As previously noted, I tend to be healthy and active during the week when I am on my own.  Then, I spend the weekend with my boyfriend and there is at least one day of unhealthy eating and drinking and general laziness.  

This had been the pattern for a year and half of living 2 hours apart.  I started tracking what I was eating earlier this year, and tried to do a realistic and honest count for the weekends.  It helped me be more conscious and to at the least try to make healthy substitutions wherever possible.  

Chris moved at the beginning of March. And since then, I have dropped 5-8 pounds.  In part, this is because I have more time by myself, which means more time for physical activity. Also, I was taking a long walk each week to train for a 50K hike I did with Liz.  But, the biggest change has been in the weekend food and alcohol consumption.  I certainly have enjoyed a beverage or the occasional fast food meal (exclusively In-n-Out or Chick-fil-A).  And I have visited Chris a couple times and celebrated weekends with other visitors.  Overall, though, it has been a healthy 2 months.  I wouldn’t say that my body looks significantly different, but I do feel better – especially on Mondays. I feel relaxed, energized, and positive.  

I am moving at the end of June.  This time it will be different because instead of only having weekends together, we are going to be living together for the first time. That means my regular food for the week all will be available on the weekend. Also, where we are staying has a small gym and the weather is much more mild than here – so I plan to continue regular exercise.  But, I am curious to see if the scale changes. The number is not so important to me as what patterns I keep up or change and how I feel.  

As an end note, since I have reached my “target weight” and anticipating the new living arrangements – I have stopped tracking calories.  Because I don’t move until the end of June, this gives me time to listen to and trust my body and continue making healthy choices.


I’ve been drooling over Gena’s raw zucchini pasta, so I tried my own version using the mandolin my parents gave me for Christmas, and it worked out beautifully.

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The raw sauce consists of :

1 tomato

1 clove of garlic

2 mushrooms

pinch of sea salt


finely chopped sun dried tomato

a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (so this isn’t technically raw…)

pinch of crushed red pepper (…neither is this…)

~1 T of tomato paste (…I guess this isn’t either)

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Okay, so the sauce isn’t completely raw, but it’s healthy and yummy!

I’m having this for dinner later, and I plan to top it with some raw goat’s milk jalepeno cheddar cheese.

I anticipate that I will make this meal many times in the future!

does a body good

Continuing from my previous post, and anticipating what has been keeping Liz away, I have been reflecting on what my body needs. 

From a short but interesting interview with Susie Orbach in the NYTimes Sunday Magazine 3/8/9:

” Fifi, which is what I call my book “Fat Is a Feminist Issue,” was in part a plea to give up dieting and learn to recognize hunger and appetite and respond to them. Dieting, I argued, caused compulsive eating and destabilizes our relationship to food.”

Milk actually does not do my body good, as I do not enjoy the taste. But, I get my calcium from plenty of alternative sources. The only exception: cold milk with a big piece of yellow box-mix cake.

I know many people give up or take on things during Lent.  For the exercise of reflecting on what I depend on/what I am lacking, I sometimes make an effort to do something for Lent.  This year I decided I would forgo buying wine to keep at home. I will have a glass (or more) if I am out. But, I was thinking about patterns in my life, and anticipating Chris moving further west ahead of my moving date – and decided I should not use wine to accompany an activity.  A glass of wine (or any alcohol) a day shows positive health effects – but I would tend to have my glass or two with homework, or with doing laundry, or with cleaning. I am not knocking any of those pairings – but to reset my habits (and to save money) I thought a 40 day exercise is reflection would be good. 

Sometimes I feel like going through the motions – opening and pouring a glass as I settle down with my computer. Instead I start my activity and forget all about it.  So far, I am finding the same goes with snacks during homework. I don’t get a snack to start my homework. But, if I get hungry, then I get up and get something.  I don’t analyze it, I try not to over-think or over-rationalize it (in the moment – I know I am rationalizing/objectifying here).  In contrast, I am feeling quite attached to the simple calorie counting widget – even though I eat about the same thing every day and have regular daily activities. That might be my next thing de-habitualize.

p.s. Also during Lent and beyond I hope, I am working on bringing the feeling of body calm during yoga into my daily life. Usually, I forget – but it has helped a few times.

I read in Self or Women’s Health (which I am getting only because I agreed to pick 3 magazines for a trial 3 months – I just have to remember to cancel!) that people who photographed every single thing they ate for [some time period] ate less/lost more weight than people who did not.  I thought about it -and my occasional food photos here – and decided even if it was a statistically significant result, it does not sound worth it for me.

Taking pictures of my food was fun, but hot stuff would get cold, or I would feel removed [Foucault’s modern gaze, anyone?].  I don’t want my food to be objectified, I want to enjoy the process of making it and eating it. I feel I am already pretty aware of what I eat and portion sizes, and photos would not be a positive motivation, where positive means enjoyable or worth it.*

I also have decided that loud, fast music may not be the best motivation for me when running. As I mentioned, I got a Nike+ system. I did a few runs where I set the distance I want to run, then chose a playlist, and got to it. Every 0.5 miles a nice voice would report my distance, up to my halfway point, when the voice would count down (0.5 mi to go).  My “running” playlist on my ipod is your typical pop/rock loud fast music.  

One day I decided to mix it up and chose to do a basic workout (not for a set distance or time) and I accidentally selected Cake for my playlist. While Cake has some faster songs, several are slower.  Result: a faster and more enjoyable run.  Now, this was not a controlled experiment and perhaps I was faster because I had been running more consistently in previous few weeks. But, since then, I have selected “basic workout” and a “folksy” list and set out to try to enjoy running. And, it has been working. Am I a speed demon, running at every opportunity? No.  Does it still take determination to get out there and start running? Yes.  But, lesson learned: for any activity or process, you need to find the reason and motivation that works for you in a positive, fulfilling way.  Our bodies know what is good for them, why waste time being miserable. 

Liz, thoughts?  


*This also encourages a tangent on food marketed to women. *I think* from a social science book on food and women by Carol Counihan -she has several-, there is a reflection on the small chocolates marketed to women. The perfect way to control your body wrapped up in capitalism.  While I enjoy my chocolate, almost every time I eat a piece or 4, I think of this:  I am performing the “good woman”.

Tree nut free cookies!

Okay, so I am still working on the official status of my tree nut allergy.  My blood test was negative for cashews, walnuts, almonds, and pecans.  Which is bad.  Because now I think it’s all in my head.  But my doctor was convinced I’m allergic to tree nuts based on what I told him, so I’m making another appointment to get the skin test.

Anyway, my wonderful sister and co-writer of this blog, Katherine, was very thoughtful to send me a box of Divvie’s cookies for Valentine’s Day.  

0219092005Not only are they delicious, but they are also made in a tree-nut free facility!

0219092005aThanks, sissy!

Conversation heart cookies!

Whoops – I forgot to post these pictures yesterday.  I made these cookies on Tuesday, but I had to wait until Michael got them in the mail before I could share them!




fruit leather experiment

I say “experiment” because my results are inconclusive. I ran across this recipe -more like instruction guide- for making fruit leather. Fruit leather is another item to which I used to have unlimited free access, but now am not willing to pay $0.99 for (vs just buying fruit). But, the store had small packages of blueberries for $0.98 so I thought even if I got 3 or 4 strips out of it, it would be okay – and fresher than the others.

The instructions are pretty basic: blend fruit to an apple-sauce consistency, add sugar if bitter, spread on heat-safe plastic wrap in pan, bake at 150 until dry. I was concerned about the plastic wrap so I used parchment paper. This may be mistake #1 because some of the liquid seeped into the paper. It didn’t leak into the pan, but I think it contributed to the dryness of the final product.  Possible concern #2 is that the lowest temp on my oven knob in 200, and after that is WARM.  So I set it it to between WARM and 200. Looking at other recipes online, which suggest 150-125 degrees (whose oven really goes that low?) or using the sun to dry the fruit or cookie the fruit first, it seems this most basic recipe has the most chance for disappointing results. On to the pictures and my final review:

Mmm blueberries.


This might be a mess to clean up.


Apple-sauce consistency? Mine wasn’t really bitter so added just a bit of sugar.


Into the pan. Getting a uniform thickness was challenge.


Finally dry, after 4 or so hours.


Final product.


The center, where it was thicker, resembled fruit leather with its dry flexibility. The edges, however, were completely dried and baked out, and flaked into crunchy pieces as I cut them.  Would I try this again? Maybe next time fruit is cheap at the store and if I use plastic wrap. But, in the end, the cost + time for homemade was the same as buying it individually packaged at the store.