Thursday, December 31, 2009

counting calories

I'm using the Lose It application on the iphone to track my food consumption. it's convenient, and it feels dangerous. it's perfect for anyone who wants to be able to absolutely revel in the obsession of food and exercise regimens.

if you enter your current weight, your ideal weight, and a few other pieces of information, the software will generate a plan for you. it will tell you how many calories to eat each day to reach your goal within a specified period of time. then, as you use Lose It to track your calories, it will show you where you are within your calorie quota on a daily and weekly basis. if you exercise, it will subtract the number of estimated spent calories from your total.

the software also stores all the food choices you've entered, so that you don't have to search its entire database every time you want to log a food item. the food you've entered goes onto a short list that you can search once it gets too long to scroll through conveniently. you can also create custom food items if you can't find what you're looking for in the application database. as far as I can tell, the excercise options are decent. the software also generates a number of ways for you to view your progress (or in my case, lack thereof).

I don't think that Lose It is all that interested in your health. it tells me to eat 984 calories a day. I'm fairly sure that Lose It is a REALIST. I'm going to make it a point to think of Lose It as one of my personal advisors. once I've lost it, I'll probably be thinking of the progam as my very own consigliere.

skinny skinny skinny lots of uses of the word skinny

sometimes I think to myself, how easily flattered can I possibly be? not so easily flattered that I believe it when my jeans say "skinny" in their description. yes, the jeans may be close fitting, and snug at the ankles, but there's nothing skinny about them. what if there was a law that actually mandated large sizes couldn't be tagged as skinny? surely, skinny is just a marketing scheme. the worst thing about being chubby is seeing myself in photos, but the second worst thing is clothes shopping. would I be as willing to buy pants called, "if only I were still skinny jeans," or "not skinny jeans," or maybe "you wish you were skinny jeans?" it's a relief when I fit into the items I bring into the fitting rooms. I think I genuinely want to believe that I've just successfully clambered into a pair of SKINNY jeans! alas, I have just enough self-awareness to know that nothing I'm currently wearing is actually skinny. I had to call my husband in to tell me whether or not I would be making an ass of myself by wearing them in public. he is brutally truthful about such matters.

following is a somewhat realistic portrait of dinner last night. in truth, it wasn't plated so prettily, and we didn't have the edemame or carrots with the meal. yes, aside from the tomatoes, last night's dinner was brown. oh well, at least it was home-made!

Barley with tomatoes, onion, and baby bella mushrooms. On the side, Homage a The Grit Tofu (look behind the barley mound, on the right side). barley is filling, fairly tasty, and certainly healthy. I like it better than brown rice (that may be because I'm Chinese and grew up eating white rice EVERY day & brown rice just doesn't do it for me). I bought the hulled variety because when I compared the stats, it had fewer calories per serving, and just as much protein and fiber as the whole version. plus, I wanted it to be soft (just a little chewy, but not too chewy was the quality I was going for).

how I created the brown food: I soaked the barley over night, then cooked it on the stovetop for about 25 minutes (bring to full boil, lower heat to simmer, and cook covered for remainer of time). I sauteed the onion, mushroom, and tomatoes in extra virgin olive oil until the onions were practically melting (carmelized), then added some red wine (pinot noir, left over) and cooked them a bit more. Once the barley was finished cooking, I drained what was left of the water and stirred it into the sautee. next time I won't forget to put garlic in there.

the tofu is seriously hippee! oh so yummy, and I LOVE the Grit for creating this tofu for me to emulate. to make your own, begin with a lump or two of extra firm tofu. remove it from the packaging and put it on a plate with weight on top of it to squeeze as much water out as possible. once that's over with, dice the tofu and put it into a pan with oil (I used olive). fry it around until it begins to look dry. add enough soy sauce to color it and give it a little flavor, but go sparingly because you don't want to soak the tofu. dust it with nutritional yeast while it's still moist, then continue to cook until the tofu is crusty with soy and nutritional yeast. feel free to repeat the soy, yeast process a few times. the real recipe is probably online. look for 'golden bowl.'

ahh, my morning love. thank you and your point system, ims.

my favorite mug EVER.

I actually think about retiring it so that it can't break.

how pathetic am I?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

ewww gross, but still...

I didn't photograph it, but one of the 'healthy' lunch things I packed for today was a box of Pacific (that's the brand) Tuscan White Bean Soup. I was excited for lunch because a) I was hungry, b) I wanted to try the soup (love beans, love soup), and c) I love my mug (thanks to Laura for the awesome gift).

So, I poured the soup into my mug, heated it up, brought it back to my desk, and dug in!

YUMMY! Nope, it was disgusting. Seriously, it was gross. Wait, I don't think I even made it back to my desk before tasting it. I think I tasted it while standing near the microwave. I was that excited. It tasted like liquid plastic that was made to taste like food. Yes, it tasted like poorly spiced, food-like liquid plastic. Decent texture, but horrible taste. I still ate it though! Ha ha ha. I don't think that I'll eat another mug-full, however.

After I finished the soup, I went to the cafeteria with Shareef and made a small salad: approximately two TBSP cottage cheese, about same volume chickpeas, one TBSP chopped, hard-boiled egg, one TBSP peas, two TBSP goldfish, 8-10 bread & butter pickle chips (they were so good!), and three grape tomatoes. Delicious! Shareef ate a cheesesteak and fries. I was strangely un-jealous, but I did have to stop myself from reaching out and taking one of his fries. Had I done that, it probably would have led to an awkward moment. As if eating in the work cafeteria isn't awkward enough.

big ups to Lizzy

I have a friend who is so amazing that I'm always wondering why she likes me. Just so you know, I don't normally feel this way in a relationship - it's just that Liz is totally and utterly cool. Anyways, I bring this up because she once said something that has been reverberating in my head since I began this blog, "I don't know why people discuss their food choices like it's the most fascinating thing in the world, don't they know how boring that conversation IS?"

Sigh...this is what I've come to: corporate job, cherish sleep, looking forward to a move to the suburbs, cultivating foresight...this all adds up to SOULESS BORE, anyway, so WHY NOT have a blog devoted to my food choices?

Right now I'm eating oatmeal. I used a half cup of oats, eyeballed the water to maybe 2x the oats and microwaved it for 2.5 minutes. As I was zoning out in the kitchen area of my office section, I was thinking about the time my dad told me about microwaving oatmeal. I don't know why I'd never even imagined such a thing, but I hadn't. Inspired by him, I immediately began to prepare a bowl...I covered it with plastic wrap, which may have been a responsible thing to do, but it was also a very bad idea. ALL of the oatmeal ended up outside the bowl in two minutes flat. I snapped back to reality with about 30 seconds to go on my current bowl and noticed that the uncovered oats were bulging up like a souffle and flexing in a threatening manner. I lunged towards the clear button and as soon as I was able to press it, the oats flattened themselves out well within the confines of my container.

This photo shows how responsible about eating I plan to be! I brought healthy snacks and oatmeal to work! I packed lunch!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

ok Kate, you asked for it!

ha ha ha ha.

I know how bad it can be to get 'overly' obsessed about diet and exercise, but I will soon be past the point of no return, and there's nothing else to do except flip the obsessive switch in my brain and use it to stay on the diet and exercise boat.

um, I suppose I should record what I eat?

I ate half of a Coconut Cream Pie Larabar for breakfast. It was my first one, it tasted OK, but I shouldn't have smelled it. It said it was made out of nuts and fruit, so I expected it to smell that way. Wouldn't you expect it to smell like fruit and nuts? Well, it didn't. It smelled like a stinky hand shaped the bar. I don't think I'll get another one.

Other food I've eaten today = coffee + half-and-half, a cookie that was too difficult to resist (homemade and sitting at my desk waiting for me). Breakfast was awesomely delicious: 3 gnocchi, and two calamari rings - not as healthy as oatmeal, but at least my portion control was working! Portion control didn't work too well at lunch. I went to Cosi with Shareef (should I be changing names to protect the innocent?), got a steak gorgonzola sandwich and ate the entire thing. Um, I just paused to look up the calorie content (I shouldn't have) 752 calories!!!! I'll have to eat oatmeal for dinner!!!!

The workout...half hour on the treadmill, incline set to 1.0, slow walk 2min, 6mph 3min alternating...2.5 miles. My left ankle hurts. It's not used to conveying this much weight at a slow jog.

Yes, impulse control is on the behavior modification agenda.