Friday, September 20, 2013
I never considered myself one of those folks who's merely working for the weekend. But, my fellow sparkers, it's been a LOOOONNNNNGGG week and my TGIFing is in full effect. Worked from home again today and this work blindness has to break sometime. Around 2:30pm I remembered I needed to eat something before leaving for my 4pm meeting. With breakfast skipped and lunch non-existent, I thought to take the quickie route and grab a chicken/chickpea rice bowl from the halal cart - Five dollars for a clamshell of slow roasted heaven and a icy cold water bottle.
So I raced downstairs... counting each floor with anticipation... pranced across the street.... Only to find the cart had closed for the day! WTF?! Seems like the gorgeous weather proved too much for our fearless cart chefs. They packed up shop and headed home before my very eyes. Tears sprung to my ducts and if bellies could cry, I imagine tears would've cropped up there too. Devastated and hungry, I trudged back home and up the elevators... counting each floor with dread as I realized yet again, I failed to plan and make groceries. *blerg*
All that remained in my fridge were some lone cucumber slices. So I tossed them with a bit of pink himalayan sea salt, cut up some pita to crisp in the oven, and indulged in a few smears of goat cheese. Thus ends my tale of woe!
(PS. Post meeting I ended up at this AMAZING handpulled noodle shop where I indulged in a plate of spicy deliciousness for a mere $8.75. I love NYC)
Thursday, September 19, 2013
For the last few months, I've toyed with the idea of limiting / eliminating the various meat in my diet. Some days, it's easier than others.
Today, I worked from home. While this sounds like the perfect situation for healthy eating, I generally find it quite difficult. Mainly because I roll out of bed, prop myself up at my desk and get to work. Some days I look up at 3pm and wonder "why am I so hungry?" Oh yeah, I FORGOT TO EAT! *blerg*
Even though I was out of my favorite smoothie ingredients, I made myself some scrambled eggs and a pot of tea for midday brunch. By the time dinner came around, those hunger pains were singing quite the tune. The urge to order takeout struck with a vengeance. Mmmm, General Tso's Chicken with some brown rice could be mine in 20min or less!!! And let's not forget the absolutely de-lish Korean Fried Chicken and Salty Fry combo whose neon lights I can spy from my window...
Instead, I remembered the BLC! And takeout on the second day is no way to start a challenge. So, I scavenged around the pantry (I really have to make some groceries soon). You'd be surprised what you can put together if you decide to cook a meal. I snagged tossed some Udon Noodles into a pot of boiling water, then sauteed black beans, garlic and frozen peas in a pan. Then I mixed the noodles and veggies with a lump of soft goat cheese to create a creamy sauce.
So simple. So delicious. And the best part - I had a full meal on my plate in a mere 8minutes. Far less than takeout and practically free!
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
So I'm just a bundle of anticipation - BLC 23 kicks off next week. Woo-to-the-hoo! Let's Go Geckos! This time last year, I discovered BLC 20 and the rest as they say was history. With the support of the Scarlet Starlets I dropped 15lbs in 12 weeks and kept it off for almost a year! Now I'm ready to tackle the next 15lbs for BLC23.
I love this challenge and the amazing spark friends who join me on this journey.
For this round, my focus is on eating well. By this I mean choosing whole foods and limiting the amount of meat and processed foods in my diet. Yes, this means I have to cook (and clean!) more. Yet, I've done it before and can't wait to do it again.
My biggest challenge this round comes in the form of my travel schedule. In the next 16 weeks, I will fly around the world - Domestic US travel (16days), Asia (14days), and Europe (18 days). The adventure begins October 5th. I will then only spend two weekends in home sweet NYC until mid-January. Phew. Anyone else feeling exhausted thinking about that schedule?! At any rate, I very much look forward to creating a routine that I can take anywhere and devise techniques to take the healthy fork in the roads ahead.
Let's get Groovy, Geckos!
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Greetings from 2013! Good news Ė everything turns out okay. Right now life seems pretty bleak. Most of the folks at your high school will barely graduate, much less go to college. No worries for you on that score. Just keep doing what youíre doing Ė study hard, focus on your goals, and remember youíll eventually be out from under your parentsí thumbs. Despite their restrictions, they only want whatís best for you. Plus, youíll soon be free and independent (trust me, itís not all that and a bag of chips.)
I wish youíd relax a bit and learn to enjoy life. Iíd suggest yoga as a way to ease the day-to-day stress. Yet I know you wonít listen. Stubbornness rates as one of your main characteristics and anything hippity dippity turns you off. Yet, these next three years will pass in a blink. Youíll meet some amazing people in college who will embrace your quirks and see you through the tough times. You have to learn to trust in the innate goodness of the people around you. Iíve learned that everyone has a path to follow with its own set of obstacles. An open mind and open heart will help you better navigate the world around you.
Try to embrace the idea that the opinion that matters most is your own. Living in a small town can lead you to believe that fitting in trumps being true to yourself. Thatís bullsh*t. Be who you are and say what you feel, because the people who mind donít matter and the people who matter donít mind. (Yep, I quoted Dr. Seuss. Why? B/C heís freaking awesome. Lol Ė that means laughing out loud.)
I wish I could be there to give you a huge hug and reassure you. Things may not end up exactly as you envisioned, but providence has a way of working out. I know you like surprises, so Iíve limited the particulars about exactly where youíll end up. (Small tease - think bright lights, big city.)
Much love my darling girl!
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Have you ever really looked at a whole, raw chicken? You can so easily imagine it scurrying around the farmyard. If you look closely at the skin, you can even see where the feathers have been plucked out (some even have feather remnants! Eeep!) It's always felt a bit too real. A few months ago, I read about how much money you could save cooking a whole chicken once a week vs buying the different parts for individual meals. The information made sense, but when I looked at the whole chickens in their shrink wrapped, air-chilled packages I felt intimidated. Roasting chickens is for REAL cooks and I'm just getting the hang of this. Then, yesterday evening, I decided the time had come to conquer chicken roasting!
So I marched up to to the poultry section and snagged a plump 4-pound roaster. After tossing him into the fridge, I spent the next three hours researching different methods - Roasting pan, dutch over, stove top, deep frying, etc. Eventually, I decided on "French Chicken in a Pot" from Cooks Illustrated. It seemed like the simplest one - rinse chicken, season, brown, toss in some aromatics, cover, and bake.
After scrubbing my hands, it was time to start! I opened the package and discovered a little surprise stuffed in the cavity. Since I had no idea what this was, I called my favorite food hotline - 1-800-MOM-I-NEED-HELP. When mom told me it was the chicken's organs, I couldn't drop it in the trash fast enough. When she mentioned she uses these "giblets" in her famous gravy I nearly had a heart attack. Guess what I won't be eating next holiday dinner!
At any rate, after scouring everything that touched the giblets, I returned to my chicken prep. I rubbed seasoning all over the bird, only to learn you should butter else it has nothing to stick to. (note to self: do not butter AFTER seasoning. buttered seasoning under your nails is not cute.) (2nd note to self: buttered birds are slippery and will definitely fall in the sink) After this rocky start, I finally browned it, tossed on the timer, then proceeded to forget about it.
Within 20 minutes my apartment filled with the delicious smells of roasting chicken! Now I don't eat much meat these days, but I realized if my apt smelled like this all the time I'd be in hog heaven (or maybe I'd just resemble a hog. lol). The only thing about this method is that you can't watch the progress. No point in peeking in the oven, all you see is a giant pot. *womp womp*
Another hour passed and I practically skipped to the oven for the big reveal. And oooh, mama!!! Tongs in hand, I grabbed the drumsticks to transfer it bird to the cutting board. Let me tell you, that bird was so moist and tender, that the drumsticks pulled right off! Yum-to-the-O!! Once transferred, I covered it with some foil and let it rest (longest 20 minutes EVER!) Then, fork and carving knife in hand, I set to carving up all this deliciousness.
Seriously, fellow sparkers, I can't believe I never did this earlier. Now, I have delicious roast chicken for salads, sandwiches, pastas, etc. Plus, I love that its so healthy and affordable. As I focus on eating more whole foods, I love that I control exactly what goes into this. There are crazy fats or weird things I cannot pronounce. Just chicken, a few pats of butter, and seasonings!
I highly recommend you guys try it out if you haven't. For a mere $5-$8, you'll have more than enough meat for a week's worth of meals. So awesome sauce!!!
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