Sunday, August 22, 2010

Regrets, part one.

Oh hey, where in God's name did summer go?

I don't know, but I really want to come back to blogging full-time.  The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray, but maybe I can stick with this for a bit.

I thought yesterday about regret, because here I am after an entire summer, and my weight has remained the same.  I'm being checked for thyroid disease because of this and some other symptoms, but that doesn't mean I don't regret not losing weight.

Confession: The biggest regret I have is going through my life overweight. 

I've missed out on a lot of things because my weight held me back, even if in retrospect this holding was only in my mind.  Parties with friends, dating, playing sports for my school, swimming for All NH or a private team, fashionable pants and shirts, wearing jean shorts, athletic vacation events, hiking, wearing a bikini at the beach, running after other kids at recess, enjoying gym class, eating in the cafeteria (I was too embarrassed and would sneak off), etc.

I'm 21 and I feel like I wasted a lot of my life "being fat".

I'm sick of being heavy, and although my mental state is a bit better with age, I want to be healthier.  So I'm going to try to get into an accountability format here... we'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Not just a river in Egypt anymore.

Denial - It's not just a river in Egypt anymore.

It is my current mental state, with regards to weight loss.

I have not tracked food on the Weight Watchers website, despite my membership, since May 2nd.  I have not tracked my own weight since then, either.

I could scream at myself.  Tomorrow will mark my 100th day belonging to the Double Dubs, and I have MAYBE lost ten pounds.


I know I should not beat on myself this way.  I know I should love myself, because that's my Manifesto - that I can love myself at any weight and still find my way to a healthy lifestyle.  But today I hate myself very much, because I should be maintaining now instead of losing.  I should be in smaller pants.  I should not have stress-ate my way through the LSATs this past week.  I should have kept tracking, even when I got stressed or tired or pressed for time.  I should be in a bikini this summer.

So what do I do?

Start tracking.  Weight myself.  Dust off the crumbs, and move on.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Let's all make paella.

Title says it all.  Let's all make a seafood paella, okay? Okay.  Didn't think there would be TOO much protesting, anyway.

My lovely Yiayia turned 75 on June 1st, so my family got together to celebrate.  We were originally thinking clambake or some kind of seafood grilling extravaganza, but cooler heads prevailed and my aunt suggested a seafood paella.  We didn't protest too much.

My uncles cookbook, and his go-to recipe for his famous paella.  He makes a variation of this paella valencia, which I know ya'll can't see because of the blurriness of the photo (I blame bad lighting).  My aunt generally has paella for her birthday, with the seafood and roasted chicken.  We did the complete seafood for my mother's birthday last year, and this is shaping up to be a family tradition on birthdays.

Did you know that my uncle won my aunt's heart with paella?  It's true.  They were going to a restaurant, and he had called a day in advance to order paella for their date.  It was evidently a winning moment for him :-D.

I showed up pretty late in the afternoon, so I missed an entire day of preparation.  But I did get some action shots!  These are some ingredients.

Oh look everyone, a BIG POT.  Wonder what's going in there?  All of dinner eventually.

Another ingredient, and some feet.  This little tin contains saffron.  It's totally expensive, and the tin is totally gorgeous.  And it makes paella unique and fragrant :-)

And one of the most important ingredients - Lobstah.  Oh my god, lobster.  I'm a New Englander through and through, and this color is as gorgeous as changing leaves, Sam Adams Boston Lager, and the Atlantic ocean.  I love lobster, and there was tons of it to be had!!  There were mussels and shrimp as well.

Look at these babies, waiting to be peeled and then enjoyed.

My poppa in an action shot, cleaning a tail under tap water.  Note the delicious carnage in the sink.

Pardon the blurry photo, but check out our appetizers :-)

In the meantime, while your dad is cleaning the lobster and the rice is cookin', take the puppy outside and play.  Ya'll, this is our cockapoo puppy, Ruger (named after Stern Ruger Firearms, of course).  He likes paella, but likes the outdoors more.

Take some gorgeous shot of your aunt's flowers, too, while you're outside.


This is one of two pictures I took, but the other was mad crap-pay.  Look how gorgeous this is.  And it tastes just as good as it looks.  Under the festive mussels and roasted red peppers, we find veggies, rice, chorizo, shrimp, lobster chunks, and deliciousness.

But wait guys.  We aren't done.  This is after all a birthday party, no?  And once all the zinn and paella has been had, it is time for CAKE.

But not just any cake....

Like, the most gorgeous cake I've ever seen.  From Frederick's Pastries, in Bedford, NH.  Chocolate cake, buttercream frosting, and sugar candy flowers.

So beautiful.  What a sweet way to spend a Sunday.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

quotent quotable.

"The best revenge I can think of for getting back at the people who try to take me down is to continue to live well."

-My aunt, Tina

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Richards Bistro, AKA Badly Lit Food Porn

 Weekly Weight - Can't find my college scale yet, and I prefer to use one scale generally.  My house one tends to reflect a different weight than my digital one.  Plus, I don't believe a weekly weight is essential to my loss.  I'll post one later in the week though, I promise!

Anyway - I ate well yesterday.  Are you ready for this shiz??

My Aunt's Company's General Manager, Jess, is having a baby.  And yesterday was her shower.  It's was a luncheon at a downtown Manchester restaurant, Richard's Bistro.  Lunch was three courses - Richard's freshly made bread, either a seafood chowder or one of four salad options, and a finishing course of a dessert dish.  Here's how it went down for this Chubb-o:

Please excuse the bad lighting in general - the function room of the teeny bistro was only lit by the dimmed wall sconces and the open windows directly against the table from me.  Hence, the problematic glare.

But I digress.

This was my bread choice from the passed basket - I am not sure what it was, embarrassingly.  It wasn't foccacia, I'm pretty sure it was dusted with parmesan.  But - it was excellent.  My mom had a bread with spinach and tomatoes baked in (no photo).  The little cactus-shaped thing were candles - party favors.  How cute is that???

The second course - My mom's choice, the Caesar salad with grilled shrimp added.  The croutons are polenta - how cool is that??  She said that the dressing had a kick to it, but I didn't test it.  My own salad was enough to fill me above and beyond capacity.

I am truly sorry this photo did not come out better.  My salad choice was Richard's Pear Salad - mixed greens, raspberries, blackberries, candied pecans, fried pears, and a balsamic vinaigrette.  I also added some grilled shrimp, I've had a very seafood-filled couple of days and have no regrets.  I practically licked the plate from this salad.  If I had made something similar for myself, I might have put a few less candied pecans on it.  They get old pretty fast.  But as it were, I gave a few to the Madre, so it worked out fine for me. 

It was at this point that I overheard one of the guests complaining about her salad and picking through it to eat the things she actually liked.  One of my pet peeves is finicky eaters, of all ages.  Granted, there are things that people do not actually like, and it can be hard to get kids especially to eat specific foods.  This is also hilarious, because my boyfriend is the pickiest eater on the planet.  HOWEVER, he will eat something presented to him, or try to order around the offending food.  He's polite about it, so I try not to be too concerned about it. 

I guess I generally have an issue with people being rude with food, or not even trying something.  My blog is about enjoying food and life, and trying to love my Chubbeh self in the journey to being healthier, and for me part of that is adventurous eating and joie de vivre.  I was raised to think that eating food at someone's house was a mark of politeness, despite how much you might not like it.

I'm guilty too, though, so don't think I'm without sin on this one.  I do not eat salmon, in any way, shape, or form.  Watching a kid pick through food at a restaurant because they don't like broccoli, or seeing an adult pick through their salad because they don't like fruit and veggies mixed together?  It just grates me a little.

Let's move to happier things - THERE WAS DESSERT AT RICHARD'S.

My mom's dessert choice - the creme brulee.  OMFG.  I love creme brulee like a fat kid loves chocolate cake (which...I also love...I'm a fat kid, remember?) and this was BY FAR the BEST creme brulee I have ever, ever had.  The crack was a perfect sound, and got my attention instantly.  I should have ordered it, because after the first crack, Madre was practically licking the dish clean.  I managed to sneak a taste, and god it was soooo good! 

I didn't pick this, as I said, because I have had creme brulees all over the world, and I was feeling more of the fruit vibe from the salad.  So I went with this:

The blueberry crepes with fresh cream - pretty damn good.  I have a secret crepe problem - it started my senior year with a trip to Quebec and Montreal, and a daily morning ritual of a walk to a creparie for crepes with fried apples and chocolat chaud.  These were pretty good, the cream was really something, but again - I wish I had gone with the creme brulee.

Richard's Bistro, overall, had a nice atmosphere.  Brightly lit (aside from our room, of course), nice colors, and plenty of artwork from local artists (it's a few blocks from New Hampshire Institute of Art).  It was a cute place, nice independent Bistro, cozy atmosphere, a delicious, aesthetic food.  I would hit it up for lunch again sometime.

Richard's Bistro

Friday, May 21, 2010

Did you miss me?

I've been gone awhile.  Did you miss me, Buttercups?

Well, I'm back with a vengeance.

So today, my lovely Aunt/Godmother took me out for lunch at one of my absolutely favorite places in my hometown - the Cotton lounge.  It's not too too pricey, but a bit more upscale from something I would buy for myself or a place I would take my poor college friends for an evening out.

This place is GORGEOUS.  The inside is vintage movie posters and travel advertisements, and I am a sucker for vintage prints.  The bar has a soft accent light around it, and the music is always a little on the swing side, lots of Sinatra and Dino being played.  If I were 21, I'd probably get some serious cocktail on here.

The outside deck was open for the gorgeous weather today, so we elected to do some lunching outside.  This place used to be called Cafe Pavone when I was a kid, and I remember doing fancy lunches here even as a young girl, under the grape vines and wooden beams.

A little bread and oil to start, iced tea for the table, and my uncle's wine glass.  Bread and oil, surprisingly, isn't European.  If you travel to Italy or elsewhere, don't expect it to be served.  Nevertheless, I do like my crispy bread and oil from time to time.

My lunch entree - pan-seared scallops with greens tossed with bleu cheese and pistachios.  An extra crab-cake on the side.  Their crabcakes are really fricken good, and are offered in several entrees and appetizers with Maryland sauce, as burger patties, or as I did, as an available salad addition.  Scallops weren't seasoned too heavily, and the greens were fresh and not overly doused in vinaigrette.  Some people shy away from seafood - the beauty of being raised Greek is an appreciation for seafood and vegetables.

Please ignore the fact that I tossed real sugar in my iced tea today, at least it's better than Splenda or Sweet N Low.  I love the sweet tea, ever since my freshman year trip to New Orleans.  I also learned to love crawdaddies, but that is another discussion.

After lunch, there was coffee (no photo - I get self-conscious being food paparazzi all the time).

Cotton is one of those places I really enjoy.  Atmosphere is pretty excellent.  Clientele tends to be a bit older than myself, the lunch crowd is usually local business people (It's located in the Millyards, and most mill buildings have been converted to office spaces) and owners.  Generally, the regulars such as my aunt and uncle, know the other guests and the staff, and are friendly.  Dinner crowd ranges all age groups, and entrees include awesome comfort-food fare like their supreme meatloaf dish, stellar burgers, Cuban sandwiches, salads, and seafood fare.  The wine list, which I'll be attacking come August, is pretty extensive for the fairly small restaurant that Cotton is.  And like I said, it wasn't exactly cheap, but not out of the price range for a fairly nice evening out.

I love, love, love Cotton. 

Cotton Restaurant

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Chart

Weekly Weight: 195.0 lbs

I lost again, yous guys!  Not only that, but I've lost the 5% of my original body weight total!! Woo Hoo!!

Last week, I clocked in at 199.0.  Somehow, it didn't feel right, but I only allow myself to weigh-in once a week.  If I did it every day, it would become compulsive, and that's generally not reflective of overall loss.  Once a week allows you to account for water weight during the week, eating badly on Tuesday and stepping up the workout Wednesday, etc.

I was glancing over my WW chart, trying to figure out why I had that stupid-ass gain (which, by the way, haunted me all week and made me want to get back on that scale).  This is how I've been since January:

It's kind of hard to see, but look at the peaks closely.  It appears that I tend to lose steadily for a few weeks, and then make some significant gain back, or an appearance of a gain.  And then right after the weird little gain, I drop pretty sharply.  Like this week, where I clocked a 4 lb weight loss.

But right now, I'm hankering for an egg white omelet with veggies and a cup of tea.  Off to breakfast! Studying! And enjoying my small victory.