Food Friday

I know I haven’t been posting much lately. Honestly, I don’t feel like I’m doing anything noteworthy enough to post about.

I run 4 times a week and do a workout video 2 times a week. Sometimes the weather is cold and unpleasant – the wind slowed me by over 1 minute per mile when running into it the other day; sometimes the weather is better – a 60 degree day is in the 5 day forecast! At least my new March goals have been going reasonably well. I’m not doing perfectly, especially at the 80/20 rule (Good “Fastnacht Day”), but I have been more mindful, especially about getting my workouts in and not eating without purpose at work. I’ve also been getting “back into shape” (not that I was really ever out of shape) and have been blasting out 5Ks in under 30 minutes (now let’s just get that back down to under 25 minutes…).

Short post for this Friday – I didn’t really cook too much this week. Mostly we chowed down on homemade veggie burgers and pizza (from various sources). I did want to do a Food Friday post to share my first experience making Thai style curry, though! I made this recipe, sans pineapple, and it was really simple and turned out great! Next time I might add some red pepper flakes and/or sriracha, though – I love spicy food but wasn’t sure how spicy the curry paste would be, so I wanted to try it plain, first. Of course it wasn’t spicy enough for me (I used to eat homemade horseradish for fun as a child…).

I’ve been making an Indian style lentil curry like, every week because it’s super easy and cheap (it’s onions, carrots, potatoes, and lentils….I’m not sure you could make something cheaper). Kris has always had this weird dislike of Indian food, though. I swear he is the only person who finds it “bland.” Maybe he has the equivalent of being tone-deaf to curry powder or something? He is very picky about which Indian restaurants we go to and so it comes as no surprise to me that my  Indian cooking talents (read: dump in copious amounts of curry powder) do not match those of the nicest India restaurants in town. I asked him for an honest opinion of the Indian lentil curry and he responded with “why can’t you try peanut curry like we get at the Thai place?” I’d be interested in trying that out anyway – any excuse to eat more peanut butter – so I gave it a shot.

The downside: it resembles Hamburger Helper while cooking. To be fair, I kind of love the cheeseburger macaroni kind…

In addition to being easy to make and quite yummy, I would like to add that the coconut-peanut curry was an incredibly healthy and filling vegetarian dish. I split mine into four servings which came to about 400 calories each, following the recipe exactly (with the exception of excluding pineapple, which just sounded weird with it). That means that with a whole serving of rice, this was a 650 calorie dinner, which is pretty reasonable. It also had several servings of veggies in it (a whole cup of broccoli in each serving!), which is good for me because although I LOVE veggies I basically just forget to eat enough of them. There are only 13g of protein in this version, but if you wanted to I am sure you could add in some tofu in place of some mushrooms or just use chicken if you aren’t vegetarian, and if you added that protein you could probably stretch this out to 6 servings to reduce calories. There is also a reduced-calorie recipe available on the website that I linked.

Sorry I haven’t been making more exciting food choices lately. There might be some changes in my life soon (hopefully good ones) so maybe they will change up my food routine a bit 🙂 I do plan on trying out a local grocery outlet tomorrow, so maybe I can at least write a bit about my cheap grocery finds…or my horror at everything being out of date.

Happy Friday! My parting gift to you is a picture of Belle trying to sleep in Misty’s bed and a picture of Misty sleeping on anything but her bed. Note: she has never used her bed.

There is a dog-sized bed in this room.

The pillow in the upper-right hand corner says “not tonight” on the other side. That was an embarrassing bridal shower gift to receive from one of Kris’s aunts!



March Goals

I typically don’t set monthly goals, but I’ve felt quite blah about my fitness progress lately (in addition to 1,000 other things), and I have a race coming up at the end of the month, so I thought setting some concrete goals for myself would help me to a) get my ass back into gear and b) be slightly less miserable to be around.

My first step in preparing for this month of getting back on track was to weigh myself. I do this rarely, not only because I don’t like to fixate on day-to-day fluctuations in weight, but because I only own a Wii Fit, not a real scale, so weighing myself is annoying and innacurrate. It is  usually better to just get on it once in awhile to make sure I’m not trending dangerously up or down and base my assessment more on how my clothes fit.

The problem with losing 110 lbs, though, is that because I am almost constantly afraid of gaining my weight back, I imagine that my clothes are becoming tight/ I am becoming fluffier even when that is not the case. I assumed that based on my “terrible” eating over the last 2 months since I last weighed myself, I was going to have to set a weight loss goal (I was guessing I had gained at the very least 10 lbs). Imagine my surprise when I got on the scale to find that my weight my exactly the same as it was in early January (128ish). Now, I’m sure I haven’t exactly maintained my weight to the ounce, but it was a signal to me that I have been overreacting about my “bad” eating, especially with all the activity from my occupation that I do not account for.

I am very glad to find that I don’t have to set a weight loss goal for the month! That doesn’t mean that I don’t want to try to fix up my diet a bit, though – I probably have been eating a bit too much pizza and ice cream for the sake of overall health and nutrition, even if my waist line has been spared the consequences thus far. With that being said, here are my goals for March:

  • Work out at least 5 days per week (4 runs and 2 days of strength training, one can be doubled up)
  • Actually stick to my calorie goals  on a weekly basis – perhaps try to figure out how much more I should be eating now that I have a more active job if I want to be able to eat more to reflect that
  • Follow the “80%” rule – the idea I often see touted on the internet that a “diet” should allow for 80% “good” eating and “20%” bad if you want to actually be successful and non-miserable. While I am obviously not going on a diet, I would like to try to pay more attention to how many of my calories are coming from completely non-nutritious snacks, like Cadbury Creme Eggs (side note: their calorie amount just isn’t fair)
  • Don’t eat anything that isn’t “worth it” from the pizza buffet at work. While this is a more subjective goal, what I mean by this is don’t just randomly eat pizza rolls and dessert breadsticks just because they are there; rather, do something like eat a couple slices of pizza and a couple mozzarella sticks because I haven’t eaten lunch yet. Basically, only eat with actual purpose.
  • Only drink 5 alcoholic beverages per week. While I don’t have an alcohol problem, it is basically empty calories, and I usually have at least 1-2 drinks (usually just non-exciting beer like Yuengling, too) per night, which is at least 150 calories of actual nutrition I could get per day. This allowance gives me enough slack to have one after a stressful night at work or when relaxing on an evening off.

March is off to a great start so far! The weather is good (until tomorrow); I’ve set some goals; and I got in a TON of exercise today – a 5K run (under 30 minutes for the first time in months) AND a 5K walk with Kris and Belle.

Is Healthy Eating Affordable?

This morning I woke up, sad that I was supposed to be starting training for the Capital 10 Mile race but that I wouldn’t be able to. A few weeks back, when it had been snowing really hard and I wanted to dream about being able to run outside, I had written up a “training plan.” Basically, I figured out when I would need to start actually working on it if I started with a long run of 5 miles per week then went up one mile per week on that long run until I reached 10 miles, and that week was this week. I figured I could fill in the details at a later date, and assumed the snow would be melted by now. Oops.

I wound up going for a 3 mile run today, though – 18 degree temperature and ice-covered sidewalks and all. I had a discussion with Kris this morning in which I told him to “stop being a baby” and realized that I have been being a “baby.” Not because I was not running in the ice, snow, and cold before – I had no real reason to put myself in that position – but because I was going to let that excuse get in the way of a goal. I was willing to accept that I just wouldn’t be able to run the 10 mile race because of the weather right now, and I’m surprised I was going to abandon that goal so readily just because I don’t have access to a treadmill right now. I will admit that I would much prefer it if I could afford to join a gym and workout in a nice warm and dry space right now, but there is no reason I have to do that. It may have been less pleasant, but after I put on my ice spikes for my running shoes, I really had no excuse, and I was able to go out there and complete my run, even if it was slow and uncomfortable (11 minutes per mile!).

Last night, I noticed a link on my Facebook wall to an article that is a couple of months old. I had heard about this article before, but had not really read it. In the article, the author argues that it is feasible to eat “healthy” for under $6 a day, which is apparently an amazing feat because a) eating healthy is supposed to be “expensive” and b) the average person spends more ($7 ) per day on food, making his option “cheap.”

When I first heard about the article, all I saw was a discussion on a forum somewhere about how someone had proved that it “only” cost $6 a day to eat healthy, which implied that everyone who thinks that is expensive is incorrect. I saw a lot of responses reminding the person who held that opinion that for a lot of people, $6/day person is actually quite expensive – after all, that is over $700 a month for a family of four – and did not investigate further. Last night, I actually went and read the article, though, and I now have a number of my own thoughts to add (sorry I am a bit late to the bandwagon).

  1. Disclaimer before I start: Kris and I spend close to the national average on food, including eating out, and I consider this doing quite well at saving money on food. I shop exclusively at one store because I like it more and not because it saves me money. I am obviously in a privileged position in regards to grocery shopping, and one should keep that in mind when considering my opinions. To be fair, that national average is only $1 per day higher than he prides himself on achieving, which I don’t think is significantly higher – at least not the point that you can declare it as evidence that healthy eating is cheap.
  2. That being said, I do not disagree with his original premise. I believe it is possible to eat healthy on a budget, and I believe he is correct that the misconception that healthy food is more expensive does come from misrepresentative statistics, like comparison of calories per dollar.
  3. I would like to add that I personally believe that some of the other discussions on this matter come from different poorly represented statistics. A lot of these comparisons also compare healthy meals cooked at home to fast food menu items as though one is inherently healthy and one is not. Setting aside for the moment the subjective nature of healthy, let us think about what would happen if we compared healthy and unhealthy meals of more similar types. Are grilled chicken value meals significantly more expensive than burger ones? How about a grilled chicken meal vs. a red meat and potatoes meal at home? If we stop comparing apples and oranges (to be fair, I think in this context they would be in the same category and be unable to be compared) I think the statistics would be less shocking.
  4. We also need to think about what is meant by the word “expensive.” In the article, this man spends less on his entire day’s food than some people might spend at McDonald’s (it is less than most value meals, and similar in price to a handful of value menu items). He also, however, spends $76 at the grocery store in order to do this, and does not  show evidence that he understands grocery budgeting in this trip. He buys ingredients only with these 3 meals and 2 snacks in mind. I bought twice as many items at the store last time I went for the same approximate price, including $20 I spent on paper products! To be fair, he buys enough to  make his omelets and parts of his sandwiches for a couple of days, but he is going to quickly run out of snacks, parts of his sandwich, and sides for his chicken. He did not meal plan at all, and in order to eat a second day, he is going to need to return to the store. He also doesn’t discuss trying to shop sales/seasonal items or buying certain produce in bulk to save money (it is way more expensive to buy one apple or potato  than to buy a whole bag on a per item basis). Even if he had done proper meal planning and sale-shopping, it is important to remember that spending that much in one trip might not be possible for someone with small paychecks, making it impossible for them to “stock up” and reap the benefits of lower long term cost. To that person, it might seem better to grab a couple of $1 items at a fast food place here and there; to grab some hamburger helper and a pound of beef to last 1-2 meals; to subsist on ramen once the money runs out altogether.
  5. One thing no one is discussing is what this man’s actual diet consists of. As I previously mentioned, “healthy” is subjective, but I would say that most people include “eating enough calories to sustain oneself” in their definition. If you tally up the calories that this man ate – despite his claims that he is a large man, and therefore he couldn’t possibly be skimping on calories – it is roughly 1600-1700. A man his size probably needs 500-1000 more calories a day, depending on age, activity level, etc. To put this in perspective, I am 10 inches shorter than him and weigh 70-75 lbs less and I eat more than he did on a daily basis. Unless his goal is weight loss, he is going to need to eat more. On average, I eat 20% more than this per day (roughly). If we assume that 20% more eating equals 20% more spending (a bit of a jump, I admit), his spending would come far closer to the national average, making his “accomplishment” seem far less amazing.
  6. I would like to end by pointing out that there are a number of issues that I have not touched on that others have brought up in the past, and I largely did not bring them up because others have discussed them at length – I wanted to contribute to the discussion, not beat a dead horse. I will briefly state, though, that I agree that many articles like his dismiss the issues that many of the poor who fail to eat healthy face, like not having enough time to cook and clean up dishes after working long hours, or difficulty getting to far away grocery stores without a car (or even if they have a car, money for gas).

Food Friday

Today started out as a rather frustrating day. When I woke up, it was snowing quite heavily and Kris did not have a delay at work (they often give the government employees a delay due to the poor road care and large number of commuters) so I had to drive him in the snow. I was glad that at least we did not have freezing rain, as predicted, but my optimism may have been my downfall: thinking that there was no ice, I fell TWO times on the way to the car on ice that remained from previous days! Needless to say I did not venture out for a run considering that I could hardly walk 50 feet without injury.

I also refrained from walking Belle in that mess, and she was not too pleased with me. I feel so bad for her in the winter – even though she is reaching middle age (she is 5 or 6) she still needs to let out A LOT of energy. She was awake around 4 this morning even after being walked over a mile yesterday! “Luckily” she did get a long walk later in the day. I say “luckily” because she would have still had a short one had it not been for a fire downtown. It was on the block where we used to live and we wanted to make sure our old house had not burned down (it was not our old house). Thankfully no one sustained life threatening injuries (only one young man and his baby were home, and while injured, they will be fine). It was crazy how much of the city was basically shut down for this thing – 3 connected townhouses were on fire so they had like 7 fire trucks and had a 3 lane road closed for like 2 or 3 blocks with several other random road closures. You should have seen the surburbanites trying to flee from this during rush hour!  We live less than 3 miles from Kris’s office and we called on the way home for a carryout pizza – it took us more than the 20 minutes they quoted us to get there because of the traffic! I probably could have RUN the distance we traveled faster.

I am also dealing with frustrations with work and school. I have found a part-time job for now. This originally was good because there had been a plan to let me work part-time as a remote research assistant and take courses remotely from the university so that I could still finish up this semester, but that might fall through because I haven’t been able to find someone who is willing or able to work with me on a remote course. I was also trying to apply to a program where I could take courses at another university but registration-wise it would be set up as though I was taking those courses at my university, but no one involved with that program has any answers to my questions and they won’t tell me whether I am admitted or not. The semester is starting Monday and I am not thrilled that I still do not know whether I will be able to take courses or not. I am also really nervous about applying to full-time jobs in the case that I have no courses for the semester. Entry level jobs see me as overqualified (I have a Master’s and several years of professional work experience), but for the jobs that require experience, the experience that I have doesn’t match up. Then, when I tried to apply for a government position like my husband’s, they randomly decided that I wasn’t qualified because I had not sent them my transcripts (note: they never asked for my transcripts). I sent in the transcripts and called to see how long it would take to get everything resolved, and they told me 4-6 weeks! What?!

I guess the good news is that for the first time in a long time I am able to do a Food Friday post. Not all of my food adventures were successful, though.

When I first got my Kitchenaid, I was very excited about the dough hook – this meant I could make all sorts of exciting dough things without kneading them, like homemade bread. The problem: I have not made legit bread since I was like, 12, and that was in a bread machine. I tried to start with a simple recipe, I promise. Thinking that I had whole wheat flour, I went with this honey wheat bread recipe. It turned out that I only had all-purpose flour, though, so I just used that. I think the bigger problem came from the yeast, though. I did not remember that you had to wait for it to foam up to mean it was activated, and plus my house was freezing (this was during the polar vortex) which probably didn’t help matters. Let’s just say the bread didn’t rise. I did bake it just to see what it would taste like, and ended up with a tasty but very dense and very tiny loaf of bread. Kris and I each ate a couple of bites and threw it away.

LOL @ my bread.

I also decided that I would try to be productive by checking some vegetarian cookbooks out of the library to learn some new recipes. I live within walking distance of a branch, but for some reason had put off ever trying to go to one for 4 years. The first one that I got is making me feel quite conflicted, though. It has some good tips for someone who is new to incorporating vegetarian meals into their cooking – for example, good information on using beans and unique grains more frequently, but it is full of incredibly biased nutrition information. It is one of those books that tries to convince you that EVERYONE has a gluten and lactose intolerance and they are just not “natural” for us to eat.  Note: I have plenty of friends and family members with food allergies and intolerance and I try to be respectful of those, but there is a difference between being legitimately bothered by gluten and people just assuming that it is “healthier” for everyone for some reason.

I am also particularly displeased with how the book gets this point across. It has very biased information in it – for example, it uses the scare tactic of saying there is research showing that eating cheese is like doing heroin, but they give almost no context to this research (they imply cheese is made of heroin), but then go on to provide a “balanced” view of soy products in order to convince people whose doctors have told them not to eat soy that they should do it anyway (really overemphasizing pro-soy studies). Again, I am personally fine with eating soy products; I am not fine with a random cookbook dispensing medical advice. They sometimes even resort to childish retorts, such as saying “milk=yuck and snot!” I honestly prefer almond milk, but they almost made me want to go drink a big glass of the real stuff. At least the recipes look good!

Don’t worry – this point won’t be nothing but a discussion of this week’s failures – I had success as well! I am trying hard to make about 90% vegetarian meals at home, but Kris missed the simplicity of burgers+fries for dinner and wanted to buy some veggie burgers. I refrain from buying them usually because I am super cheap when it comes to groceries and could never justify them for myself, but when he went to the store with me, he agreed that they are way too expensive. I told him as a compromise I would look up some veggie burger recipes and put a few patties in the freezer for him to heat up. I decided that instead of a recipe I would work with this framework using ingredients that we had on hand (I had to buy some things that we were out of, but the only item I bought out of the ordinary was an onion). I made mine with the following ingredients:

  • 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped spinach
  • 1 tbsp spicy brown mustard
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (I know its not vegetarian, but I don’t want to waste what we have and it’s not like we are “real” vegetarians, anyway)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic (I know it said 1 tsp, but there is no such thing as 1 tsp garlic)
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup brown rice

I am happy to report that they turned out tasting great and they were quite easy to make! I don’t know if they are ACTUALLY cheaper than pre-made ones since I have no real way of calculating their cost but I liked that they could be made in about 10-15 minutes with stuff we normally buy. I did take some (low-quality) pictures of the process:

Cooking up the chopped veggies.

Beans, veggies, and liquids in food processor ready to grind into a paste!

Adding in the dry ingredients. You can see the paste stuff made of beans and veggies.

The final product – 8 patties to freeze! I made them more normal burger sized (the original link suggests slider sized). They were more grey in person, so they actually looked less appetizing than they were here. They tasted great, though!

I also had to redeem myself from the bread incident so I tried to make it up by following a very easy banana bread recipe. I had frozen a few ripe bananas like 3 weeks ago and never used them for anything, so this was the perfect way to use them up. I though the bread was good, but next time I would use nuts. I really prefer zucchini bread so I am used to breads like this having more texture. My only complaint: this and the other bread recipe taught me that I REALLY need to get a splash guard thing for my Kitchenaid if I want to avoid having flour thrown all over the place. Oops.

Compared to the last loaf of bread, this looks amazing!


Friend Makin’ Monday




Though it is largely just about food in general, this week’s Friend Makin’ Monday has a fairly serious topic contained within it. I have ranted before about my opinions regarding the “natural food” fallacy (i.e. everything that is not processed is better. Earlier this week, in fact, I was at Walmart with my roommate when we noticed “Aloe Vera Juice” that was supposed to be 100% natural and not processed at all. We laughed about how gross it seemed and she told me to go home and look it up since I’m the health nut to see if it goes in smoothies or something. What I found instead is that aloe vera juice may be dangerous – the kind they give people medically is actually processed in order to remove carcinogens (Source 1 Source 2 Source 3). I know the evidence isn’t 100%, and it could be possible that aloe vera juice is 100% safe (I am willing to change my mind in light of new evidence) but the point stands that everyone will probably drink this without question and believe it is healthier because it is “natural,” even though just the opposite might be the case.

GMOs are not something that is immune from my rage.  I am sort of on the fence about this. I am somewhat opposed to GMOs, but not because they aren’t “natural.” My opposition comes instead from what has occurred because of the industrialization of the agriculture industry – competitiveness, pricing, and distribution have all changed, largely due to things such as special engineering done by large agriculture companies. This is not even getting into the environmental effects. Still, I am not 100% opposed – could we feed the world with old farming practices? Of that I am not sure. You can now see why I am on the fence. From what I understand, however, GMOs are not at all dangerous to eat. I can’t seem to find it right now, but the Washington Post has a good article where they examine the least biased commentary on this debate and can’t find any evidence that GMOs are dangerous to ingest.
friend makin mondays

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

 Food Matters

1. Are you familiar with GMO’s?  Is it an issue that matters to you?  Yes, and I have summarized my feelings above.

2.  List a few items that are typically on your grocery list.  Spinach, seasonal fruit, seasonal veg, Clif bars, cheese of all sorts, Greek yogurt

3.  What is your favorite place to shop for produce?  I love shopping for produce at the farmer’s market back in Harrisburg – so much selection and so cheap. I just end up getting it at the grocery store most of the time, though. In Indiana, this means Payless (a Kroger brand store); in PA, this means Giant. I really prefer Giant’s produce because it is cheaper and they make an effort to bring in local seasonal produce.

4. Do you eat processed foods?  Yes, though I try not to eat things that are completely lacking in nutritional value. Also, this might depend on your definition of processed, but how is it possible to eat 100% “clean?” Do people seriously make all of their own bread and pasta, for example? I mean, you could even say things like string cheese are technically processed. It’s not like I’m eating nothing but easy Mac but this all seems so arbitrary to me.

5.  Do you look for the “organic” label when you shop?  I get organic if it is cheaper/the same price, but I don’t pay more for it. I should probably look up that list of the most important things to buy organic again, because organic produce is not that expensive in comparison at any of the stores I shop at. Again, I would do this for environmental rather than health reasons. There is no evidence that organic = healthier.

6. What did you eat for breakfast this morning? Oatmeal made with almond milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, and raisins. I love fall because I get hot cereal 🙂

7.  How many meals per week do you cook at home?  I would say 2 per day on average, so 14 I guess? Yes, sometimes I eat out for both lunch and dinner, but there are days when I don’t even leave the house. I always eat breakfast at home and I try to pack lunch everyday unless I’m having a lunch meeting or am being provided lunch.

8. Do you think that foods that have been genetically engineered should be labeled? I don’t necessarily think this is a bad idea, as I am not against transparency. However, I am afraid it will turn into a fearmongering thing.

9. What matters most to you when you’re choosing a restaurant?  Probably the atmosphere/price: actual quality ratio. For example, my favorite sushi place, while still expensive, has reasonable service and is a  relatively non-pretentious establishment. A similarly priced (actually slightly more expensive) sushi place that I really do not like has the same quality sushi, but is super pretentious in its atmosphere and doesn’t have very great service. I would even prefer fast-food sushi places that charge a bit too much to this place because at least they are fast and friendly and don’t pretend to be better than they are.

10.  What is your favorite meal to cook at home?  I don’t really have one. How about a category? I really love big casseroles that have leftovers that I can freeze and keep eating forever and ever!

Weighing In

You might have noticed that I have been absent for the past few days. Apologies for that, I have been quite busy and I am just now getting the chance to “weigh in.” (I might love puns too much). My parents had come to visit for the holiday weekend and then on the 8th Kris had surgery. Don’t worry, it was fairly minor – he had a cyst in his pituitary that had been there probably his whole life but was beginning to cause some complications that may have lead to long-term health problems, so it needed to be taken care of. In fact, the surgery turned out better than expected! They had originally thought that the cyst was a tumor, so the surgery took far less time than we originally thought it would. Plus, we got two surgeries for the price of one (not that we are paying for it – thanks, government job)! Apparently he had a deviated septum that we did not know about (they went in through his nose) and they fixed it while they were in there. I’m just hoping it will result in him snoring less 😉

Now, because of this busy-ness, I ate terribly. I did follow my tips for having a healthy cookout and managed to stay within my calorie range and eat relatively healthfully one day during the holiday weekend (it probably helped that I went for a 5 mile run…). I don’t really regret the choices I made, though, and here is why:

  • Kris and I impulse bought peanut butter donuts at a giant flea/farmer’s market thing (Where we also bought our first flowerpots ever. I am NOT kidding. EVER!). These were super fresh and good and I could have probably fit the donut in my diet had I not had so many sides with my lunch that day (burgers with fresh beef and hot pepper cheese from a different farmer’s market).
  • On Thursday, I had planned on eating one relatively unhealthy meal at the local 4th of July festival, but I had planned on eating it as my dinner after a healthy lunch. Instead, it turned out that we went down there for lunch and then out for Mexican for dinner! I did not regret the festival food one bit, though. For some reason, the stand was selling a mix of Mexican and Greek food so we ate chicken fajitas topped with nacho cheese and greek salad (like cucumbers and feta and stuff). It sounds WTF but it was AWESOME.
  • On Friday, my parents insisted on keeping with the loose tradition that Kris and I have of “pizza Friday” and we got Mediterranean pizza from our local pizza place for the first time ever, and it was among the best pizzas I have ever had. It was basically a white pizza with olives, tomatoes, and feta. Hmm, maybe I should start taking more pics of my food….
  • Additionally, I stayed pretty active this whole time. Kris and I went for a 4 mile hike Thursday morning, I went running almost every day, and we did plenty of walking at the flea/farmer’s markets.

I only really regret how I ate the day of Kris’s surgery. The last time that he had surgery (far more serious, and a story for another time) I really overate out of stress but this time I KNEW it was not going to be that bad but I still let myself “eat more because this was sooooo stressful.” In retrospect, I could have controlled myself more. I had multiple caramel mochas; a bacon, egg, and cheese bagel; a cookie; and a bbq bacon burger with fries AFTER eating bacon ranch nachos as an appetizer. And these were just the worst choices that day…not everything is listed! Yuck!

Still, I appreciate weeks like this where I don’t keep my eating perfectly in line because it reminds me of something. Even after going on vacation, “gaining” a few pounds (up to my normal weight), then only having a few days of normal eating before going back into unhealthy mode, after returning to normal eating only yesterday and today (and might I add that I am experiencing some lady-bloating) I am STILL at my goal weight (I weighed 126 this morning). Remember: eating 250 calories over goal every day for a week should only cause a half-pound “real” gain, which is about what scenario I am in. Yes, I am sure that on the day with burritos, ice cream, and pizza (I failed to discuss the burrito and ice cream…) that I “weighed” a lot more, but that was water weight, not REAL weight! Keep long term weights in mind and remember that weight fluctuates before freaking out and thinking you gained 10 lbs after a vacation 🙂

Now, I am thinking of trying out a few new recipes since Kris and I will be home together all week, so I’ll have to let you know if the overeating eventually does catch up, especially with my birthday next week! I’m thinking of making either a red velvet or snickerdoodle cheesecake, and I’m having a hard time deciding whether I’m going to make Kris go buy me some super fancy peanut butter ice cream cake or make one myself for my last birthday before I’m allowed to start having quarter life-crises.

Now, before I disappear for a week again (just kidding, I should be back to normal now), I wanted to share a link that I saw on reddit this morning and found interesting, especially in relation to last week’s discussion of eating “natural” foods: How Junk Food Can End Obesity. If you don’t want to read the article I linked (it is long), the author discusses the false notion that something unprocessed and natural is inherently healthier. In his words, the studies that compare people who eat a more whole/raw/unprocessed diet to people who do the opposite compares people eating apples to people eating Big Macs, not people eating grass-fed beef on homemade buns to people eating Big Macs, leading to the idea that such a diet is healthier for you, when in fact, your body has no way of distinguishing between the fat in the two types of beef. I think he makes a lot of interesting points that I did not articulate very well or did not even bother to mention. For example, I really like his focus on fast food restaurants – McDonald’s is still one of my favorite places to eat because honestly, I can find TONS of perfectly healthy options with clear calorie counts there.