40 Days

Hello world!  I feel like I’ve been light on the blog posting lately.  I’ve been super focused on school for the past few months and it’s consumed most of my time and energy.  But here I am.  How are you?  Here’s what I’ve been up to:

I gave up sugar for lent which turned out to be a really awesome experience.  Besides the spiritual aspect of it, I was also looking to kick a mild sugar addiction which in turn would (I assumed) lead me to drop pounds quick.  Wrong.  When it was all said and done, I ended up gaining a pound (seriously?).  I really don’t understand that one.

Like I said, it was a great experience because I learned several things and adopted some new routines:

  • I was indeed addicted to sugar, and I was consuming it at nearly every meal, knowingly or unknowingly.  
  • Sugar is in EVERYTHING.  Let me rephrase, sugar is in nearly everything that is processed.
  • I was eating so much more processed food than I realized.
  • I was eating out a lot more than I realized.
  • Eating out costs a lot of money.
  • Cooking at home, when you are now trying to cook all natural and organic costs a lot of money.
  • Crappy, sugary food was around me constantly, everywhere I went.  Work, school, there was always cookies, cake, etc and before I would always go “yes of course I’ll have some.”  During my 40 days sugar-free, when I couldn’t have any, it made me realize that I really don’t want all that junk.
  • After a few days off of sugar, I was craving REAL food.  Veggies, fruits, grains.

Prepping to cook for the week. Switching to a non-processed real food only diet is EXPENSIVE! #100daysofrealfood

  • I started cooking a lot more at home.  I’ve mentioned before that I have a cookbook problem, so I had a whole arsenal of recipes to start with.  I had recently purchased a new cookbook, Make It Fast, Cook It Slow, a slow cooker cookbook and I had bought a new, larger 7 quart slow cooker from Williams-Sonoma so I jumped right in to slow cooking

Excited for my new cookbook!

  • Slow cooking makes A LOT of food.  My fridge is jam-packed with corn chowder and broccoli cheese soup.  I am sick of both already and I still have enough of it to eat it for every meal till next Sunday.

Made enough corn chowder to last me till 2018...
Here it is... Doesn't look too appetizing but it's good. I need to get an immersion blender. Great cookbook :)

  • I thought giving up sugar was going to be so difficult.  It ended up not being too bad, there were a few days where my sugar tooth was really nagging at me, but when that happened I would eat a Clif Kids Z Bar, (my savior).  I love them because they don’t sweeten with sugar, and the chocolate chip ones taste just like an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie.  I actually ended up loving the freedom from sugar.  It was so nice to be able to say “no I don’t want that” and really mean it.
  • It reminded me of Geneen Roth’s food rules, which I try to live by, but every once in a while you need a refresher.
    • “Eat when you are hungry.
    • Eat sitting down in a calm environment. This does not include the car.
    • Eat without distractions. Distractions include radio, television, newspapers, books, intense or anxiety-producing conversations or music.
    • Eat what your body wants.
    • Eat until you are satisfied.
    • Eat (with the intention of being) in full view of others.
    • Eat with enjoyment, gusto and pleasure.”

-Geneen Roth

  • I have a lot more I could say about how fabulous Geneen Roth is, about food and eating issues, but I’ll save that for another time and another post.  For now, let me just add to the rules (or guidelines as I really should be calling them, because that is what she calls them), is that EVERYTHING IS OK IN MODERATION!  Please don’t ever deprive yourself of any food.  It just leads to over eating, which is no fun.  Enough on that for now.
  • Today, being Easter, I got to break my no sugar regimen, and boy did I break it.  And boy do I feel like junk.  The day started out with a chocolate chip pudding ring (it is a beyond delicious cake they carry at my local grocery store’s bakery) and ended with Girl Scouts Samoas which I am currently snacking on.  I’ve missed by old buddies of chocolate and white refined sugar, but I am sure that we are going to have a less dependent relationship from now on.
  • I really enjoyed having a goal or something that I am working on, so I think I am going to continue on with a 40 day challenge.  Starting tomorrow I am going to (eeks I don’t even want to write this) do a cardio workout of some sort every single day.  Whether it being a 20 minute walk (which is cardio when you are so out of shape like I am), or zumba at the gym, I want to do something.  Over the past 40 days I’ve started working out more than usual (as in I’ve started working out) and I feel so amazing after I do.  It is so true what they say about it being a natural stress reliever.

So that’s all for now.  I hope Easter treated everyone well.  Have a good week and Carpe Diem!

This Fall

I usually dread summer ending and Fall starting because that means cold weather is just around the corner, and I am no fan of cold weather.  But this year something is different, I don’t know if it’s because it was hot a blazes this summer or what, but for the first time I’m really looking forward to fall.  You can kind of smell if coming in the air.

Here are some things I’m excited about this fall:

The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook is being released October 30.  I love her blog and can’t wait to read the thing cover to cover.

 

 

You’ve Got Mail.  This is one of my favorite movies of all time and I love watching it every Fall because it reminds me of the Fall.  (By the way, Rest in Peace Nora Ephron.  Such a brilliant lady.  Some of my favorite movies are Nora Ephron movies… Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally…)

 

Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice.  Which I just found out is available all year long, but can you imagine drinking it in May?  Ew.  It’s perfect on a chilly fall/ winter day.

 

Photo Source

 

Besides that….. A new wardrobe.  My beloved boots.  Tights.  Long sleeve shirts that cover my jiggly arms.  That fall smell that’s in the air.  Boots, boots, boots, boots.  I really love boots.

Le Creuset Dutch Oven

I got a red Le Creuset Dutch Oven for Christmas which I was totally not expecting.  When I opened the present I literally shrieked like an 8-year-old who had just gotten a my size Barbie (that is a whole nother story…).

I hadn’t even asked for it.  I’ve been dreaming and salivating over a Le Creuset Dutch oven for years now, but figured I wouldn’t get one until I got married and someone bought me one off my wedding registry because they ain’t cheap.  And it was in red, which I don’t think my step-mom knew that I buy all my kitchen appliances in red because 1) most of my mom’s kitchen appliances were red and 2) I think red is a good color to have in the kitchen, it stimulates the appetite.

So this is pretty much what I look like now in the kitchen:

About the my size Barbie, I asked for one every year for Christmas for about 5 years in a row, but that was during the time when my dad was a recent widower so it probably went in one ear and out the other.  I think if I got one now I would probably shriek like I did when I got the Le Creuset.

IKEA Cookbook?!

I hear a rumor that IKEA is releasing a cookbook, which makes me very happy.  Buuut…. it is in Swedish, which won’t work so well for me.  If it is for sale here in the US I will totally be buying it anyways, I’ve never seen a cookbook quite like this one.  Check it out.

New Years Resolutions

One goal I have for 2010 is to scan all my mom’s old recipes, translate them (most are in French) and make them into a cookbook.  I was hoping to make the book through one of those companies that let’s you self publish photo books like kodak.com or shutterfly.com.  However I just stumbled upon lulu.com which has photobooks that don’t look so generic… maybe it is the option to do soft cover books, but I like what they have to offer better.

Lulu 8.5 x 8.5 square photo book:

My other major goal for 2010 is this website.  Branding, a new name, a new domain, a logo, etc.  I have been trying to think of a new name since I started in November 2008 and I finally know what direction I want to go with the blog, I just need to narrow it down to a specific name, make a new header and buy a new domain!  I am very happy, I lose sleep over the generic-ness of this blog.

Stay tuned!!

I Want These

I want four of these Le Creuset Mini Cocottes

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And this

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Pretty much everything in my Amazon wish list is food related, I’m trying to figure out if that is pathetic or refined….I’m not sure…

Pioneer Woman

I discovered Pioneer Woman in this month’s Southern Living… I am now in love.  Just ordered her cookbook (if you don’t know already I am a cookbook-aholic).

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Check out her blog… you will become addicted like I have!