Sunday, July 31, 2011

Dental adventures

OK, just for you, no more nostalgia...I'll get right to the food since I still need to floss and brush.

Yeah, I'm a good girl and do everything that my damn dental team tells me to do. Yes, I said team. I know, most people just refer to their dentist, but not me. I have a dentist and he's OK. I say OK because, really, how much can you like your dentist? I mean, the guy spends his day with his hands in other people's mouths! Anyhow, I have a dentist, his assistant, a hygienist and a periodontist (who I won't be seeing again). They tell me that, not only do I have to brush my teeth at least twice per day, I must also floss once per day, use these soft pick thingies once per day and use a flouride rinse once per day...and they just added to all that a special toothbrush that makes it easier to clean behind my wisdom teeth. Nice! Since I generally do what I am told and do not want to ever have another deep cleaning/scaling, I do what they tell me. I may not have been born with them, but I plan on dying with my wisdom teeth.

My latest dental adventure was getting fitted for a night guard. I'm going to be sooooo attractive at night! They think I clench my teeth in my sleep. Well, duh. I do it almost all day long without really noticing (until they brought it to my attention), why not when I'm asleep? I've gotten some great feedback from others who have night guards. They all say that they sleep much better with it, after getting used to it that is.

For anyone who has not been through this process, the fitting isn't bad. In fact, it was the most pleasant experience at the dentist that I've ever had. They fill these trays with semi-mint flavored goop and adhesive that smells like model glue. The glue scent is minimized by the mint flavor...weird. Anyhow, he shoves the goop filled trays into your mouth and against your teeth. Once it sets, he takes it out and that's it! Of course, I was peeling adhesive off my face for a bit. They even gave me a mirror to make sure I got it all. I pick it up in a couple of weeks, right before vacation. I'm a little amazed at the lengths I'll go to for overall good health.

Banana for breakfast anyone?

After work-out cappuccino

Yup! Panera for lunch! Classic salad with extra cucumbers and the vinaigrette from the Greek salad, smoked turkey sandwich on whole grain with mustard, fruit cup and iced tea

Steamed broccoli, sauteed tomatoes with green chilis, onions, yellow squash and white hominy and a piece of chicken

No, I didn't eat the whole thing, but I did have some tabouli for a snack

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Somethings you never forget

OK, real quick tonight...I'm up to my eyeballs in a school paper. One more's due on Monday. I think I can. I think I can. I think I can...

Still on that whole 'I just got back from NY weird brain thing'...Did you ever notice that there are some things that you can never forget? It's not that you want to or don't want to, it's just that you can't. You know them so well that they've become a part of you? On the drive from Syracuse to Rome, I decided to go a way that I hadn't been in longer than I can remember...Route 5. It's the way that we took to Gramma's house throughout my entire childhood. It's strange. So much of it looked nothing like it used to, but there was no question about where I was! It was almost as if that particular way was part of me. I knew the route as well as I know how to dress myself or tie my shoes. There are some things that we can never forget, no matter how much time and space has passed.

Along those lines, I was asked today to scan some photos from an old yearbook to help someone with an online memorial for people who went to my high school. I realized that there are some other events in our lives that are one time things that will forever stand out in our memories and never be forgotten. I can barely tell you what I had for dinner last night because there was nothing significant about it. But a friend's death in high school? That I can you about...I can tell you about the first field hockey game we played without our teammate...we tied. I can tell you all about the day I first found out that the boy who would become my first love was going to ask me out. We lost the field hockey game that evening, but I didn't care. So many events so far in the past that stay with us...yet, without this blog, I couldn't even tell you IF I had dinner last night!

What can you never forget?

mmmm mmmm scrambled Americuna eggs with chipotle salsa, organic 7 grain toast with fresh ground almond butter and strawberry jam (no sugar!), and a dish of fresh berries and melons. Yum!!!

The self-explanatory piece of fruit...

Mixed veggies with a tiny bit of butter, and chicken tikka masala served over brown basmati rice. Good, good dinner!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Back on the bike

It occurs to me that I did not write about food, nutrition, exercise, goals, or anything else that's remotely related to this blog yesterday...that's OK. What I'm finding is that, while I'm chronicling my food, I've also been writing about work-school-life balance mixed with a little journaling. I'm cool with that. I assume that you are too, because you keep reading.

Truth is, the past week is all one big weird mesh that was not really conducive to my normal schedule, food plan or exercise goals. I know that we're all going to have times in our lives like this. I know that I get all out of sorts when I'm off schedule...what do I do with this information though?? I guess it's like riding a bike, if you fall off, you just climb back on!  So this is me, climbing back on and getting back to my daily life.

So, at dinner one night last week, there was this magician. He asked me to draw a picture on a card. I drew a tree with grass and a bird flying to the tree. He said it was interesting that I didn't just draw a tree, but I gave it context, a story. I don't know if this is true, but he said that that meant that I was the type of person who likes order on the outside but whose insides are all chaotic. Boy, did he ever hit the nail on the head! That's precisely how I've felt lately!

I know that exercise helps when I feel this way. I know that time with friends helps. I know that eating healthy helps...hey wait, aren't those the things that have gone out the window? Yup...and aren't those the things that I set goals about so that they wouldn't go out the window? Yup. Back on the bike...

Remember the waffle?? Well, this is what breakfast is supposed to look like!

Unfortunately, this banana was my lunch...not good, not good at all. Don't get me wrong, it was delicious, but not enough to be lunch.

Damn you, Starbucks, your little 'treat receipts' too!

OK, so a real meal...chicken with mango salsa, a little bit of brown basmati rice, and a sautee of onions, garlic, tomatoes, white beans and red chard. I so rarely eat greens, but they looked so good! Tasted good too. Besides, I read that if you eat enough greens that your poop will be green. I consider that a challenge!

One slice organic 7 grain bread with fresh ground almond butter and a refined-sugar-free strawberry jam.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Upstate NY, the new Grand Canyon?

Back in Beantown...until today I was living out of a hotel and doing a lot of driving for a couple of days. Know what that means? Yup, no significant amount of healthy food...and no good poops. I went there. But you all know that I do-do. I finally got some veggies into me today and I'm looking forward to tomorrow!

Anyhow...every trip home is different. This one really made me think about how much my life has changed, how far I've come, the different roles I've taken on, the people I'm lucky enough to have known...I mean, mentally reviewing the last 37 years will make a girl think! Seriously.

My life has changed over time, as do all of our lives, but I mean in ways that no one could have expected...the connections that we once make and never lose, or the loose ties that become stronger. I think of that 8 or so year old girl meeting a boy for the first time in 2nd grade and although they each go their separate ways, they are still connected 30 years later, sharing a meal and telling tales that I wouldn't tell to most of my friends in my daily life....I think of that same girl at 15, away from home in a faraway land and how the people she's with have shaped my life in one way or another and today still reach across time and space to lend a hand...or at 18 or 19, still figuring out who I am and being afraid to admit or to know my own feelings and hoping to god that no one figures out my secret and finding out so many years later that I can't even name my own secret, knowing today that that terrible and wonderful summer that changed everything just doesn't seem to matter the way it did back then. Gifts of age?

I've always, at least as far back as I've been aware, believed that we are the sum of our experiences. Where we come from and who and how and why all matter from the very start. They're how I came to be me, how I know who I am...Something about their combination guides how I move forward and informs the decisions I make and my reactions to and feelings for any new experiences. When I look back, I see how everything has changed, yet so much is still the same...I see the same person who tries to keep everything together on the outside and yet doesn't feel like it's working on the inside...I see the girl who is surrounded by friends yet is terrified of meeting new people...I see a very determined woman who isn't always sure how to navigate whatever's going on her life and covers it up with a bunch of bravado.

Perhaps what I notice most when I go home, is that it just feels 'right'. Sometimes I'm afraid I'll land right back there...other times, I can feel that it would be natural and normal to do so and I just need that nudge. There was this feeling that I had while driving back to Boston, I was at the crest of a hill, looking out over farms and stretches of green, blue sky and clouds above. The clouds! The way the light touched them, it was Constable and Turner and it gave me that same feeling as when you stand at the lip of the Grand Canyon and realize how small you are in the world and how all the drama and such around you doesn't matter. What matters is that moment, just that moment you can look across the way and see just how beautiful something is that you've taken for granted for 37 years. In that moment, you can fully appreciate and drink in the ties and the people that have shared your life and helped to create the you that we know today.

Free breakfast buffet at my hotel...yes, that is syrup

Cheerios and coffee cake...notice how dull and boring and all the same color my breakfast is? Not good.

Pizza, my one true love...

It was the first 'Bucks I'd seen in DAYS! I had to ....

I 'forgot' photograph my dinner---potato chips, diet coke pasta with sauce and white rice with broccoli, chicken and cheese (a caserole)

Banana and a little light reading

 I managed to get some more Cheerios in.

OK, there was a salad next that I did not photograph...I was a little busy admiring the scenery. The salad was lettuce, tomato, onion, cuke and skinless buffalo chicken with a little blue cheese dressing.

Road be fair, I picked up the wrong kind of licorice and only ate 2 pieces but burped all the rest of the day! I had a diet coke as well.

mmm mmmm good! Meat Lovers pizza! Luckily, this is a small....I ate 3 pieces, and had a diet coke.


See how colorful that fruit is? THAT's how breakfast should be!

Office b'day party. Need I say more?

Panera! I had no food in my house...I had to go somewhere!

garden salad with the dressing for the greek salad, turkey sandwich with lettuce tomato, onion and mustard of whole grain.

and spicy tuna though...

Monday, July 25, 2011

What's your favorite?

I got some advice on my blog tonight...apparently, my cousin read the entire thing last night. He said that I should solicit comments from my readers, ask direct questions...OK. I'm down with that. I mean, I know that people are reading, I'm just not sure WHO is reading...unless, of course, you tell me that you're reading. Sooooo, I'll try 'the Bird's' idea...Since I'm home in NYS with family, it's got me thinking about family food and things that I grew up with.  Me, I love my mom's spaghetti!!

Did you ever notice that the food we grew up with can evoke such vivid memories? Whether it's times at the dinner table, or in a family favorite restaurant...or stopping at McDonald's with the team after a game, having steamed clams at the field day, ice cream cones from the stand down the street...or so many other remembrances of times past. Maybe you remember more recent that night out celebrating with friends, or maybe it's a holiday dinner that you hosted, or just grilling on a Tuesday...

Food is a glue that bonds us. We come together with family and friends over food. We share our lives and ourselves over food. We take part in caring for ourselves and for others through food. Food is nourishing and often nurturing. Food, like air and water, helps give life. It is only fitting that we have strong memories surrounding food.

What's your favorite food that you grew up with?? And the memories that you associate with it?

I was so happy to find a Panera for breakfast this morning...that I had a donut. Actually, I knew that a guy I went to high school with managed one here in Syracuse, but I didn't know which one.

Donut #2...

And, that guy I went to high school with...worked at the store I went to .... and he bought me lunch! What a nice guy!

Shish Kebob for dinner with hummus, a little falafel and salad

A little salad at my aunt's house

A little pasta at my aunt's house...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Road food

Tonight I'm coming to you live from a hotel in Syracuse, NY...a little unanticipated road trip. You know what that means? Restaurants and more calories than needed. Yup. Oh, and probably getting sick from the rich food (probably, as in it already happened).

SO, I traveled to NY today because a family member passed away recently and I'll be attending the services in the next couple of days. I rented a car and drove from Boston to Syracuse. Along the way, I took the opportunity to visit with a friend who I have not seen in 20 years! L is just as handsome as he ever was and I hope to have the opportunity to visit with him sometime before 20 years passes again! I was also able to have dinner with my friend J who I haven't seen in over 5 or 6 years? Amazing! What a gift to reconnect with old friends and have a full-circle of life kinda trip.

It's very strange, being back with old friends and in upstate NY changes a person...for the better in some ways. Today, I felt like I was just able to be myself, unguarded. As if 20 years had not passed and there was no time or space between us. I don't know about you, but that is something I'm grateful for. Anytime I can spend time with someone and be completely at ease is something to be appreciated, enjoyed and savored. I was able to do that with both L and J. It is not lost on me that my life today is second to none and better than I could have ever imagined.

Uncle Sam cereal with strawberries and skim milk

Appetizer sampler from Ruby Tuesday's...when we ordered it, I commented this was sure to make me sick...and then I ate my share of each item anyway...

Grilled chicken salad with fried mozzarella...

Before you get the wrong idea...only the chocolate cake one is mine!

A little antipasto!

Yummy filet and broccoli...I forgot, if you want plain food in a steak house, you have to specify. My broccoli came with cheese and butter...I'm fairly certain the filet had butter on it too. Either way, they contibuted to the gastro-intestinal upset that later occurred as the result of eating fried food and dessert.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

4 days...get ready to see some food!

Holy crap!! I haven't posted in 4 days. Not know what that means, lots of pictures tonight.

I'm realizing that stress is creeping up on me more slowly than normal and it's been hard to detect. I'm realizing that I'm more frazzled than I thought. I'm realizing that I'm not dealing with it well. I'm realizing that I'm falling into old patterns...This is even more NOT GOOD than normal. Why?? Well, tomorrow I'm heading out for a few days and will not have as much control over my food as I normally would. AND, I've got my AZ/CA/NV road trip coming up. Lots of sitting still and being tempted to eat tons of sugar. I mean, pink snowballs become a necessary food group when on a road trip. Right?

OK, so instead of complaining, what did I do today to manage my stress and eat healthy? Well, I had a little social time, I actually started writing my paper, and I went to the gym for 30 minutes of cardio. I also managed to get cash for tolls and ink for my printer! Not bad. I did also manage to stick to the food plan today, but you'll see that in the pics...


No surprises here...


And here's where I cheated a little...can you spot what's not on the food plan?  Don't worry, you'll see it again.

Shepard Salad---cukes, tomatoes, onions and vinaigrette

A and I went out to Turkish restaurant...we shared the salad

stuffed grape leaves, I had 3

Apparently, the meat shown here is the correct portion for the Cop Sis...they brought me another skewer after I asked about it. The rice and bread = AMAZING! I think it was the best rice I've ever eaten. I did not eat the onions or the pickled cabbage.

chocolate fro-yo with a sprinkling of oreos


Yup. Nothing new. Oh! Except the cafeteria now has a giant vat of buffalo's on my eggs!

Standard salad with some sort of cauliflower and yellow tomato sautee.

Here, I just went all out...mocha coconut frappeccino with whipped cream and caramel sauce

leftover lentils and basmati rice with broccoli


more buffalo sauce on my eggs!!

So, I did have a salad for lunch...with a piece of pizza. This is my coconut cream frappeccino. Damn Treat Receipts!

Garden salad from Soulfire BBQ

Potato salad and southern fried chicken wings, also from Soulfire BBQ.
I ate 3 of the wings and about 1/2 of the potato salad.

New chips made from brown rice...pretty good!


Can I have a little egg with my vegetables? There are 2 eggs in that scramble...carrots, red pepper, broccoli, onion and yellow squash with salsa. No cheese today. Whole grain toast with a little butter.

Sorry about the food camera and I'm still getting used to it.

Salad for lunch

And finally! Dinner! 2 Chicken breast tenders; sauteed white hominey, onion, red pepper, yellow squash and diced tomatoes with green chilis; and broccoli.

Amazingly good! The tomatoes and chilis were spiced more than I thought and I added chile powder. The mildly sweet hominy was a great compliment. Corn would have been in this too to offset the spicy.