Whisker Fatigue

My dad posted a link to this article from the New York Times on Facebook today. It’s called Whisker Fatigue, and it’s the reason why your (and my!) cats might have “eating issues,” aka they take their food out of their bowls and eat on the floor.

I’ve always noted that Gus takes his food out of his bowl and eats it off the floor. I never thought anything of it because other people have said their cats did the same thing. BUT! It’s not just a cute cat quirk, it’s an actual medical thing that is resolved by using shallow food dishes to feed them. Whiskers are little antennas and so you can imagine they’d be bothered if they were constantly smooshing up against the side of a bowl while they were eating. They supposedly get anxious and apprehensive because of this.

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That’s Gus. See Gus’s whiskers? They’re really long for a little cat. So, being the doting cat mom I am, I went out to my local indie pet store to buy new food bowls and when they didn’t have them, I purchased these on Amazon.

Hopefully he’ll stop spilling his food onto the floor when the new dishes come. I just wanted to pass on my new found cat-related wisdom.

My parents and I are going to Philly on Saturday to see my best friend, who is currently recovering from chemo, and her parents. My mom called me today and said she was shopping in Marshall’s and going to buy some really tasty, fattening snacks because the bff has no appetite and is losing weight. She was running a bunch of stuff by me: Swedish fish, M&M’s, chocolate covered something-or-others.

Then I blurted out to nope, forget it all. I know she was coming from a good place but I told her that I was going to go to Trader Joe’s to get some not-as-mass-produced and not as unhealthy snacks because thinking about feeding my chemo-recovering bff processed sugar and garbage makes MY insides hurt and if it makes me hurt, it’s probably not going to be much better for her health either. 

So, while some of this may not be the height of health, it HAS to be better than the discount candy that sits on the shelves at TJ Maxx for months on end, right? I’m going to tell myself it is. 

My haul above included: sweet potato tortilla chips, chocolate covered pomegranate seeds, chocolate covered almonds, dried mango slices, fruit juice gummy penguins, candied walnuts, whoopi pies, and cowboy bark (which is chocolate and pretzels, etc). 

Yes, this is indeed better than Marshall’s selection. 

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.

5 Reasons Running May Not Help You Lose Weight

OK, nevermind.

Remember how I’d been going to the gym and using the elliptical 4 mornings during the week? Well, according to the above article that may have fucked up my metabolism and have a part in screwing up my weight. 

BUTbut… I ran 5k twice last week and I almost enjoyed it and I’d like to keep doing it at least once a week. I ran for 31-33 minutes at a time so I’m thinking that might not be overdoing it too much. 

This above article really drove home the need to do more weight training. I went to an Ashtanga/Iyengar-heavy yoga class last night and aside from my Saturday morning class, I’m going to do my best to stay away from Vinyasa/Power/Fire/Body Assault yoga classes. 

And then, this morning, I used my arm weights and did a couple free weight exercises and then put on my Barre DVD and worked on the arm module and about half of the core module. I’m going to use the shit out of that DVD.

This morning I also noticed that eating cold foods in the morning don’t sit well in my stomach. Back to oatmeal for me! #protein 

5 Reasons Running May Not Help You Lose Weight

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. 

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. 

Springtime Rant

So, I’m wearing a black dress today (#newyorker) and it’s a little short. In fact it’s a little too short. I’m pretty sure I shrank this dress in the dryer a few months ago and haven’t worn it since.

But is it really shorter just because it shrunk or because of my winter weight that’s hanging on like an annoying toddler? I’m really trying not to stress the 5 pounds that I’ve gained in the winter months but the struggle is real. I’m eating lots of vegetables and really only snacking on pretzels (I know, processed, ugh). I think I need to eat out less and cook more. 

When I “went out” (meaning I had some friends meet me at a neighborhood bar for wings, beer, and cake before being home by midnight) for my birthday last weekend, I had five beers. That’s usually 2-3 more beers that I’ll ingest in a weekend so maybe that’s the culprit for feeling shitty this week. Then there’s also shark week. So, yes, it’s probably a culmination of all of those.

Digression re: booze: I only really drink on the weekend and not that much like – 2 beers max. Sometimes I’ll go out and have one beer during the week. So I don’t think it’s my alcohol intake that’s making me feel gross. 

Here’s what my eating usually looks like during the week:

  • Breakfast: Lately it’s been a pear/banana/almond milk/almond butter /spinachsmoothie or a packet of organic oatmeal with 1.5tbsp of creamy peanut butter and 1 tbsp of jam mixed into it, and coffee.
  • Snack: A Hershey’s chocolate nugget or a couple of pretzel sticks. And green tea.
  • Lunch: Veggies and protein from Dig Inn, or some spiralized vegetables in olive oil from home with some kind of cheese or protein, or today it was chicken schwarma in a pita.
  • Post Lunch: Coffee and/or green tea and usually a peanut butter cookie Larabar. And maybe veggie chips or more pretzels.
  • Dinner: Usually it’s a leftover rice dish, or spiralized veggie noodles, or Greek yogurt with frozen fruit in it.
  • Post Dinner: Tea and something chocolate. 

I digress… BUT! the weather is finally nicer so I can start running outside again. I think the elliptical is getting a little monotonous in the mornings and I’m not sure how much effect it’s having on my health anymore. 

I still downward dog regularly, duh.

I think I should go back to being super committed to the barre DVD that I have and do more than just the arms. I also want to use the actual weights in my gym. I don’t want to look muscular, but I know that weight lifting is super beneficial to burning calories efficiently and getting in shape, so why not?

That’s my minddump for the week. If you have any suggestions or where I’m going wrong with my food, leave a comment. Thank you for listening. 😉

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.