Tuesday, November 19, 2013
One of the perks of working in both food writing and real estate is that periodically a real estate friend of yours will ask you to write about food.
Such is the case with my latest post, on my Realtor friend Jason's blog:
How to fry a turkey without burning the house down
I happen to have a little experience with doing just that.
I hope you enjoy this latest post. And I really hope you don't burn your house down...
...but if you do, you can buy a new one through either me (in MD) or Jason (in VA)!!!
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Just the other day, I looked down at my legs while taking a shower - bristly hairs stared back up at me. I didn't have time right then to shave, so I made a mental note to do so soon. Because although the Sous Chef apparently has no conditions when it comes to loving me, I feel a little guilty when I allow myself to start looking like Sasquatch.
And then I went to work, and I sat down, and at some point I got up again. And my back froze.
It's hard to describe the pain to an outsider - it's like a smoldering fire clenching down on itself. A ball of fire churning and turning inward, making you feel raw and vulnerable.
Even if you adjust your posture to alleviate the burning, it still feels as if your upper body is a stack of plates precariously placed on top of a toothpick - a setup that could collapse at any moment, the entire stack crashing down in a wall of splintered glass. A giant marble resting on the head of a pin.
In short, you're f****d.
There's nothing to do at this point but rest; I've been resting for three days straight now. Icing, resting, walking around a bit, then doing it all over again.
I know a lot of this is stress. I know this because I did an experiment in the shower yesterday - I stood there and imagined that I was taking a shower in a hotel room in sunny Mexico - the ocean waves crashing right outside my room, a room with a stunning view of the ocean. And my pain subsided. It was still there, but it dulled to almost nothing. As soon as I "returned" home, the pain was back.
So what do you do when your mind and body have partnered up in order to Force You To Stop?
I guess you just stop. And you hold off on shaving your legs for a couple more days.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
The latest guidelines released from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology have set my blood a-boiling.
Because conveniently sandwiched in between recommendations to treat obesity as a disease and guidelines for a heart-healthy diet is a cute little statement that more people should be on the cholesterol-lowering drugs collectively known as statins.
Translated: Our American diet and lifestyle has gotten so bad that instead of taking the time, energy, and resources to educate the American public about non-pharmaceutical methods of lowering cholesterol - such as switching to a more plant-based diet and getting plenty of exercise, we're going to give more of them an easy way out by telling them to take a pill.
Yes, as I mentioned, they did release new diet and exercise guidelines for taking care of your heart. But what do you think the vast majority of Americans will choose?
Behavioral Science 101: The mice will always find the easiest way to the (cholesterol-ridden) cheese. People will choose the pill over the lifestyle.
Until our collective focus shifts considerably - from masking chronic illness with a chemical veil to addressing and taking control of our health by treating our bodies with respect by eating a whole foods diet - the problem will only continue to get worse.
We will continue to spend more per person on health care than any other industrialized nation.
We will continue to be fatter than any other industrialized nation.
We will continue to kill ourselves.
Saturday, November 9, 2013
It started out so innocently. I re-watched Forks Over Knives and was of course inspired to eat a plant-based lunch of roasted fall vegetables (I have to make these life changes on a "one-meal-at-a-time" basis - you know how I roll).
(Apparently) To Die For Roasted Fall Vegetables
I preheated the oven - which today was serving double duty as a space heater since we haven't turned on our heat yet - and was starting to chop my vegetables.
A potato. A sweet potato. A great hunk of organic carrot. Even a squash. All chopped up, spread out on a foil-lined baking sheet.
|The offending pizza boxes, and the dedicated feline|
anxiously awaiting their return.
With each stroke of my chef's knife, I could feel myself getting healthier.
And then not so much.
As I was sprinkling some thyme onto my nutrient rich intentions, a strange smell wafted through the air. Both hot and chemical. Certainly not natural.
That's when I remembered what was in the oven.
Two Domino's pizza boxes, quickly stashed in the oven and then forgotten about because our two furry four-legged friends have gotten into a terrible habit of breaking into whatever refined carbohydrate/dairy product/animal flesh is within paws' reach.
I no doubt inhaled about a month's worth of atmospheric carcinogens within the ten minute span that those printed, plastic-lined boxes were slowly heating up in the oven before I discovered them and quickly tossed them out onto the frigid balcony.
If I hadn't realized they were in there, I probably would have either choked on the fumes and/or started yet another kitchen fire.
The above tale is the perfect metaphor for my life right now. I'm really trying to be healthy. I'm taking a lot of steps towards that goal. But at the end of the day, I've still got greasy pizza hiding in the oven, a jar of Nutella calling to me from the pantry, and for the love of God, even my cats are junk food junkies.
At least those roasted vegetables were delicious.
1. Cut these into about ½-inch chunks:
- A small red potato
- A small sweet potato
- ½ of a large carrot, peeled
- A medium patty-pan squash
2. Spread over a foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with:
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Ground sage
- Dried thyme
- Dried rosemary
3. Drizzle with olive oil.
4. Bake in 450-degree oven for 30-40 minutes, stirring about halfway through.
5. Try not to kill yourself.
Monday, November 4, 2013
I've been entirely antisocial ever since.
I'm currently listening to The Amen Solution by Dr. Daniel G. Amen. Long story short, it's basically a conglomeration of everything my research/intuition/therapist has been telling me over the past ten years.
The best part is, it's re-ignited my desire to get healthy.
I can't even begin to outline the advice this book gives. Supplements. Food addiction. Visceral fat. And brain scans. Oh, how Dr. Amen adores brain scans. It's a great premise, though, especially for an intellectually-minded brainiac like myself.
I'm about a third of the way through now (a big apology goes out to my office mate, who had to either painfully endure or gratefully rejoice - depending on how you look at it - the sudden silence coming from my desk as I listened to my book), and I feel stronger.
This is what I've been working on. This is what getting healthy means to me. Reading. Learning. Trying. Growing.
I woke up early this morning and went for a forty minute walk.
I passed by the candy bowl a few dozen times today, and I didn't eat any.
I left the jar of Nutella sitting undisturbed on the top shelf of the pantry, despite the gnawing sensation in the back of my brain and the simultaneous stretching and wringing of my hands just to give them something to do.
That, my friends, is progress. And after months and months of feeling defeated, a little progress feels really, really good.