I have a great idea. A few years ago the gimmick documentary maker Morgan Spurlock made his movie Super Size Me where he eats McDonalds every day for a month and every time they ask him ‘Do you want to super size it’, he says ‘yes’.
During the month they monitor his health and vitals which all go down the tube. I don’t know how this is really considered an expose of any sorts, really more of an extreme stunt.
Here’s something that would be more interesting. All of the fast food companies claim you can eat healthy at their restaurants. Some example from their websites:
“Eating right isn’t always easy – we have lots of menu choices to help you.”
“At Wendy’s, we believe in choice. Choice in toppings. Choice in dressings. And the choice to select from a wide variety of nutritious options.”
“We believe eating sensibly, combined with appropriate exercise, is the best solution for a healthy lifestyle. KFC offers a variety of menu items for those that want lower fat, lower calorie choices, including Kentucky Grilled Chicken and Honey BBQ Sandwiches, corn on the cob, BBQ baked beans and green beans. ”
Taco Bell, KFC and I assume other Pepsi owned companies all have links to the ‘Keep it Balanced‘ website. To me this is just amazing. They show a family eating fried chicken, biscuits, cole slaw, drinking soda- probably the worst meal in the world, and then say ‘Its a simple formula, ‘Energy In=Energy Out’. Do you know how much energy you’d have to put out to make up for that meal? Its so ridiculous.The whole website kind of ticks me off to be honest!
Subway is of course the king of healthy eating marketing, even promoting their food as a diet choice with celebrity athletes such as Apollo Anton Ohno and Michael Phelps. Here’s the thing- how many people really make the healthy choices at Subway? No mayo or sauces, wheat bread with one of the 8 possible ‘fresh fit’ selections? Last time you went to subway did you stick by the rules and get the healthy choice?
To their credit, Burger King, Carl’s Jr, and In N Out are all more honest, merely stating their nutritional information and not making claims of health in any way.
Anyway, here is my idea. Someone should put the fast food companies to their word and do a month of eating fast food. Order the ‘healthiest’ options and see if it could really be done and be healthy. Follow vitals and participate in moderate exercise as all the sites suggest. I don’t think it could be done.
I say this because I am tempted by fast food. It is sometimes difficult to get the motivation to cook just for myself and fast food is so easy. The idea of it being ‘healthy’ does sometimes convince me to go and I always regret it. In 2010 I went an entire year without fast food and it was awesome. Usually I stay away but every once in a while I fall into the habit.
I’m not one of those people that think fast food should be criminalized and monitored like the cigarette companies but it does seem like false advertising to claim health when in truth it is almost always an indulgence.
So I’ve tried to write this post tons of times but for some reason wordpress keeps erasing it.
Here goes again.
Pain- Day 2 of hypthoroid pills has come and gone and so far I am cautiously optimistic. No major side effects and today I actually felt pretty energized. Still have the pain but there are things to feel good about (I have learned to be grateful for a good day no matter what the cause of it is).
I was thinking today of the scripture in D and C 122:7 when God tells Joseph Smith “that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.” That I idea of giving us experience is so interesting. Every trial I have gone through has helped me relate to a new person in a new way. It has literally given me experience. (In my new ward I’ve met like 6 people who have chronic pain in some form or another and I can relate to them. My experience gives a connection). Something to think about…
Breakfast- One of the things I have really struggled with is eating a good breakfast. Lately all food looks gross to me, all the time, but especially in the morning. Things I normally like such as eggs produce the gag-reflex. Plus, it means I have to get a pan dirty and chop stuff and I’m tired (you get the idea).
I would say more than any other category, aside from maybe dessert, it is hard to make breakfast healthy. All of my favorite things I can never have- french toast, toast, fluffy pancakes, biscuits, cinnamon rolls, most cereals (the hardest of the list), donuts, bear claws, etc. Any ideas you have for a healthy, quick way to do breakfast that would be great.
I recently made this breakfast quinoa that was pretty good. In the rice cooker 1 cup quinoa, 1 cup almond milk, 1 cup water. Then I put nuts and dried fruit on top.
Books- I’m on the lookout for cheerful books. I’m talking fun, even silly, happy books. Not the type of inspirational overcome challenges type of books but just overtly happy books. For example, the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency is bright and funny (Alexander McCall Smith is kind of the king of the happy series), or Sophie Kinsella’s books I really love in this regard. Especially The Undomestic Goddess. Is it great literature? No, but it makes me laugh without fail and actually has a few things to think about on the side.
Food- Recently I came up with this list. What are your top 5?
Top 5 Foods I miss:
1. Mashed Potatoes (Potatoes in general are a rarity)
2. Non whole grain cereals.
3. white bread with honey and butter
4. most yummy breakfast foods- french toast, fluffy pancakes, cinnamon rolls, donuts, honeybuns…sigh
5. Pies and fresh hot cookies (and the cookie smell)
On the plus side of food I am finally getting a bountiful basket! http://bountifulbaskets.org/. It is this organization that combines farmers produce to get fresh produce at a discount price. My friend Kate and I are splitting it and it should be delicious! This is what the baskets look like. Yum and since we are splitting the cost it will only be $20 each including the organic and citrus package!
So I might take boxing lessons! I just found out about this club in Salt Lake just for women and boxing. Looks awesome. I’ve always wanted to learn. I took a self defense class in college and it was really fun! It will be fun to spice things up a bit. Lately in my training we’ve been using the punching bag and I love it! (Get out all that angst!). Did I finally think of something that suprises a few of you’all?
Living alone- So in my new ward I am the only never married single person. Isn’t that kind of amazing? Still, things have gone very well. One funny thing is that everyone is so surprised I live alone. I’m kind of used to it. Its really not that big of a deal to me. Yes, friends I live alone and love it! The only time I wish I didn’t live alone is when I’m sick and someone could go to the pharmacy for me (and listen to my moaning and groaning!).
New Calling- So it finally came. I got called into primary. I was actually quite disappointed because I have loved teaching Sunday School. I will miss the gospel interaction with adults….However, it will be a new challenge and I am sure I will learn a lot. It is teaching the 9 year olds so if any of you have suggestions for engaging that age group please pass on. I’ve heard bring treats from a lot which is hard because I don’t really eat treats but I will see what I can do.
Diabetes- One comment on the Paula Deen controversy. I do think it is strange that she didn’t come out with her diagnosis for 3 years until she is a victoza spokesperson. Seems shady to me. However, I don’t really care about her. The thing I noticed in the coverage is who the ‘experts’ kept talking about diabetes as this horrible awful thing, and it can be that. Never do I seem to hear that it is a treatable condition. I was a borderline diabetic at best but I got my A1C’s down in a year and am no longer a diabetic threat. When I was first diagnosed I thought I’d have diabetes my whole life and that I was going to die. That’s what I thought. I had no idea it was treatable. Maybe that’s just my ignorance showing but I wish more ‘experts’ would point that out when they discuss the issue.
So, there you go. That’s my thoughts on a bunch of issues. The most important thing is I am feeling hopeful in a way I haven’t felt in a long time. Thanks so much to everyone for all your love and support. I’m sure there is still a long road ahead but to feel hope is grand thing. 🙂
So I’ve been posting a lot lately for 2 reasons- I’ve had a lot of pain lately and a lot of insomnia. Here I am with both of those conditions. Here’s some random thoughts
Quick note- I’ve gotten a lot of feedback on the fibromyalgia facebook wall but those in the blogosphere do you normally have localized pain or is it all over? I actually don’t have pain all over. It is specific unless I’ve particularly exercised another part that day. I ALWAYS have pain in my ribcage- all over the ribcage, sternum, side. It is tender to the touch. Hurts to wear a bra or any clothing. Swimming is oddly fine but it is sore no matter what I do. I live with a minimal level of pain but some days like today it was so sore and when I touched it the muscle feels puffy and swollen…I’m going to the doctor Monday but I’m just curious if anyone has heard of anything like this? The odd thing is my doctor gave me muscle relaxants to take in an emergency and they seem to do nothing. Its like the bones hurt.
However, I pushed forward and had a good day anyway. My friends have kept me really busy lately which has been a HUGE blessing in so many levels. I will never be a girl who complains about not having enough friends- at least I shouldn’t. I have my swim friends, my church friends, my long-time friends, my friends who live away from me who I chat with via facebook, my siblings and family. My cousins are my friends. Even my Grandma is one of my best friends. I just think of all the sad people I used to meet on my mission who would let us in just so that I spoke to someone during the day and I remember how lucky I am. I work really hard at my friendships but still I am very blessed.
Ok. Lately I have been struggling with food. All food looks gross to me. I have no energy to cook and especially clean. I love having people over for the company but also because it forces me to cook! I’ve had mixed luck with the crockpot of late. I think it works great for roasts and bbq pork but other dishes have been mixed at best. I usually end up eating out or at Harmons. Sometimes I wonder if this saves me money. I was thinking about that yesterday when I got a salad at Harmons and for me to buy portabello mushrooms, chicken, mixed greens, bell pepper etc would have been a lot more than the $7 I spent on my salad. Plus, I would have had ingredients left over I wouldn’t use and it would take me forever to cook, chop up all those ingredients. Thoughts?
So the Oscars are tomorrow and I could really care less about Hollywood and its awards (Is there a more self-congratulatory group in the world than Hollywood? There is an awards show every day). I do like the fashion. This year is fun because I have actually seen 5 of the 9 movies nominated for best picture- Tree of Life, The Artist, The Help, Hugo and Midnight in Paris. If it was just me picking I would give the prize to The Help and I would have nominated Harry Potter for best picture, but I loved The Artist and Midnight in Paris also.
Also, if Tree of Life doesn’t win for best cinematography than the category has no meaning. I wish that the documentaries would come to the theaters. They sound pretty interesting.
I think The Artist and The Help will win most everything and they are great movies and deserve it.
(Also, I think Jean Dujardin should win for best actor and tired of everyone comparing him to Roberto Begnini. What you can only give an Oscar to a foreigner every 20 years? Plus, their movies are totally different).
So today on lifetime (I was resting before my busy day) they had 4 movies in a row (no I did not watch them) about abducted children. There’s a laugh riot for your Saturday morning…
So today was really fun. My friend Tennille asked me if I wanted to go to the show at Hale Theater West Valley- Zorro: The Musical. It was the US Premiere! I love Hale Theater and jumped at the chance to go. Before the show we went to my favorite sushi place- Nagoya Sushi in Midvale (this random little place in a strip mall but it is so good. We had 2 kinds of sushi, tempura vegetables and gyoza for $26. There’s no way I could have made all that for $26.).
Anyway, the show was great! So fun to see a show in development. I am sure by the time it makes it to broadway they will work out some of the kinks. The performances were all very good, as is almost always the case with Hale (the last one I saw was a rare miss so nice to see them back on track). It was fun to see a show that I didn’t know the music for, made it a surprise.
So I had originally put this post with my Valentines Swimfest post but it was getting too long so I separated the 2. They kind of go together.
Anyone who knows me, knows I love party-planning, entertaining and being with my friends. Ever since I was little I have loved gathering people together and coming up with fun activities. I love meeting new people, hearing their story and making friends (maybe because I’ve never really had a boyfriend friends are more important than ever in my life).
What’s the key to making friends? I’ve recently figured out a key piece in the puzzle. It is being willing to share your heart with another person. People sense a a guarded heart. You just have to unabashedly share yourself with others and they will be drawn to that honesty.
Any real friendship requires great risk but even a fun friendship requires some sharing and vulnerability to be a success. That’s what I believe at least. I am SO grateful to all of my friends. Thank you! I hope I give half as much to you, as you give to me.
Friendship is hard work but remember when we were little and worked so hard to get into the right group or make a new friend? Why do we expect it to be any easier as adults? (Well, hopefully it is a little bit easier but sometimes I wonder!). Friendship takes work. It ALWAYS risks REJECTION but it is worth it if the friend is worth having! If someone is critical or resists your friendship you may want to ask the question- why do you want to be their friend in the first place?
It always helps to go to places where people have similar interests or backgrounds. While I have a diverse group of friends, there is usually some common bond that unites us.
Most importantly I work hard at my friendships. I always have. I learned from being bullied as a child to cling on to the people who love me. I have lots of flaws but I think I can confidently say, I am a good friend. I am loyal. I am kind. I want my friends to be happy and if you are my friend you know me- the good, bad, and everything in between. A few years ago I tried to think of a single thing that my friend Camille didn’t know about me. I couldn’t think of one. That’s just the way I love. (I can also be petty and vindictive but I’m working on that. Not close to perfect yet!)
Planning a party is an entirely different proposition. If this is something you want to do, here’s some ideas.
In party planning, go to as much effort as you want to go to. Unless you are a senators wife or on a reality show most of us don’t NEED to throw parties. It should be FUN! If you get joy out of putting together a goodie bag, go for it (hunt around, you can find deals!). If you enjoy making a tablescape look pretty, do it. If you value a perfectly made meal, make it. If you like making handmade invitations, make them.
Don’t expect others to enjoy things as much as you do, and don’t do it expecting certain results. This ALWAYS leaves a person feeling disappointed. People’s praise is never effusive, nor their gratitude gracious enough. Entertaining is usually the most fun when it is looked at as a service you are doing to provide joy to others.
While I have certainly shed a tear at a burnt cake or craft that went wrong, it is also important to have a sense of humor. As Ina Garten says ‘you can always order Chinese takeout and serve it on your best china’! It’s supposed to be fun. My first swimfest I sent out conflicting restaurant addresses so half the group went to different places. While embarrassed it was an honest mistake and everyone laughed it off. Most of the time I find people are just grateful that you are trying. There is nothing more annoying than going to a party where the hostess is critical of herself all the time or constantly complaining. A little venting may be appropriate but isn’t the idea of a party an escape from reality?
Also, recognize your own limitations and then figure out solutions. If you have kids, build your parties around them. If you don’t have room for 15 people, plan the party somewhere else or invite 5. If you don’t like big groups, don’t plan a party with big groups. There is nothing saying everyone has to be a socialite. Companionship is what matters. Human contact is what matters. Also, always give your guests as much time and as many reminders as possible. Its just a fact that people are busy and will forget (and so many don’t RSVP!). It’s so easy to remind people these days that why not?
Human beings respond very well to traditions. Whether it is book club every month or a super bowl potluck, people build relationships based on traditions and memories of love. It gives security in a world that often feels chaotic and out of our control. (Maybe that’s why I like planning things. It gives me a sense of control in this insane world I live in). My sister and I used to do a potluck the Saturday before Thanksgiving. It was a tradition for 3 or 4 years while we were in college and it was fabulous. We learned how to cook a turkey, our friends experimented with family recipes, and we all watched a fun BYU football game. It didn’t last forever as people moved but it was a great tradition.
Having a strong theme usually helps (holidays make this easy). The Swimfests have been a success so far because I have planned them at a time where most people can come and most of my friends are swimming anyway (Saturday morning). If you are a Mom, plan a brunch when kids are napping or a playdate and everyone can bring a pie or a cookie exchange. Whatever, make it as easy as possible for people to attend and have a theme.
Recognize that your guests are your guests. They aren’t a burden you have to deal with. They are a blessing in your life. If you have to make a cookie gluten free or get raspberries instead of strawberries because someone is allergic, that is OK. We learn a lot in life from making other people happy and thinking of their needs above our own. It is the time’s when I am always happiest, even if it is something as simple as picking out a swim cap or selecting a book my friends might like.
As I said in my Swimfest post, you will have your share of failures. Even Ina Garten has had her entertaining failures. You will have parties where nobody comes, where nothing turns out right. You will wonder what’s the use? Again, I had a party once where nobody came! Don’t give up! Keep trying. It is worth it. At least it is worth it to me. (Remind me that when my next party tanks. I’m on a high right now!)
I’ve learned to expect that with book club 2-4 people almost always come, and I look forward to seeing those girls. It is not a failure because my expectations are appropriate. I enjoy spending time with 2 or even 1 of my friends just as much as I do a group of 15 swimmers. I love bonding with people, the human connection.
Finally, just for the record- I HATE surprises, surprise parties, whatever, and I’m not just saying that to be coy. Please don’t ever plan me one. Half of the fun of it for me is looking forward to the event and helping make it special. That may sound crazy but its the way I have always been. No surprises!
As all my facebook friends know I’ve found a new obsession. Twin Cakes raw gluten-free snack bites. These delectable ‘cookies’ are low glycemic, low sugar, low carb and despite their small size they pack a ton of flavor. I like them so much that I emailed the owner (one of the twins Lori) and she agreed to give me a bulk rate. I now have 16 bags coming this week- that’s 160 balls in various flavors:
And I ordered the Cinnamon Coconut bites which they do not have a photo for on their site. I will sell bags to anyone who is interested at cost. This is really just a way for me to get healthy goodies at a discount. I’m not making anything. Call me for the prices. They are between 8-10.
If you are lucky enough to live near certain stores that carry their product I am very envious. I can’t say how delicious I think they are. I just love them so much! If someone tried to tell me I couldn’t eat them I think the fangs would come out.
Ingredients for brownie bites (as an example) maple syrup, cocoa powder, coconut oil, coconut butter, coconut flour (all organic).
Ingredients for cinnamon coconut bites- coconut flakes, maple syrup, coconut oil, coconut butter, cinnamon (all organic).
Most ‘healthy sweets’ taste just awful which leaves me craving for the bad stuff. These bites are full of flavor. You really don’t need to eat more than one. Plus they last forever. If refrigerated could have them for many months. They are also vegan for anyone interested in that.
It actually means something to me to be able to eat something sweet and have it not ruin my diet. Something sweet that actually tastes GOOD! It really does add to the quality of my life. The first time I tried one I literally had a few tears. I had just finished the sugar fast and it was like yes! This I can live with. This is delicious! This is the sweet life!
Now, you cant eat bags and bags. They are still a sweet but they are all pretty strong. The temptation to eat more than 1 is usually not there for me.
If you come by my place ask to try one. I want to get as many of my friends hooked as I can so I can make more bulk orders, possibly lowering costs even more or convincing Whole Foods or someplace around here to stock them. They make me very happy.
So, if you are interested in any of the above items at the above prices let me know. Again, I’m not making anything on this. In fact, I will absorb the minor shipping charge. No pressure because any that aren’t sold will be saved for me to gladly eat but if you want let me know.
I applaud people like the twins at Twin Cakes and Elana Amsterdam at Elana’s Pantry because they make good tasting products/recipes despite their dietary restrictions. They aren’t happy with a ‘kinda, sorta, tastes like the real thing’ treat. No, they wanted something genuinely delicious.
I admire that type of thinking. Too often I feel discouraged because something has been removed from my diet. I don’t think ‘how could I make it work and make it still taste delicious’. People like this inspire me to do better and be more adventurous.
I’ve got sweets coming…Life is good! :).
Btw- anyone who comes new to book club will get to try them. This should definitely entice you to come! (It sure would entice me!)
Lately food has been a pain in the neck. Everything just looks gross and I’ve had no appetite to eat much of anything. I am sure that sounds peachy but it is kind of a pain. I have food, healthy food, and I’m not eating junk but just looking at my fridge makes me feel nauseated. I can’t explain it. The odd thing is eating these super small amounts I feel great! I feel alert, happy, light. This whole month I have felt really well. I’ve had painful days but not as many as in other months (I think part of it is this amazing weather we’ve had. I feel weighted down when the weather is cold and gray).
Anyway, as I bird-eat I find that I have to freeze a lot of what I make because I’m just not very hungry. Its hard to make meals for 1 anyway but even if I do there is still at least one portion left these days. Some things freeze better than others. Like the other day I made these thai peanut noodles. They didn’t reheat well and kind of turned black. Still tasted good but looked gross.
The pork I made Sunday has saved well and will be nice to have frozen for quesadillas, pizzas, omelets ect. I am working to come up with recipes that I can freeze so that hopefully we can have a healthy, low GI, freezer meal party. A couple of my friends are already interested. The problem is a lot of freezer meals contain creamed soups and preservatives which I do not want, especially hanging around in my freezer for months. If any of you know of good freezer meal recipes that are low in sugar and white carbs send them my way. Does anyone know how quinoa freezes?
Anyway, to shake things up a bit I decided to make PB and J pancakes. So, I took a bag of frozen strawberries on the stovepot, melted them down (didn’t need any liquid because of the ice but if you made from fresh might need 1/4 water), and a tbsp of stevia. I let it cook until the strawberries were wilted. At this point you could blend it to make it smooth but I kind of like the hunks of strawberries.
Strawberries, raspberries, peaches and cherries are all considered LOW GI fruit. Having an index of 32 or below. Kiwi’s, figs, mangos and bananas are nearly double; however, they can still be valuable for other reasons if used sparingly.
With the finished strawberry topping I spread a layer of creamy peanut butter on each pancake and then poured the strawberries on top (the strawberries will be good on yogurt or ice cream. Nice way to use frozen fruit, which is cheaper and lasts longer)!
And look at all I was able to save, enough for 5 more breakfasts.
I’d like to get another smaller freezer because mine is always crammed full. If anyone has a deal let me know. This is the kind I would like: I am hoping to find one used, on sale. We will see.
Anyway, enjoy the pancakes and start experiencing with freezer meals and please send me your successes. Love ya!
I have a very exciting announcement. Rachel’s first homemade vanilla has been made. I’m not the most crafty, projecty person in the world but I’ve always loved to cook and bake. Last winter we had a visitor at our rental properties from Siberia, Russia (with the main contact being the predictable name of Sergei). They were very cheerful guys and in return for collecting a few packages for them before their trip they had presents for me direct from their ‘hometown’. It was very nice of them but I was a bit befuddled when they gave me a bottle of vodka and 3 Russian chocolate bars (which I didn’t care for).
What should a Mormon girl do with a bottle of vodka? Then a friend suggested the idea of making my own vanilla. This can also be done with bourbon but vodka works. I was able to find a great deal on vanilla beans from the Arizona Vanilla Company. They sell 12 vanilla beans for $10.95 which is a terrific bargain. You can also buy their beans through Amazon.
Once you get the beans you simply put them in a jar with the vodka, completely covering the beans (I cut the beans in half to make it work). I then let the beans and vodka marinate for at least 3 months. I have now taken the beans out and transferred the vanilla liquid into a smaller bottle, ready to use in baking and other purposes. I can’t wait to make homemade vanilla ice cream with my own vanilla! (I’d like to make some with agave and maybe almond milk. Yum!). I also have the vanilla beans that I can use to add vanilla bean pulp to the homemade ice cream. Breyers will be jealous!
If any of you have healthy ice cream/sorbet recipes I’d love to try them out. I got a brand new ice cream maker for Christmas and I’m very excited to try it out. I generally stay away from sugar/honey and gravitate towards agave/stevia and fresh fruit for sweetness. I am also excited to use alternative milks like almond and coconut.
I look forward to making more homemade vanilla but that requires going to the State Liquor Store (part of a strange rule in Utah). This might sound stupid but I have such a recognizable car and if someone were to see me at the state liquor store…Anyway, I have enough vanilla to last a long time!