Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Simple Rules

Are you ready for another soapbox, kids? Don't worry. This one is more angry instead of guilting you into growing your own food!

Bonnie's Rules for Proper Gym Ettiquette

Clean up after yourself. Weights should be put away when one is finishing using them. If they weren't too heavy to do however many grunting sets you had, then they're not too heavy for you to walk your ass over to the weight shelf and put them back! This makes them available for the next person who wants to use them while keeping the gym floor from being a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Be considerate of others in the gym. This means wiping down your sweaty machines after you're done using it. I don't care if you're the marathon runner that just finished 50 miles on the treadmill or one of those annoying "trainer groupies" who are just pretending to work out. Either way, I don't want to touch your skank. It also means that you should allow others to take their quick sip of water from the fountain instead of making them wait for you to finish filling up your big ass bottle of water or protein shake.

Ask before taking. It's a very simple rule. Something you're taught at a young age. If you see that a pair of weights are at my feet next to my purse with my towel casually dropped on top of them while I'm obviously taking a break in between sets, then YES, I am still using those, motherfucker! I'm not blind. I can see you moving my towel, pushing aside my purse to nonchalantly take them as though I won't notice that 2 12 lbs weights suddenly disappeared.

Learn when and how to share. I'm not a good sharer either, but in a crowded gym, it's important to let others work into your sets, especially if you're going to spend an hour on the same machine. However, this does not allow you to comment on the amount of weight, number of sets, or form on shared exercise machine. Having a subscription to Men's Health does not make you a personal trainer, my friend, and I like having a neck!

Vanity is unbecoming, but totally entertaining in the gym! So, go ahead and shake what your mama gave ya! Kiss those flexed biceps! Give yourself that pep talk as you're doing a bench press! Refer to yourself in the third person! Just don't expect me to want to talk to you after.

It is not polite to stare. Four out of 5 mothers will agree. We're all familiar with the disgusting, grunting meatheads who leer at women working out. They're gross. They're creepy. They need a good punch to the pancreas. However, if you're staring at me while I change in the locker room, then you better be asking me for my fucking number. Because staring at my insulin pump is not going to make it telepathically communicate to you what it is. Have some class and ask me. It's not like you're worried about being rude or something!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Baited Breathe

Are you hanging in suspense? Waiting with baited breath to see what I ate for lunch this week? 

I know you are! Here it goes.

Red Lentil and Pumpkin Dal
5-minute Naan
Tofu Vegetable Pie
Winter Beet Salad
Every once in a while, I'll really crave beets! It is sort of a random thing to crave. I don't know if it's the deep earthy flavors or just the purple poo. It's a toss-up, really. Don't know what I'm talking about? Eat this salad. You'll figure it out. 

I love the combination of beets with fruit too. This salad is similar to my summer salad of beets and grapefruit, only more seasonally appropriate with the use of apple! So simple, but so good!

Winter Beet Salad
4 small beets, peeled
1 large apple
1/2 c red onion, diced
1 handful of parsley
1/4 c walnuts

Lemon-Mustard Dressing
1 tbsp whole grain mustard
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp honey
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1/4 c olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Peel beets and add them to a steamer. Steam for 15 minutes or until soft. 
2. While beets are cooking, prep the rest of the ingredients (apples, onions, etc.) The parsley leaves are used as salad greens here, so don't chop them up. 
3. Place all the dressing ingredients into a blender. Season to taste. 
4. Allow beets to cool, then slice. 
5. Add all the salad ingredients and toss with dressing to taste. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Dream On

I wake up, feeling a little groggy, with a pounding headache and a wicked case of dry mouth. Like real-deal, "haven't had a drink in days", "probably going to die of dehydration soon" kind of dry mouth. I let out a deep sigh as I realize that my blood sugar is probably ridiculously high.

In a bleary-eye state, I fumble for my glucose tester as I meticulously dissect everything I had eaten the night before that could have caused an overnight rise in blood sugar. I prick my finger, add blood to the test strip, and wait, in annoyance, for my glucose results.

My blood glucose tester beeps, letting me know the results are in and aren't good.  And there it is.

A 857 blood sugar!!!!

I begin to panic. 857! How did my blood sugar get so high? What could I have possibly eaten? Did my pump stop working? Did I run out of insulin? Am I going to die soon?! How is a 857 blood sugar possible?!

Then, I realize that's not possible, immediately confirmed by taking an actual blood sugar test and not just a dream one.

I believe this is a diabetic's equivalent to showing up to school naked.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Dreaded Sprout

No offense to my parents, who I love dearly, but their culinary tastes have only recently started to blossom. While my mother has always been an excellent cook, the vegetables that frequented our dinner table were usually corn and potatoes. How very Iowa of us. There were also overcooked broccoli and string beans. Maybe the occasional sweet potato if they were on sale and it was around Thanksgiving. And asparagus served in the same steamed way.

However, as we aged and my tastes have matured, my parents have also become quite the foodies. My mother even makes her own sushi! Though a curry dish will probably never cross their table.

One vegetable I can remember my parents agreeing that they would never force us to endure was the hated brussel sprouts. What kid doesn't hate brussel sprouts?! It is as though all 80's and 90's pop culture conspired against this poor sprout to ensure children everywhere hated it! Even if they never tried it!

I was 27 years old when I had my first encounter with "this dreaded sprout." Lucky for me, I loved them! As with all other vegetables in my life, my favorite way of eating them is roasted!

I've even convinced my parents to eat them! Don't I get some life bonus points for that, Karma?

Simply Roasted Brussel Sprouts

1 lb Brussel sprouts, cut in half
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
2. Coat brussel sprouts with olive oil and spread out onto a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Bake for 20 minutes and check to ensure that the sprouts are browning. You can leave them for a few more minutes if they need more browning. Flip and bake for a few more minutes. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Weekly Recap

Despite my recent case of Fatkiditis, I actually did well in my Lunchbox and Exercise challenge

Just check out the digs below!

Roasted Vegetable Strudel

A variation of my delicious Asian Veggie Salad

Marinated Tofu with Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Nacho Yum Sauce

Marinated Tofu
I also worked out five times this week, using BodyRock workouts! Too bad I've had some really shitty blood sugar numbers and have gained 5 pounds. I'm saying it's all muscle.  

Recipes to come!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Fatkiditis: A Clinical Diagnosis

For the last few weeks, I've been hit with a case of Fatkiditis. I'm actually pretty disgusted with myself. My pants are fitting a little tighter and I have an uncontrollable urge to devour everything in sight. It's becoming a real problem!

I thought I'd share more information on this devastating disease.

Symptoms of Fatkidits may include but are not limited to:
  • A constant need to consume, even when you are beyond full and feel another bite would push you over the edge
  • Obsessive thoughts on when and what you will be eating at your next meal; this is an especially strong indicator when you have not yet completed the meal you are currently consuming
  • Decisions on social engagements are based on menu options
  • Vacations are planned around eating establishments and meals
  • Frequent questioning of others who have returned from a vacation or other social engagement (i.e. weddings, etc.) about what they ate and how the food was 
  • Attraction to other people who would also qualify for this diagnosis
  • Dislike of those who would not qualify -- Who likes a picky eater?!
  • Strong Indicator-- you have a food blog!
Fatkiditis is possibly contagious and may also affect animals. Jackson purrs every time I open the refrigerator door. Coincidence? I think not. 

Unfortunately, at this time, there is no cure. I am offering free evaluations for any concerned parties but, obviously, you will have to buy me dinner.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Breaking Up is Hard to Do....

But getting back together is awesome!

Look how excited he is!

I know. It's cliche, writing our "getting back together" post on Valentine's Day. Whatever. I can be cheesy. 

I feel like there's not much to say other then...

I'm glad we broke up. 
I'm even more glad we got back together. 
My life is certainly better with you in it. It feels more complete. 
There are times I catch myself smiling like an idiot and it's usually when I'm thinking about you. 

Happy Valentine's Day. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Weekly Roundup

Okay, so I can't say the Lunchbox Challenge and Exercise Challenge went any better this week then it did last week. I only really made one thing for lunch this past week, but liked it so much, I ate it again and again. Plus, I had some yummy leftovers from Super Bowl which helped me throughout the week.

I was able to exercise 5 out of the 7 days this week, using several workouts from BodyRock.tv. They're really intense and not always "workout at home" friendly, but have definitely had me feeling sore the next day. The best part? They're only 12 minutes!

However, I can't say that my eating has muched improved or that I'm feeling any healthy/thinner. And I've had a really low low and a really high high in the last two days. Bleh.

In good news, I think I may have found a detox plan that I'm going to try next month! Yay! For now, here's my kick as Peanut Asian Salad that I enjoyed throughout the week.

Peanut Asian Salad

1/2 head of red cabbage, shredded
1 large red pepper, sliced
1 large carrot, shredded
2 scallions, sliced, only green parts (optional)
2/3 c edmame
1/3 c peanuts

Peanut Dressing
1 - 2 garlic, minced
1 tsp grated ginger
1/2 c peanut butter
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/4 - 1/3 c vegetable broth (depends on how thick or thin you want the sauce to be)
1 - 2 tsp srichacha (optional)
1 tsp sesame oil
canola oil
salt and pepper

1. Add all the veggies to the bowl.
2. Place garlic cloves into a food processor or blender. Blend until garlic is minced. Grate ginger into processor.
3. Add all of your ingredients and blend until thoroughly combined. You can choose to add a little more broth to thin it out.
4. Add desired amount of dressing to veggies and toss well.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Breaking Down

Before starting the Lunchbox Challenge, I had come to a sad realization. Several months ago, you may remember a rather impassioned rant about the importance of eating a organic, locally grown diet. My commitment to that kind of eating has remained strong (which is especially challenging for my cheap gene when strawberries are on sale for 2/$3).

 Now that we're in the full swing of winter and I no longer have my weekly farmer's market fix, I am definitely yearning for my delicious fresh fruits and veggies. In fact, lately, I've wanted nothing more then a good, hearty salad for lunch! The beans and potatoes of winter just aren't exciting enough for me.

The problem...lettuce doesn't grow in snow! Such a desire means I'd have to breakdown, buy produce that is grown in an unnatural environment, sprayed with pesticides and preservatives, and shipped a million miles away to be at my local supermarket. So much for that carbon footprint.

It's actually something I'm really struggling with. I am hoping to find a balance between protecting the earth, supporting local/organic farmers, being excited about my food and satiating my cravings all in the name of good health!

That said, I finally broke down and allowed myself to buy apples again. I was so excited to have my delicious Jonagolds that I actually ate an apple with peanut butter for dinner...and then again for breakfast...and one for snack too! I 'm hoping to avoid what my father refers to as "The Green Apple Quickstep." It's related to the bathroom. You can figure out the rest.

Here's an easy crockpot dessert (or breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack).

Crustless Apple Pie

4 - 5 apples, peeled and sliced
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 - 2tsp cinnamon
1/2 - 1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 c rolled oats
1 tbsp butter or vegan margarine

1. Mix the apples with the flour, lemon juice, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp nutmeg until well coated.
2. Place apples in slower cooker. Mix the rest of the sugar and spices with the rolled oats. Cut in the tbsp of butter and margarine until broken up into pebble size pieces.
3. Spread the oats over the apples mix.
4. Turn slow cooker on low and cook for 2 to 3 hours, or until apples are tender.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Maybe Not Soul Mates?

I found my soul mate (or so I thought). He was perfect for me. He's a chef, a granola-munching hippie, and a type 1 diabetic. And it doesn't hurt that I wouldn't kick him out of bed either. Soul mates! We have so much in common. Even though we never actually met. A person can just tell these things!

That is....until I read his cookbook.

Of course, I'm talking about Sam Talbot, former Top Chef contestant, who recently published The Sweet Life: Diabetes Without Boundaries. This book combines anecdotes about living as a type 1 diabetic with interesting, delicious-looking recipes that even non-diabetics would want to eat. It challenges the idea that diabetics need to live a life of rigid diet restrictions, overly structured mealtimes, and no fun...hence "The Sweet Life." I know. The cheesy title already has you questioning it, doesn't it?

While I completely agree with the content (and who am I to challenge a professional chef on his recipes), there were some parts of the book that I thought were...well, sorry soul mate...a little obnoxious. Like the story Sam included about the time he dropped his insulin vile on the floor of a puddle-jumper airplane during his travels. Eek! Feeling his anxiety and stress levels rising, he checked his blood sugar. He writes that he was at a 120, little high for him! What?! 120? A little high?! 120 is my daily goal!

Throughout the book, there were a number of other habits he discussed that caused me to snicker, roll my eyes, and suck my teeth. Like that he only eats 15 to 30g of carbs per meal. Like when he drinks, he always follows that drink with a glass of water and a blood sugar test. Whatever, dude. I can pick up any diabetes book that tells me about the way endocrinologists think I should live my life. But, that doesn't help me in the real world, you know, where the rest of us diabetics live.

After some reflection, I realized that my judgemental snarking was more defensiveness. Sam has some pretty high standards and a fairly rigid regime. I, definitely, do not. It makes me feel like a bad diabetic.

But, then I realized, "Of course my standards aren't as high!" Nor should they be. Sam has been a diabetic for over 15 years. I've been a diabetic for a year and half. He's had a lot more experience learning about his diabetes, of what works and what doesn't, and how his body will respond in certain situations and to certain foods. I haven't had those experiences yet. Even though I have good understanding of this disease, I'm still a newbie at this whole chronic illness thing. I have a lot to learn.

I forget this tidbit of information on a fairly regular basis.

So, I'm sorry I was so hard on you, Sam. You seem like a great guy.

I still don't see us working out. It's really not you. It's me.

But the whole "not kicking you out of bed" thing still stands. :)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Callin' a Do Over!

Maybe starting a diet/exercise/meditation challenge on the most difficult two days of my week, followed by Super Bowl Sunday probably wasn't the smartest idea. Needless to say, I haven't done well this week. In fact, I have somehow manage to gain four pounds in the last four days.

It may be cheating. It may not be fair, but I'm calling a "do over" on this whole diet/exercise/meditation challenge. I know that I can kick it off to a much better start then this, which wasn't much of a start at all.

Fear not, I did have one great lunchtime creation! It was all centered on the lovely, delicious sweet potato. I baked 4 or 5 at once, wrapped them in tin foil, and ate them throughout the week.

Now, I initially had great intentions on having a sweet potato with a different set of toppings each day. I was going to take pretty, pretty pictures of these wondrous toppings that would have made you second guess the way you've been enjoying your sweet potatoes. Sadly, I didn't make it past one set of toppings. BUT it's a slammin' set of toppings!


Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Hummus and Garlicky Greens

1 large sweet potato

Homemade Hummus
1 can garbanzo beans
1/3 c tahini
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp water
1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper

Garlicky Greens
1 - 2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 - 2 sprinkles red pepper flakes
1 large head of spinach
salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Use a fork to poke your sweet potato several times. It won't mind. Place on a cookie sheet and bake until soft and tender, 45 to 55 minutes.
2. To make hummus: put all the ingredients in a food processor. Process until smooth or you reach your desired consistency. You can always add more tahini. 
3. To make garlicky greens, heat garlic up in a pan with red pepper flakes. Let garlic brown, but watch careful as not to burn. Add washed spinach leaves, salt and pepper. Cook until spinach is wilted. 
4. To assemble, slice open sweet potato, add desired amount of hummus, and top with greens. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Challenge Accepted!

I love challenges! Especially ones that I assign to myself!

Here's my 30-day...well, really 29...ok, let's just say February challenges! Obviously, I'm giving myself two challenges. Because one isn't challenging enough! Duh.

The first of my challenges is a Lunchbox Challenge! I've been pretty underwhelmed with my lunches as of late. It's probably what keeps me grazing in the communal kitchen and snack cabinets at work all day. The challenge is to make myself interesting, healthy lunches throughout the month of February and share them with you on a weekly basis. These lunches will have be well-rounded, fit into a low-carb diet, and look pretty. Because who wants to eat ugly food?

The second challenge is a 30/29 Days of Exercise Challenge. Now, let me clarify. This is not 29 days of me going to the gym every day. I think that would be overkill, even for me! But it is 29 days of activity, whether it be the gym, yoga, going for a walk, running up and down the stairs 20 times, whatever. Just something to keep active.

BONUS CHALLENGE! Because, really, what's the point of having a challenge if there's not a bonus challenge?! I would like to start my mediation practice. And, yes, I am a granola-munching hippie.  I had started a meditation practice a few months ago and found it really helpful. I have since lost consistency with it but would like to get back on track.

I'm not sure what happens if I don't meet expectations in my challenges.

Slap bet, maybe? -- How I Met Your Mother