Today It Starts

Today J and I are going on a low carb and sugar diet. We’ve eaten about a small army’s worth of tortilla chips lately so we’re taking some time off. Gretchen Rubin mentioned in “Better Than Before” how she cut carbs, which she didn’t like much anyways, and lost a ton of weight.

I’ve also started and am loving “Unprocessed,” about a woman who didn’t eat processed food for an entire year. I really want to try baking my own bread sometime so I can know that it’s not full of wood chips.

Going “no carb,” though, is just not in the books for me because literally all of the food I like has carbs in it. Fruit? Yes. Yogurt? Yes. Fuck. 

I googled Tim Ferris’ Slow Carb Diet recipes and they all look pretty heinous. Like, really gross. So, if you know of any low-carb recipes that I have to try, let me know! Also, if you have any tips from your experiences with this kind of eating, let me know.

As a friend would say: Here. We. Go.

New Year’s Things

I just did 5 yoga classes in 3 days. I am sore and took today, Friday, off. I’m going in for one more class before the final holiday of the year tomorrow morning, which should kill me. My knee is acting up but I think it’s strained from overdoing it in King Arthur pose on Wednesday night so I’ll have to go easier.

I was thinking about New Year’s resolutions and I didn’t know what they should be. J said that because I’m doing yoga teacher training, and that’s a big commitment, that I should basically be absolved from making other ones, but I still wanted to think of something. Here’s what I came up with:

  1. Volunteer more – this will likely be in the realm of volunteering with cats, something I’m already doing, but let’s do it some more, shall we?
  2. Go on Facebook less – like 15 minutes a day or less. If I have a question about something, I’ll just have to Google it or reach out to actual human people I know. Facebook is a super fucking waste of time and it makes people depressed, so let’s cut it out. 
  3. Read – I read 14 or 15 books this year. Let’s do it again in 2017. Or make it 20. Why not.
  4. Be healthier – Cook more, eat out less. Get back to drinking once or twice a week and no more. Basically try to feel good. 
  5. Make a vision board – I keep meaning to and then I’m like, “Ooh, NVM, let’s watch My Cat From Hell…”
  6. Figure out what I want to do – I don’t think a 9-5 desk job is for me (unfortunately) so I need to figure out WTF I want to do instead. 
  7. Rock teacher training – Duh. Maybe I’ll be able to master a headstand, too, finally. But hey, just because someone can do a handstand doesn’t mean they’re a good teacher.
  8. Watch less Netflix – This goes for HBO Go and Amazon Prime too. I want to watch less TV so I can read more. 
  9. Be more patient – with my partner, my friends, family, and especially strangers. I currently have no patience, so cultivating any patience would be a miracle. 
  10. Be less judgmental – I would like to look at someone that I’ve never met and not make 10 assumptions about them based on what they look like or what they’re doing. 
  11. Travel Somewhere New: One new city in America (we’re planning on Denver, at the very least) and three new cities in Europe (ideas that have been thrown around: Reykjavik, Dublin, Edinburgh, London, Budapest, Bucharest, or wherever they film the Bond movies in Croatia).

I think that’s good for now. What are your resolutions? 

Week 1 (or What My Exercise Schedule Actually Looked Like)

I wrote last week about mixing up my work out schedule and including a rest day or two because those might actually be important. Here’s what I’d anticipated it might look like:

Monday: Ashtanga/Iyengar Yoga
Tuesday: Running + sit ups
Wednesday: Running + sit ups + Ashtanga/Iyengar yoga
Thursday: Running + sit ups
Friday: Rest?
Saturday: Vinyasa
Sunday: Rest or Run?

But here’s what it actually ended up looking like:

Monday: Yoga (85 minutes)
Tuesday: 50 sit-ups, running (22 minutes)
Wednesday: 50 sit-ups, arm weight exercises, yoga (85 minutes)
Thursday: Running (20 minutes)
Friday: Yoga (65 minutes)
Saturday: Unintentional rest day
Sunday: Yoga (30 minutes)

With trips out to Long Island and Westchester this weekend, I ate tons of food so now I’m going to try to get back to health eating. Today I think I’m going to yoga and then I’m going to also run. Now where’s my Inspiralized cookbook…

Food Stuffs

Let’s talk about all the things that I’ve been eating recently that have made me feel awful. 

For starters, I’ve realized that I snack too much at work. We have mini Snickers and Hershey’s nuggets and M&M’s just lying around. Initially, I was pretty addicted these. I’ve pretty much toned it down to 2 pieces per day. But I’m still reaching for the junk even though I’m not hungry. It’s just there, right? So, it’d be rude not to partake. I made the decision a few weeks ago to start ordering apples, so apples and peanut butter is a go-to snack of mine in an attempt to keep away from the shitty chocolate.

I think coffee may be making my head hurt, too. I only drink one or two cups a day, but I need to drink more water. (Which I have been, but I need to drink more because: hot weather.)

But let’s talk about the baguette I ate last week. 

I’d packed my lunch – super healthy grilled chicken and zucchini noodles with pesto sauce. But I was like, “it’s shark week and I’d like something heartier to go alone with all of that healthy shit,” so I went to Eataly, which is conveniently located across the street from my office, and walked around until I found a small counter that sold baguettes for two dollars. I immediately bought one and I ate about half of it with lunch and throughout the afternoon.

When I say I felt like trash for the rest of the afternoon, it is a complete understatement. I felt like steaming hot trash that had just been bathed in a tub of burnt olive oil.

I don’t have celiacs. I’m not glutarded. I’m not giving up all bread because bread is great. But based on the complete meltdown that my body had last week when I consumed a stupid amount of baguette, I think I should lay off the bread that’s void of any nutrition at all. 

I think I could’ve trained myself not to be OK with feeling like shit after eating bread and pasta. I used to consume a ton of pasta and I ate regular bread all the time. Usually when I buy bread, I’ll buy Ezekiel, which is gluten free, and the last time I made actual pasta (and the only time that I even have a faint memory of) was July 4th. After J bought the Inspiralizer for me, I haven’t made an ounce of pasta. 

But lesson learning is never easy so I had to eat bread once again on Saturday night. More specifically, garlic bread. These were small pieces and there were four of them. I only ate two because of The Baguette Incident. Luckily, showing some restraint paid off and these didn’t actually make me want to start clawing at my stomach. Still, I was incredibly sad to be leaving two gleaming pieces of garlic bread behind. This is a feeling that I will have to learn to deal with. I hate wasting food. 

The margaritas I had later that night had zero effect on me. Nor did the tortilla chips (thank goodness these are GF) and queso. 

I have a love/hate relationship with my consciousness around food now. I notice when things make me feel like dying and I make a conscious decision not to fuck around with those foods anymore. This is for the best, but it also sucks. Who doesn’t love a good bread basket?

Aside from cheap chocolate and bread, what isn’t making me feel shitty? Fruits, vegetables, and smoothies. Pretzels are toeing the line right now. I would really, really, really like to eat a burger or pizza right now but I don’t want a food hangover. 

I made this dish last night, complete with spiralized sweet potatoes, red pepper, green pepper, yellow squash, a little bit of cheese and spicy black beans. It was delicious and I didn’t want to die after. I have to start making more dishes like this again. 

It Only Takes a Taste

Last Wednesday I went to my final show of a marathon (for me nowadays) of 7 shows in 2.5 weeks, Waitress. I hadn’t (and still haven’t, though it’s on my queue) seen the movie, hadn’t listened to any of the music, and I don’t know any of Sara Bareilles’ music (maybe a partial lie – I’ve heard, like, one song before), but I heard it was good, and the last row of the mezzanine is super cheap (and actually not awful, take note!). I’d also not yet had the pleasure of seeing Jessie Mueller in a leading role so I was quite excited for that, too. 

I arrived at the theatre to the scent of baked goods (good job, producing team, that was the right choice), immediately became hungry, and took my seat. The rear mezzanine seats at the Brooks Atkinson are not bad at all. It’s not like the St. James where you feel miles above the stage (that’s the balcony, I guess, but still, they’re awful seats). I looked at the cast and only recognized a few of the names in addition to Mueller’s. A cast of unknowns – awesome!

I knew the basic plot of the show – waitress in a redneck town gets knocked up – but not more than that. It’s a pretty typical plot as far as plots about girls getting knocked up in redneck towns go. Abusive husband? Check. Witty group of friends/colleagues? Check. The boss who’s also a semi-father figure/advice giver? Check. A new love interest? Check. 

Jenna (Mueller)’s friends at the diner Dawn (Kimiko Glenn) and Becky (Keala Settle) were both hysterical, and super talented. I realized at intermission that Kimiko is So-So from Orange is the New Black and she has a terrific voice and she’s a great actress. Drew Gehling (who plays Jenna’s new love interest, and her OBGYN, Dr. Pomatter) was just delightful. He was nervously awkward but very genuinely sweet. Dawn’s love interest, Ogie (Christopher Fitzgerald), totally steals every scene he’s in. Give him an honorary Tony Award for comedy or something. 

The show’s conclusion is logical, but disappointing. I guess such is life, too. I really enjoyed the score (good job, Bareilles), as well as the lighting. To be honest, I don’t remember much of the choreography. Side note: the sets are all automated. At the end of the first scene of the second act, an announcement went over the PA system saying they were taking a 10 minute break for technical difficulties. Shortly thereafter we got back on track. #livetheatre

I’m not sure whether it was the short pause in the second act, or the overall length of the show, but although I really enjoyed it, it felt it was 15-20 minutes too long. It definitely worth a visit though, especially if you like Sara Bareilles. 

Last thing: I totally bought the $10 pie-in-a-jar at intermission. You just want some baked goods, any baked goods, after the first act. Nom.

The Weekend

This weekend was oh-so nice. It started on Friday night when J and I went down to The Library (the bar at the Public) to celebrate his birthday with his friends, many of whom I just adore. It was super fun, though we both probably consumed far too much alcohol. 

We ordered in carb-loaded breakfasts from my local diner the next morning to fight our hangovers before going to see Avenue Q at New World Stages. It was my first time seeing it since 2005 or 2006 and it totally holds up. I’ll write about it more in depth later on but it’s still so great. J loved it SO, SO much. He couldn’t stop talking about it the entire weekend. Now he’s all, “I’m sure Hamilton’s great, but is it funnier than Avenue Q? Probably not.” 

He had to run home and I had to go home to see my cat and take a nap, but we met back up later on to go meet his friend from DC who he hadn’t seen in 3 years. We attempted to go to Flatiron Hall, but it was packed, so we went across the street to a mostly-empty bar (I can’t remember the name) and didn’t leave until probably 1am. So late. It was so exhausting but it was fun. (I nursed one beer the entire time because the thought of drinking more hurt my face.)

Sunday included a trip to Book Culture to take advantage of their 20% off sale. I hate buying books simply because they’re cheap, but I bought a Kon Mari-esque book called The Joy of LessYes Please by Amy Poehler, and Just Kids by Patti Smith. I cooked this sausage/kale/carrot noodle soup from the Inspiralized blog (it’s SO GOOD) and we watched “The Invasion” on HBOGo (it was entertaining and I’d recommend watching it if you’re bored, though it was 100% ridiculous). 

After an hour or so in the gym, I made sausage/carrot noodle/spinach/siracha rice wraps. So good. The rice wrap is kind of hard to handle but worth it not to have all the carbs of a regular wrap. 

We ended the night watching Show Business and later watching Game of Thrones (he watched, I played with my cat). I hadn’t watched Show Business in so long. It brought back so many good memories. To my shock and delight, J found it super interesting and loved seeing the progression of Avenue Q, in addition to watching Raul Esparza do theatre (currently he only knows him as DA Barba on SVU).

Overall, a solid weekend. 

Inspiralized @ Whole Foods

J bought the Inspiralizer for me a few months ago and I use it in over 50% of my cooking now. I haven’t made actual pasta in months. And aside from when I had penne vodka over the weekend at a restaurant, I haven’t eaten it. When I did, it made me feel gross. Anyways, when it was announced that Ali Malfucci, founder of Inspiralized, was doing a demo at the Upper West Side Whole Foods, I was super stoked.

She demo’ed how to to inspiralize a plethora of vegetables, showed how to clean the Inspiralizer, talked about how she got started, answered questions, and then made a pesto dish with zucchini noodles. It was so good.

I bought her first cook book and she was super sweet – exactly the same as how she comes across in her videos. She clarified how to stabilize my Inspiralizer to my granite countertop; which was something that I’d had a load of trouble with.

I can’t recommend this kitchen tool enough! It’s changed my life and my palette. 

Digestion

Last year when I read Skin Cleanse by Adina Grigore, I kept track of everything I put in my mouth for three days straight. Not just that I ate a banana for a snack or pizza for lunch. I wrote down those three Reese’s Pieces and the two grapes that I consumed too. This was an attempt to figure out what made my digestive system feely shitty and probably wasn’t doing my skin any favors either. 

Ever since I did that, I was acutely aware of when I was feeling bloated or just shitty after a meal in general. But did I write it down? Oh no. That would make way too much sense.

But now? I’ve decided to do it again. I created a document on my iPhone and I’m going to keep track of all the times when I’m feeling shitty after a meal and what exactly I ate before I started feeling that way. 

This decision was made because I felt shitty after lunch today. I had homemade turkey chili on top of zucchini noodles, with a side of guacamole and five tortilla chips (weird, I know, but that’s what I ate) and a pomegranate seltzer. I’m very, very bloated now. I think it might be the seltzer, which blows because I love seltzer and we keep it in the office. It tastes better than water, but it’s not filled with sugar like soda is. 

I’ve never done elimination from my diet before but I’m curious to see what I find out. If I can eliminate the foods that make me feel shitty it’ll be for the better (duh). 

I’d encourage everyone to do this if you ever feel crappy after a meal. 

Fan Girlin’

Not really, but I think it’s super cool that @inspiralized herself replied to my photo of my dinner on Tuesday night! After her video (in which she spiralized an entire rutabaga) dumbfounded my dude and I, I went out and bought a rutabaga and last night I gave it my best shot. It’s a rather hard vegetable to spiralize. To be completely frank: It was a huge pain in the ass.

But I spiralized half, drizzled olive oil, salt, and pepper on the pile, and baked it for 10-15ish minutes. I heated up some sauce, sautéed broccoli in said-sauce, and the turkey meatballs I’d made the night before, sprinkled 1 tablespoon of cheese on top and voila

For lunch yesterday I had more of the rutabaga pasta, turkey meatballs, and also sweet potato noodles. 

I’m eating a lot of vegetables lately. And they taste so good.

(PS: Follow me on Instagram here.)