connecticut Ave., I got to the Chipotle and thought "Fuck it, I want a burrito." So I went in. I took two steps and then turned around and walked to the bus. When I got home, I made a spinach salad with a cut up veggie burger patty, some tomato, mushrooms, and the dressing I made the other day. I also had a piece of the corn bread I made to go with my dinner yesterday. I enjoyed my dinner. It was not as delicious as a Chipotle burrito; however, I think the pride I feel in eating something healthy and the fact that I just feel healthier makes avoiding the burrito totally ok.

If I am correct, yesterday marked the 3rd year anniversary of my first meeting with my nutritionist. Wow. Three years. It's hard to believe. I have had a lot of thoughts about it, but I'm still sorting through them, so I think they will be my next post.

Yesterday also marked the 3rd anniversary of when the City of Boston thought a bunch of lite-brites promoting the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie were IEDs. 1/31/07 Never Forget.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Change of Plans

It has stopped snowing. I think it probably stopped sometime last night, but because of the cold, things are still icy. Jane and I decided not to make the trip to Goodwill today since the roads could be bad. Plus, the idea of having to dig out the Zipcar wasn't exactly fun. We are going to go next weekend.

Jane and I have had a variety of Zipcar misadventures, that have often occured thanks to me ignoring bad weather. We've driven to Nissan Pavillion to see Radiohead in the pouring rain and drove to Ikea in the pouring rain a few weekends after the Radiohead show. It was the same trip to Ikea that ended with us stuck on the East-West Highway with a broken car. It was not exactly fun, so I decided to be cautious today. Plus, I'm not completely done going through my maybe pile, so I may have additional stuff to donate.

I am still planning on going to Target, just not buying some of the bigger things I had originally planned, and grocery shopping. Good Sunday type things to do.

For breakfast today, I made Fruited Breakfast Quinoa. It was my first time cooking with Quinoa, and only my second time eating it. The final product was a little odd, and because of the pureeing didn't exactly look appetizing. However, I did enjoy it for the most part. The texture though means I don't think I would eat it very regularly. I think I will stick to my oatmeal.