Day 414–Umm…Wow.

Okay, so this isn’t going to go over well, but it can’t be helped.  Facts are facts.  All week I’ve been lamenting how much weight I was going to gain, how I hadn’t done a great job with my choices, blah blah blah…

212.6 lbs.

That’s four pounds since my birthday…four pounds in nine days. That’s unreal. Apparently I need to complain more often. I’m almost too ashamed of my good fortune to celebrate.

In other news, I made my weekly pilgrimage to Allen High School to help out with Jordan’s classes.  I really like those kids…its fun working with them and learning about their lives while I practice my craft.  Who knows, maybe I really am meant to teach!  Today was ice cream day, so Lauren and I made some orange gelato (it had to rest overnight for the flavors to meld) and then, on the side, I made maple bacon ice cream.  It was fantastic!  Very unusual, but highly addictive.

Breakfast–Dark Chocolate Nature Valley granola bars.  I woke up early to tell Abby good luck, and then promptly fell asleep and overslept. Therefore I grabbed a granola bar as I ran out the door.

Lunch–Snacking at Allen.  Some chips, some roasted chicken, and a cookie.  I didn’t say it was healthy snacking.

Snack–Maple bacon ice cream. Soooo gooooooooood.

Dinner–Homemade pizza, courtesy of my mother and the most recent issue of Bon Appetit.  Mine had homemade sauce, fresh mozzarella, italian sausage, mushrooms, peppers, onions, and broccoli. It survived all of 10 minutes after it left the scorching hot oven.  It was, in short, amazing.

The other exciting news of the week is that I started my own baking business, Dolce Pastries.  It’s all completely hypothetical because since its formation 2 days ago I haven’t had any business (duh) but it should be great for getting to do what I love.  Check it out on Facebook under Dolce Pastries or head over to dolcetexas.wordpress.com.

I’m about to go get Abby from the airport (yay!) and then work tomorrow.  Have a good one.

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Day 412–Surprise Extra Post

I know I know…you all are going to get spoiled. Three posts in one week? Insanity!

I’ve had a pretty solid weekend save for one thing: Abby is out of town, in Charlotte taking her final Boards section.  I miss her, but I know she’s going to do a phenomenal job Tuesday and come home relaxed and ready to finish up school!  In her absence I have attempted to make myself as busy as possible, which included a catering job last night and a Bible study tonight.  Not bad at all.

For the catering, I was essentially hired out as a pastry chef.  Since I am most assuredly NOT a pastry chef, this was a leap of faith on Jordan’s part.  I appreciate his faith in me, and I have to say…I delivered. Salted caramel shortbread with chocolate, a fudge chocolate cake with chocolate mousse frosting, and key lime creme brulee.  And no, you can’t have any.  They’re all gone.

Since I got up early yesterday, didn’t sleep well the night before, and was out until midnight, I actually slept until about 11 today.  It was GLORIOUS.  I feel much more…human, as opposed to the robotic way I went through the motions finishing up last night. Since I slept so late, breakfast just didn’t happen.  I’m sure I’ll pay for all of this on Tuesday’s weigh-in.

Breakfast–Like I said, non-existant.  Mom did make biscuits though, even if I wasn’t conscious to eat them.

Lunch–Leftover P.F. Chang’s chicken lettuce wrap filling and sichuan asparagus, along with snap peas and sliced onion that I sauteed together with some Sriracha and soy sauce and put on brown rice.  It was really REALLY good.

Snack–Tried some of my cake. It was good…and by far the 3rd best dessert I made. Funny when something that delicious just gets blown away by everything else. C’est la vie.

Dinner–Sliders from Market Street and homemade sweet potato fries.  I had two sliders and what might have amounted to an entire potato’s worth of fries.  They were amazing…sweet potatoes are just ridiculous.

Dessert–At Bible study, I had a slice of pound cake, one scoop of ice cream and some fresh berries.  Certainly healthier than last night’s dessert, and not bad taste-wise either.

Work tomorrow, Tuesday I make ice cream, and another weigh-in bonanza! And most importantly, Abby comes home!

Day 409–Good Food

I don’t have much of a food recap for you today.  I forgot to weigh-in on Tuesday (probably due to my Sunday weigh-in for #215by219…threw me off my game) and honestly haven’t eaten consistently for the last couple of days, although I have eaten “well.”  I bet I gain weight this week for the first time in a while. It happens.  The point of this post has to do with my use of quotation marks above…how we eat and what it means to eat “well” in a real world setting.

Most health nuts, trainers, and bloggers (guilty) will wax eloquent about how easy, cheap, and satisfying it is to eat healthy all the time.  Sometimes thats true, sometimes its not.  Cooking doesn’t have to be rocket science, although there are molecular gastronomy nuts like Richard Blais (with whom I share a birthday…which is awesome) that do some crazy stuff with food.  A simple saute, a steam, some roasting, a grill, and you’re good to go.  As long as you can buy lots of whatever is on sale, the cheap part isn’t that hard.  If you’re picky like I am, it becomes more complicated.  I don’t care if eggplant is 3 cents a pound–I hate eggplant.  Not going to happen.  And you can certainly make yourself full and pleased when you find your palate and the correct combination of ingredients.  If I add a splash of soy and honey to pretty much anything, I’m a happy camper.  Same goes with sriracha, or cayenne pepper, or a fresh diced chile.  If you don’t believe me, in college I made a jalapeno marmalade designed to go on vanilla ice cream…it was delicious.

Where we have problems is that, in all honesty, unless you’re super organized/motivated/affluent/all of the above, you will occasionally screw up. And then we suffer the consequences.  For instance, I love vegetables.  I eat them whenever I can, and if I’m cooking for myself, it usually ends up vegetarian.  Now, I don’t hate meat, so don’t get all uppity on me.  I’m a Texan; cows are food, not friends.  But when I crave a burger, I’ve got a choice to make: something like Whataburger (I LOVE Whataburger) or make it at home/get a higher quality burger like Five Guys.  When I crumble to the god of convenience and get Whataburger, guess what happens to my stomach?  Mmhmm…bad times. For everyone.  Amazingly, when I eat a real burger, that doesn’t happen.  Another example: my mom is lactose intolerant.  When she eats crappy processed cheese, she gets sick.  Ice cream, milk products, you name it, it attacks her.  But when she eats real cheese (minimally processed, as pure as can be) she’s fine.  It can’t be a coincidence…our bodies are designed to utilize REAL food, not the stuff usually thrown our way at restaurants (and increasingly, grocery stores. I just read an article about Pringles that made me regret most of my childhood).

Today for breakfast I had two Eggo waffles and two tablespoons of Jif peanut butter.  Shockingly, I felt funny all morning (although it was “whole grain” Eggos and “natural” Jif) and couldn’t figure out why.  It felt like I had eaten a lead weight.  On the other side, I had sushi for dinner followed by a Bonnie Ruth’s cupcake.  Three and a half sushi rolls (“well” does not, unfortunately, place limits on quantity. Whoops.) and a chocolate peanut butter cupcake…all natural ingredients (really natural, not Jif “natural”) with almost no processing.  And I feel great!  It’s the same effect as when people go gluten-free.  Unless you have a real medical reason to avoid gluten, usually its not the gluten that’s getting you in trouble…its the fact we find gluten in over-sweetened, over-processed foods like cookies, breads, and the like.  Dropping gluten increases, by default, your consumption of better food.

I urge you all, know what you’re eating.  You don’t have to trade cupcakes for kale, but make them yourself instead of buying Ding-Dongs.  You don’t even need to eat kale; if you hate it, don’t choke it down.  Just think a little bit, and go from there.   As Mark Bittman says in his latest NYTimes piece, “two-thirds of all potatoes are processed, though most of these go into the ubiquitous French fry, once an occasional pleasure and now a threat to national health.”  That isn’t the p0tato’s fault! It’s ours!  (Read the entire thing…its pretty enlightening.)

I’m proud to work at a restaurant that uses as many fresh ingredients as possible, and to do catering alongside a friend in Jordan Swim who recognizes the value in local produce and quality ingredients (seriously…he picked less than an ounce of sweetened condensed milk out of a recipe the other day. The fact it was a terrible recipe to start with is inconsequential.)  I hope to continue eating “well” as long as I live…and I hope you do the same.

 

Day 405–21? by 2/19

Ladies and Gentlemen…drum roll please…

One of my New Years’ goals was to be 215lbs by my 27th birthday, which coincidentally is today.  The final results of #215by219 are in, and I’m pleased to say, after hard work and careful eating…

I failed.

I mean, failed is kind of a tough way of looking at it I suppose.  My weigh-in this morning was 216.4. I lost a pound this week.  I also ate my weight in venison, pork belly, and chocolate at dinner last night, so I would be remiss if I hadn’t seen this coming.  Our celebration dinner was at Abacus, one of our favorite places to eat in Dallas.  While there were elements to the meal that were certainly subpar, its hard to beat the company and the memories of 27 good years.  I think it would have been enjoyable even with McDonalds…although Abacus was definitely better than McDonalds. Here’s some photo documentation of the evening.

Today was a fantastic birthday, even with the “failure.”  I’ve lost over thirty pounds in the last 405 days, I feel great, I look great (for me at least), I’m with my family (miss you Jenna…try to survive the weekend), and I got an FC Dallas jersey for my birthday. Not a bad way to celebrate, and even if I fell short, I look at old pictures of myself and know I NEVER want to be that way again.  It just wasn’t worth it. I’ll look back at 25 and 26 as years I lost to bad health, and 27 as the starting point of something great.

Brunch–We decided to go to Bonnie Ruth’s for brunch.  Some of you (and many of my coworkers) may be saying “Why would you go to work on your birthday?!”  Because the food is awesome, that’s why.  French toast, an omelette, breakfast potatoes, sausage, cake (yep. Cake.), and getting to see my friends equals one excellent b-day morning.

Dinner–Since I ate my body weight in brunchy goodness this morning, “dinner” happened at 4:30.  And of course we had Five Guys.  Little Bacon Burger with lettuce, onions, mustard, ketchup, pickles, and jalapenos. Fan. Tas. Tic.

“Birthday Dessert”–This is in quotations because its not really my birthday dessert.  That’ll happen in a couple of days…my mom is very sick and on antibiotics, so she’s out of commission in the kitchen.  However, I got bored and the itch to bake, so I made blueberry-chocolate pots de creme out of stuff in the fridge.  We’ll see how it turns out…and have candles on Tuesday or so.

Thanks for all the birthday wishes, the well wishes on my weight loss, and for tracking me on #215by219.  I may not have quite hit the goal, but if you could have seen me in my suit yesterday, well…you’d know it doesn’t matter one bit. Peace.

Day 400–Happy Valentines Day

Today was EXCELLENT.  I hope yours has been just as wonderful.

I woke up a bit earlier than normal today for the purpose of doing a little work before I went up to Allen/wasn’t sure when I was supposed to go up to Allen, failed at the actual getting out of bed part due to lovely sinus problems, got to Allen and proceeded to make a gigantic mess creating Raspberry Twix bars (they’re just as good as they sound) and then came home and proceeded to make a gigantic mess creating Valentines’ dinner for my family.  Good times had by all.

My class is humming along nicely, although everyone else appears to be on a different schedule than I am, which can’t really be helped since I work Wednesdays and not on Tuesdays.  If they respond on Wednesday, they wait. It happens.

The information both of you (I’m assuming my shoddy blogging record has reduced my readership to next to nothing) actually care about is this: at weigh in this morning, I was at 217.4 lbs.  That means in order for #215by219 to happen we need 2.4 pounds of loss in 5 days.  That’s probably unhealthy.  Therefore, short of completely admitting defeat, I’m going to go ahead and say 217??! REALLY?! Thats 30 pounds!  That’s one wicked birthday present. (Oh yeah…I turn 27 on Sunday in case you missed the whole reason behind #215by219.)

Breakfast–Frosted Mini Wheats.  Yes, I attempted to pad my numbers by drinking a ton of water and eating straight fiber before weigh-in. Got a problem with that?

Lunch–Hahahaha…oh jeez.  So I got to Allen and Jordan was working on ServSafe stuff and Sheila was teaching, so I just started puttering around.  Ended up making one of the desserts for my catering debut next week, but it wasn’t pretty.  Sugar shortbread, raspberry caramel, and a dark chocolate topping.  It was WONDERFUL…after I roasted the first batch of caramel and figured out how to use industrial kitchen implements to make a “homemade” dessert.  I also ended up tasting it…a lot. Too. Much. Sugar.  So I had a ham and jalapeno sandwich toasted on the griddle.  Good times.

Valentines Dinner–(This is why you should be jealous.)  Two seared scallops in a sweet and spicy soy-ginger broth, a pear and proscuitto salad with lime-apple dressing, and homemade peppercorn tenderloin and roasted sweet potatoes.  And yes, all three courses were just as incredible as they sound.

Dessert–So I might need to lose more than 2.4 after tonight…worth it.  Mom’s pots de creme with an almond whipped cream. Amazing.

So today I made a new dessert, invented an appetizer, found a great specialty meats place in Plano, and discovered that eating sticky caramel with facial hair sucks. Happy Valentines Day to you and yours…remember you are always loved.