Monday, August 30, 2010

Birthday Weekend!

Hello Blog world! I turned 22 yesterday, so naturally I celebrated all weekend with my family.

On Saturday, Ralph and I took a trip out to Long Island to visit my aunt, uncle and cousin. We had a nice sized lunch (salad and my first cheese fondue) and later on took a drive around the area, eventually stopping at a beach on the North Shore. The weather was so nice on saturday- warm, but not too humid!

My aunt also baked me a beautiful and tasty heart shaped chocolate cake:
Long story short, we all had a great time and ate yummy food and my aunt, uncle and cousin met Ralph, yay!

On Sunday, I was happy to spend the day with Ralph and my parents. We went into Jersey (to look at cars for Ralph, just to look) and then drove up to West Point for lunch, heading to the Thayer Hotel right on the campus. They are well known for their Sunday Brunch buffet and my parents kindly treated us to lunch there. It was such a beautiful setup- truly the most awesome brunch or buffet I've ever been to! Needless to say, we were all completely stuffed once we left. After lunch, we went for a little walk, heading to the museum. We wanted to go for more of a walk, but we were sure where we could walk on campus and it was unusually hot (compared to the last 2 weeks). We did go for a quick little walk around the quiet town, and then headed back south toward home.

I guess the reason I wanted to talk about this weekend is because I ate a lot (i.e. ate really big meals till I was practically stuffed), and especially a lot of cake (wouldn't be much of a birthday with out it though, right?) and 2 drinks on saturday. First, I've noticed that the day after I've had a drink, whether it's beer or a mixed drink, I always tend to feel bloated (i.e. yucky) the next day. So yesterday, on my birthday, I put on my favorite dress, ready to enjoy the day. But instead of just enjoying my birthday, I was beating myself up about how I felt (yucky and bloated and worrying that this weekend's indulgences are going to make me fat). To make everything worse, I then ate a lot at the buffet on my birthday and felt even more gross, lethargic, sweaty, hot etc. Today, I'm feeling much better and now wondering why I beat myself up so much? Instead of being happy to be with my parents and boyfriend, I'm was preoccupied with how I looked in the mirror and because I was mad about that, I was acting like a jerk the whole day.

Then, I go to bed, wake up on a brand new day and I actually feel okay. I still felt the need to scrutinize myself in the mirror  because I'm wearing a new shirt, wondering whether or not to hate it because I didn't find it flattering. Well, despite those thoughts, I went outside and ran some errands. When I came back home and took another look, I didn't feel the need to beat myself up- I felt like I looked okay (i.e. not feeling "fat" because, naturally, we can all feel "fat" or "not fat". I'm shaking my head at myself right now!)

I drank some water to stave off dehydration and than I kinda made this:

I love hummus and tomato sandwiches. This tomato was from my parents' garden, so it tasted delicious (seriously, those red things at the grocery store that look like tomatoes? Who are they kidding...)

And even though we tried to give Ralph the rest of the cake (I'm still convinced he's a growing boy and that he's going to whither away unless I stuff him with food), we still had a good quarter of it, so I had a little piece, mostly guiltlessly, with iced coffee to balance out the sugar shock on my system, haha! 

All eaten while staring at these pretty carnations Ralph got me for my birthday.
Thanks Ralph!

Okay, now that I feel a lot better getting that all off my chest, my next task is finding something to get for my sister's birthday, yikes! My sister's birthday is exactly a week after mine, and despite this consistency, I'm always spending the week in between wondering what to get her. This year, she's actually going away on a business trip starting the day before her birthday, so I feel like it's even more important for me to do something really nice for her this year (plus, I'm living with her again for the first time in years). Long story short, any suggestions?  I'll keep you posted, especially if (God-willing) I have an epiphany this year and figure out something nice by myself, haha!

Have a great day and a wonderful week!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Back On My Feet

Hello! Is anyone still out there? I hope so, because I'm back and ready to continue this blog, with some minimal changes. See, I took this unintended hiatus due to several things: deciding to change up the way I plan to blog, I was camera less for the past 2 weeks when I went back home, and procrastinating because I wanted to figure out what to say when I came back. So here it is...sorry ahead of time for the long post, but there are things I need to say.

As much as I like holding myself accountable for what I ate, I found it to be getting less and less enjoyable for me. Although I didn't photograph and post every little thing I ate, the most annoying thing was deciding whether or not I should post such and such thing, if for instance I grabbed a piece of chocolate or a rice cake. I would prefer to cook something and post a picture of what I made because I really enjoy cooking and I haven't been doing much of that lately. So, I plan to post things I cook or something I didn't make that was interesting and tasty, instead of posting and obsessing over every little thing I ate.

I really want this blog to be a therapeutic experience for me and to help me move into my twenties with a healthy body and body image. For most of my teen years, I was very concerned and obsessed with the way my body looked. I was very lucky to have gotten through those years without an eating disorder, but I definitely think I partook in disordered eating. I can't really remember how I ate, but I just feel like I would do weird things, mainly ignoring my body- sometimes waiting too long to eat, causing myself to eat until I was uncomfortable full. I was a runner who had no clue how to fuel herself- eating a small breakfast and lunch and then running at practice after school. Not surprisingly, I would be quite hungry when I got home around 4:30. Looking back, I just don't feel that this was very healthy and I guess I just didn't really know how to eat 'right'. Right now, I feel like I'm still learning how to eat 'right', but I also think I've learned that there no one 'right' way of eating, it depends on the person. Let's put it this way: I'm still learning the best way of eating for me.

Okay, next tangent, I guess. For many years I've been self conscious and body conscious. I still am to some degree, but getting out of my teenage years has made it easier to be happy with myself. I like myself more these days, but I still want and need to work on these issues. Even though I'm still body conscious, I'm happy to say I don't really have a love/hate relationship with food anymore. I mean, granted, I'm probably still weird about my food choices (like touting that I much prefer meatless meals, even though I will eat meat, especially chicken wings or buffalo chicken flavored/topped anything.) But, I don't fear food the way I used to. Again, I love to cook things, and I still debate whether or not to "healthify" something, or just make said thing the old fashioned and more satisfying way. I'm trying to listen to my body and be in tune with my hunger and fullness cues. And as I do that, I'm trying to conquer my fear of the mirror. And that's all I want to say about that right now.

Anywho, remember the last time I posted, I promised to post a picture of my new haircut? My parents and Ralph have finally seen my hair, so here it goes:

Okay, I know the pics a little cut off, but I had to pick the one that showed off the infamous dimples, haha! It's a lot shorter than this, right?:


Recently made food:

Last night, my sister Melissa and I made pizza! She picked up some ready made whole wheat pizza dough (so convenient!) and we fixed up this beauty with lotsa pizza sauce, lotsa cheese, half supreme pizza and half buffalo chicken.
Can you tell which side I favored more when adding the toppings?

Melissa and I decided on stir fry for dinner tonight. I really have no plan for it except for that I'm thinking of surprising her with sesame or general tso's chicken to go with it. I'll let you know how it goes, see you later!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Turning Up The Heat

Good morning again!

Saturday breakfast.
PB&J anyone?

Saturday was a lazy day. I could tell my sister was tired from a long week (she looked like she was ready to nap) and I knew we were picking up Dave (her hubby) at the airport. I went back to my room until about 3:30 to read blogs and such.

Lunch was my leftover veggie fajita.
Soon after, we took Rudy for a walk. At 4 we left for the airport and picked up Dave and around 5 we headed out for dinner. We went to an Outback Steakhouse in Delaware for dinner, and ate at the bar. I got a small steak with sweet potato and veggies on the side. I'd prefer to not get meat, but hey, we were at a steakhouse and I'd rather get and eat a small portion of meat than an overpriced/nutrient less iceberg lettuce salad. I have to admit it was very good. When I think about it, there's nothing that wrong with meat, but I really don't like to eat it as much as I have been (more like 1-2 times a week at most).

Sunday:
Started off with PB&J again.

Then Melissa and I were off to the mall.
First stop- a smoothie place. I got blueberry-banana, she got strawberry colada. Then we walked around a bit and shopped.

Once we left, we headed to the supermarket. They also had a Supercuts in the outdoor mall, and I was in desperate need of a haircut, so I popped in there while Melissa went grocery shopping. I will post my new pic later this week since it's a lot shorter than it was (I did want it shorter, but sometimes the ladies at the hair salon get scissor happy, you know?)

Rest of the fruit mix: 

And then Indian food for dinner! I chopped and watched Melissa and Dave do their thing:

Chutney with cilantro and mint

Their experiment for the rabbit in the family- a corn and squash curry.

Tandoori chicken

Long Grain rice

My plate, with chicken because although I may be a rabbit, I cannot pass off the most wonderfully spiced chicken in the world!
It was quite, quite spicy, but SO good.


And then ate ice cream while watching True Blood, because truly the best way to eat ice cream is while viewing blood and gore? Sure, why not?

Monster Faces

Good morning! I hope you're all having a good Monday so far!

Friday began with a peach:
(And all I could think about while photographing this was how weird my hand looks when flattened out behind the peach!)

And my monster faced breakfast:
Was I going for a happy faced pancake breakfast at IHOP? I don't know, but for some reason I see funny faces in my breakfast sometimes.

I think this was a late breakfast (oddly enough because I was trying to catch up on blog posting...)

By mid-afternoon, I really wanted to go for a bike ride. I ended up doing a 15 mile loop, stopping about halfway at the nearby Amish Farmer's Market. I also wanted to pick something up because I was hungry for lunch. I snacked on some dates and buffalo flavored pretzel chips. Here's my loot:

When I got back from my ride, I was quite hungry. I really wanted to make some kind of sandwich... I was thinking about a hummus sandwich, but when I found my hummus in the caverns of the fridge, it was a little bit moldy- yuck! I chucked the hummus and went for a grilled cheese:

Peek of the inside:
Not quite as good as when my mom makes it, but was still gooey and delicious!

I showered and changed and waited for my sister to come home with Rudy. A couple times a month, Rudy goes to 'camp' to play with other dogs. I spent the whole day without him and it was weirder/lonelier than I expected.

Then, Melissa and I went out to Don Pablo's for Mexican. I got the veggie fajitas.

And while taking pics, I think I was a decent ninja and was able to take the pictures quick enough to avoid weird looks from the waiters/other patrons, sweet! And if not, that's OK too- it was delicious and picture worthy.

On that note- if you're a blogger, do you feel weird about taking pictures in public or around family that knows/doesn't know about your blog?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Back On Track!

Good morning!

I'm finally onto thursday

Breakfast:

Pre-bike ride snack- Frozen Fudge Baby!
I then proceeded to go for an hour long bike ride- about 11 miles- in the middle of the day. It was very warm outside, but still nice for a bike ride.

I came home hungry and whipped up a quick olive oil sauce for my spaghetti- with onion, farmers market tomatoes, garlic, basil, black pepper and salt.  

Then threw in the spaghetti:
Yum!

I took a shower, went for a walk with Rudy and then went for a longer walk by myself. Only then did I realize how HOT it was!

Got back and started cooking dinner. So a few weeks ago, when I saw Angela cook patty pan squash, I knew I wanted to try these cute vegetables too. Luckily I found some at the farmers last weekend and snatched them up! 
I cut out the middle of each squash and popped them in the oven at 350*, for about 30 minutes. Then I started cooking the ground beef. I actually used 2 pans- one for the ground beef, one for the vegetables. While the ground beef was browning, I sauteed a white onion and my red, orange and yellow tomatoes. After the meat was mostly done, I poured off the fat and added the vegetables, plus garlic, salt, pepper, paprika and cumin. After squash and meat mixture was done, I stuffed the squash, then threw some extra meat on my plate (I was thinking stuffed pepper when making these babies, but the squash were very small!)

After finishing dinner, Melissa mentioned how she could go for a hot fudge sundae. I could, too. So I ran to the nearest store (CVS) and they did a buy one get one free.... so I got 2 flavors.
Ate butter pecan with chocolate sauce and cherry!
 YUM! I'm so glad to really be back! See you later!

Almost There

Tuesday:

Started with a fresh peach (which is making me crave another one now, hah!)

Mid- meal pic- I actually had another deviled egg plus a near plate-full of fruit, promise!)

Then somewhere mid morning I realized that I couldn't just send a signed document asking to have my background check released. That's not how NY rolls. Instead I had to make an appointment to get the fingerprints done (Luckily, there were openings on Tues) or request to have a packet sent to me so I could get it done in Jersey. Sadly, I decided to go the quickest route- rush out of town to get to my appointment in time.

Lunch was quick but satisfying:
I took Rudy for a quick walk, and was out of there by mid-afternoon. The drive was a little over 2 hours, so I got to my appointment at 5 on time yay! And after I was done, I was in my friend's neighborhood, so I gave her a call and we met up for a little while after ~1 year of not seeing each other. Not a bad day at all!

Since I was close to my parents house (~20 minutes) I went home and surprised them!

Mom and dad had dinner, so I just had a frozen red beans and rice type meal.

And afterwards went out for ice cream (soft serve vanilla again + rainbow sprinkles, because I was feeling adventurous ha!) One of these days I will get the chance to take a picture of my ice cream, I'm so bad about it!

And before bed:

Wednesday:
Sliced up a nectarine, plus a buttered bagel. Sadly, I don't think I've ever had a soft/ripe nectarine before. If I have, it's a rare occurrence. Yet somehow I've been able to find a ripe peach... I think I will have to search NJ or PA.... or maybe even Delaware.

My dad and I ran some errands, then at noon we went out for pizza. We both got a slice of whole wheat pizza.

At about 4/4:30 I left for my sister's house again. Midway through, I picked up an iced latte, and snacked on a banana.

I got home around the same time as Melissa, so we took Rudy for a long walk and made a quick dinner. I cut up and half of a golden zucchini while Melissa made Cajun spiced chicken.

My plate (including leftover favorite, spaghetti and meatballs)

Rudy licking his chops, getting ready to chow down 

Lastly, Peanut butter pie

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Bits and Pieces- Sunday and Monday

Sunday:

Breakfast

Ralph made blueberry pancakes! I had this one topped with pb and honey.

Ralph and I rode our bikes to run some errands (picked up rechargeable batteries for my camera, whoot!). I love Ralph's town. Granted, it's a small town, but you can easily bike, if not walk, to even the furthest stores.

Lunch repeat:
Butter lettuce + red cabbage (I LOVE red cabbage and would eat it on it's own if need be)

More quiche, yum!

Still having an excess of eggs, we boiled some eggs while preparing lunch, then made deviled eggs!
Ralph's putting the paprika on them. I added cayenne to a few of them for a little heat.

Had this one with cayenne
And then had the crazy idea to go for a run while the weather held up. I say crazy because I had just eaten a deviled egg. Luckily, I didn't get really sick or anything, but I really don't like to run right after eating. I ended up doing 4 miles, while Ralph biked the route with me.

Later on, pasta, the last of the creamy tomato sauce topped with parm. 
And then pretty much lounged the rest of the night.

Monday:

Breakfast:

And then I hit the road after Ralph left for work. I drove about 3 1/2 hours from Central NY to my sister's house in South Jersey.

I was greeted by my new best friend/nephew, Rudy:
 
He was a bit camera shy here. I hope to post a picture/video of when he first sees me... He goes crazy! He wiggles his tail and butt and then jumps on me. Ok, ok, I know that's probably a pretty normal reaction, but it's just so cute!

Lunch:
 
Melissa made the fruit salad- so refreshing!                    The last of the quiche :(                            

Rudy was happy to see me, but I think he still missed his mom :(

My sister, Melissa, made meatballs and sauce, so I cooked up some pasta before she got home from work.
Delish!

Melissa's peanut butter pie

I was so happy to be in one place again, but not for long....