Monday, May 14, 2012

Butthole Ducklips and Some Very Pinteresting Food

A week since my last post.  SLACKER.  I know.  But Jake has had a break in travel this month, and seeing as how he'll be spending most of the summer away from us at training, I thought it might be a good idea to spend some QT together.  So posts the rest of the month will probably be pretty sporadic.

So... last weekend, I had a very unfortunate visitor.  Worse than Aunt Flo.  Uncle Hemi!  As in hemorrhoid.  (Probably from all the wishful grunting that was happening when pooping wasn't.)  Uncle Hemi usually only rears his ugly head around the times I'm pushing a baby out of my vag, so his appearance was quite unexpected.  I couldn't even pull out the ol' doughnut pillow for him to sit on, because I threw it out after the last time he left, determined to never see him again.  I mean, we moved to Hawaii for god-sakes, and he STILL found me!  I did have some leftover Preparation H, so I used some of that in hopes it would turn him into a shrinking violet.  Unfortunately, Operation Ass Cream was a plop flop, but it did remind me of one of my all time favorite Austin Powers scenes.

Anyway,  by Tuesday, my poor butthole looked like it was doing ducklips.  Let THAT image sink in for a moment.  If your imagination failed you, maybe this will help:

Having a pair of Taylor Armstrong lips between your cheeks doesn't make for the most comfortable stroll through Target.  Speaking of Target, the grocery cart drama continued this week.  A moment after getting my daughter out of the car in the Target parking lot, she spotted one of their ginormous double seater kid carts and started squawking to sit in it.  Okay, okay.  Upon strapping her in, she made it abundantly clear that she wanted her doll to also sit in the cart and be strapped in.  I swear, the lengths I'll go to avoid drama in a store!  Here's my evidence:

That fucking cart must have been 8 feet long, but the little miss and her dolly partner stayed strapped in and (relatively) quiet during the shopping trip.  Thanks gawd, because if I'd have had to listen to her scream while picking out hemorrhoidal suppositories, it might have been more than I could handle.  I'm also very thankful that my son was completely oblivious to all the time we were spending in the ass cream aisle. 

I've never had any experience with any kind of suppositories prior to this, so I wasn't really sure what to expect.  Well I knew where and how things would go down (up), but not what it would feel like.  It was NOT pleasant.  And afterwards I felt like I was walking around with something stuck up my ass.  Probably because I was.  But the medicine up my bum helped Uncle Hemi go back from whence he came (the retirement home in my rectum? a lot of old farts hang out there, I guess), so it was worth it.  I have to give muchas gracias to Tucks pads, as well.  They're my homeys.  And YES, I realize this all goes down in the record books for waaaayyy T.M.I.  But I'm the queen of too much information, and laughing about my hemorrhoids makes them seem like a little less of a pain in the ass.

I am officially Pinterest obsessed.  Mostly for home decor ideas... for the perfect house we'll never have while we're in the military.  But whatevs.  My other favorite pins are for FOOD.  Omigod.  It's opened me up to recipes I didn't even know I wanted to try cooking!  One of the first I had to make was Shrimp with Spicy Garlic Sauce from the blog Appetite For China.  Flippin' amaze balls.  This is how it turned out...

I pan seared a little cubed, organic tofu before cooking the shrimp, just to add some low calorie bulk and because I happened to have it on hand.  I also made Ina Garten's Sugar Snap Peas with Sesame and some coconut brown jasmine rice to go with it.  It was spicy as hell, but wonderful.

Here are the recipes.

Shrimp with Spicy Garlic Sauce - Serves 2
adapted from

1 lb uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined (I like the tails off, but you can leave them on), and patted dry with paper towels
3 tablespoons low sodium tamari or Bragg liquid aminos
2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce (I used Huy Fong, Red Rooster brand)
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons dry sherry (I didn't have any rice wine, but if you do, use that instead)
1-2 teaspoons honey, depending on how sweet you like it
1 tablespoon coconut oil
3 gloves garlic, finely chopped
1 scallion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

In a small bowl, whisk together the tamari, chili garlic sauce, sesame oil, sherry, and honey.  Heat the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  Add the garlic, and stir fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Carefully add the shrimp, and cook until curled up and pink.  This could take anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes per side, depending on the size of your shrimp and how hot your skillet is.  (By the time I got all the shrimpies in the pan, it was already time to flip them over - so be prepared to work fast.)  Remove from heat, and add the sauce mixture.  Stir until fully coated.  Serve with vegetables and/or rice.

Coconut Brown Jasmine Rice - Serves 2-3
1 cup brown jasmine rice
1 can lite coconut milk, plus enough water to make 2 full cups of liquid
pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.  Stir once, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 50 minutes, or according to the directions of your rice. Remove from heat, and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.  Fluff with fork, and serve.

Sugar Snap Peass with Sesame
adapted from Ina Garten

1 pound sugar snap peas, blanched and drained (or you can get the bagged kind from the produce section and microwave in the bag for about a minute and a half, like I did)
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
kosher or sea salt
sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds

Trim the ends off the snap peas, and remove the string if it's tough.  Cut the larger pods in half on the bias, and leave the smaller ones whole.  In a bowl large enough to hold all the peas, whisk together the vinegar and sesame oil.  Add the peas and a sprinkle of salt, and toss (I like to do it with my hands) to coat.  Sprinkle on as many sesame seeds as you like.  I used about a tablespoon.

The other Pinteresting dinner I made was Braised Pork Shoulder with Tomatoes, Cinnamon, and Olives over Polenta.  It had been awhile since I'd cooked something slow-cooked and rich like this, and it was sooooo comforting.  Jake said it was up there with some of the best stuff I've made, and it was pretty easy.  The hardest part was searing the pork, and that really wasn't hard at all.

It's pretty rich, so we started off with a green salad to fill up a little first.  Next time I'll probably add a little hit of vinegar with the wine to help cut through some of the richness, and a little sprinkle of parsley at the very end would be nice, too.  (This is coming from a parsley hater, mind you... but it's what it needed.)

Braised Pork Shoulder with Tomatoes, Cinnamon, and Olives over Polenta
adapted from

2 pounds pork shoulder (aka Butt), cut into large cubes (about 2 in)
Kosher or sea salt and black pepper
2 tbs virgin coconut oil (don't worry, it won't make anything taste like coconut)
1 tbs canola or olive oil
3 med or 2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, cleaned and sliced into half moons
4 cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled
1 tbs tomato paste
1 tbs anchovy paste
1 tsp cinnamon (I used McCormicks roasted Saigon cinnamon)
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
1 can (28 oz) organic whole peeled tomatoes (I used Muir Glen)
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, or 1 tbs dried rosemary (I used dried, but I hate its texture in dishes, so I wrap it up in cheesecloth or an unbleached coffee filter tied with butcher's string so I can just pitch it out when everything's done cooking)
2/3 cup pitted green olives, chopped

Pat the pork dry with paper towels and season all sides with salt and pepper.  I like to do this at least 20-30 minutes before I'm going to cook it.  Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.  Heat a dutch oven over medium high heat.  Add 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil and all of the canola or olive oil.  When it shimmers, add the pork in small batches, and sear on all sides until the pieces are crusty brown and much of the fat has rendered.  Place the seared pieces on a plate and reserve.  Once all the pork is browned, carefully dump all of the oil out of the pan and discard.  At this point you should have lots of crusty brown goodness on the bottom of the pan.  Reduce the heat to medium and add in the other tablespoon of coconut oil.  Add in the leeks and smashed garlic and saute until they begin to soften, stirring frequently.  Once they've softened up, add in the tomato and anchovy pastes.  Saute until they begin to brown a bit, about a minute or so.  Add the cinnamon, and saute until it gets really fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add in the wine, and as it starts to bubble, scrape up all the brown bits on the bottom of the pot.  Add the tomatoes and their juice, the bay, and the rosemary.  Nestle the pork back into the pot, making sure the liquid comes almost all the way to the top of the pork.  If there's not enough liquid, add some water.  Let the mixture come up to a good simmer.
Cover the pot, and cook in the oven for 2 hours, stirring once halfway through to make sure the pork isn't getting too dry on one side.  Raise the oven heat to 425.  Add the olives to pot and return to the oven, uncovered, for about 20 minutes.  At this point, the pork should be fall-apart tender and the liquid should have reduced quite a bit.  Discard the rosemary and bay leaves, and serve over polenta.

Creamy Polenta
1 cup milk (the higher fat the milk, the creamier the polenta)
1-2 cups water
1/2 cup cornmeal (I had Quaker brand on hand, but use what you have.  The coarser the grind, the longer it will take to cook)
pinch of kosher or sea salt
1 tbs butter
1/4 cup shredded cheese, if desired (I need to use up some Colby Pepperjack, so I used that)

Bring the milk, one cup of water, and the salt to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Once boiling, very slowly add in the cornmeal, whisking constantly the entire time.  (This is the make or break part - adding the cornmeal too fast or not whisking enough will result in lumpy polenta... not tasty.)  Reduce the heat to medium, and continue stirring.  The mixture will thicken pretty quickly.  Depending on how runny or thick you like your polenta, you may want to add up to a cup more water.  You can stop stirring as often, but don't walk away from it.  The longer it simmers, the more it will thicken.  When it gets to a consistency you like (and remember, it will thicken more as it cools), remove from heat.  (For me, once I've added the cornmeal, the whole simmering process only takes about 5 minutes.  But if you use a coarser grind cornmeal, it could take 15-20 minutes.  When the polenta tastes tender and is at your desired consistency, it's done.)  At this point stir in the butter and cheese (if using).

It is Mother's Day (happy Mother's Day to all you baby mommas out there), so I made dessert tonight, as well.  They're called Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies, but I refer to them as Sexual Chocolate.  You'll see what I mean.  I saw the recipe on Pinterest (of course) and had to make them.

Not convinced yet?

Oooooh, yeaaah.  Barry White is singing in the background right now. 

Sexual Chocolate
Also known as Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies, adapted from 

1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips (I used 1 pkg. Ghirardelli)
3 large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
2 cups powdered sugar, divided
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbs cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt

Melt 1 cup chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring twice, about 2 minutes.  Cool slightly.

Whip the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form.  Gradually add in 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and whip until glossy and stiff.  In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup powdered sugar, the cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt.  On low speed, gradually add the cocoa powder mixture into the meringue.  By hand, stir in the melted (now lukewarm) chocolate and the remaining chocolate chips.  The dough will be very stiff and probably very sticky.  Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Add the remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar to a pie plate or medium bowl.  Roll rounded tablespoons of the dough into balls and roll them in the powdered sugar, coating heavily, and place on the lined cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.  Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the tops begin to crack.  Cool on cookie sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Honestly, I was afraid to let these babies over cook, so I took them out right at 10 minutes.  They probably could have gone another 2 minutes or so to be absolutely perfectly chewy, but I'd rather have them a little under done than over done.  The middles of mine were like chocolate lava.  Not necessarily a bad thing, though!  They were damn tasty!  As they set up, it became more like ganache.

If I end up with salmonella from their gooey centers, at least maybe I'll be able to poop. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Eat To Live, Or Live To Eat?

That one has always been a struggle for me.  I think it's the biggest reason I try to make exercise such a big part of my routine (try being the key word there) - so I can eat what I want and still fit into the clothes I want to wear.  I'm definitely NOT one of those chicks who was blessed with a great metabolism.  If you're one of those chicks, well... I hate you.  Okay, I don't hate you.  But I envy the hell out of your lucky ass.

I will admit that I am doing much better these days about making smarter food choices.  I try and Eat To Live most of the time.  But there are times (usually around dinner!) that I want to indulge a bit.  Not like a pound o'butter and fried in lard indulgences, but definitely a little more fat and usually some sort of starch.  When I was cleansing, I ran across a recipe on my girl Parker's blog for Spicy Orange Zested Cashew Chicken, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since!  I decided to make it Friday night for dinner.  I did tweak the ingredients slightly - my tongue is kinda wimpy when it comes to spicy and salty flavors since the cleanse.  I just cut back on some of the hoisin and chili garlic sauce, and I omitted the jalapeno.  I also used a little coconut oil and some canola cooking spray to saute the chicken.  I love that the recipe called for sauteing the breasts whole and chopping them up afterwards, instead of cubing them up first.  The chicken gets a lot more crusty brown goodness on the outside that way, and in my experience, it stays much more moist.  I cooked up some brown jasmine rice (and used coconut milk instead of water, as Parker suggested) and steamed some broccoli to go with it.  I ended up just tossing the broccoli in with the chicken and sauce, because that stuff was just So. Damn. Good.  My mouth was on fire, and so was Jake's, but it was so well balanced with the sweet flavors that neither of us could stop until our plates were clean.  I will be making it again.  This is what it looked like:

I made a ring of rice around the perimeter of the bowl before scooping the chicken mixture into it.  Doing it that way helps keep the sauce from running everywhere, but more importantly, it tricks my brain into thinking I'm eating a whole plate of rice, when really it's not that much.  It was maybe 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup.

On Saturday, we had some errands to run.  Errands are so much easier when Jake comes along.  Mostly because he's my very bestest friend, and I enjoy his company, but partly because he's our daughter's most favoritest person in the entire world.  Which means all of her Up! Up! Up!'s get directed at him instead of me!  Our last errand (to Lowes) put us right next door to one of our favorite restaurants in town, La Tour.  Okay, okay.  That's kind of a lie (outright lie).  We actually had no business whatsoever at Lowes, but we were both really craving said restaurant, and going to Lowes first seemed like a better excuse to drive across town than feeding our pieholes.  So there's the truth.  And I'm immaturely sticking my tongue out at you right now for making me admit it.

La Tour is a little cafe (the kind where you order at the counter and they bring it to your table a few minutes later) that serves French bistro style food, but with some Vietnamese influences tossed in.  They also have pizzas and panini, so it's a little Italian, too, I guess.  Whatever.  The point is, it's fucking GOOD.  I ordered their eggplant parmesan tartine - grilled eggplant, herbed breadcrumbs, mozzarella, and parmesan on their artisanal bread - with a side salad and a cup of mint water (lightly sweetened minty goodness that looks like swamp ass but tastes delightful and refreshing).  YUM.  Their house salad dressing is to friggin' die for.  It's creamy (kind of looks like a runny ranch dressing), but it's got a balsamic vinegar/Italian dressing flavor.  They also serve the dressing with their pommes frites... which I'll discuss later.  Oh yes, I will definitely discuss them.

This is their eggplant tartine.  It's not my plate, because I was too excited about it to remember to take a picture.  If I had remembered to take a picture, you can bet I wouldn't have been a dumbass and blocked half the view of the sandwich with a plastic lid! I was also WAY too excited to use a knife and fork.  But this is what it looked like.

Jake ordered their signature burger.  I've had it before, and it's the most fantastic burger I've ever had in my life.  Period.  This bad boy is composed of Wagyu beef, caramelized onions, roasted tomatoes, and salsa verde with Havarti on a toasted challah bun.  It's served with pommes frites, and I'm convinced these babies are fried in a magic spell.  Or possibly in oil that's been blessed by the Pope.  I should point out that Jake and I are both french fry snobs, and we usually eat very few of them whenever we order them at most places.  That's because we pick out only the most tasty, crunchy ones in the pile and leave the rest to rot in soggy fry hell.  But it doesn't go down like this at La Tour, because every fry, every single one, is cooked to absolute perfection.  The only better fries we've ever had anywhere are the Duck Fat Fries (fries fried in duck fat!) served at a French cafe we love in Carmel, Indiana.

That's the mint water pictured above.  I forgot to mention they also make their own pickles.  And as you can see, they're not shy about the portion size on the pommes frites, so we end up having enough to share with the whole family off the one plate.  Just looking at this makes me want to go back and sink my teeth into that burger.  And I'm not usually a burger kind of girl.  Did I mention this WAGYU BEEF burger w/ fries plate is only $8.90?!  IN HAWAII?!?! Unheard of.  But I'm not complaining!

We didn't do much today.  Mostly sat around entertaining the little one.  I did get in 30 minutes on the mat to finish up Level 4 of my Meta reboot.  We were gonna go to the pool, but the universe scoffed and sent in the clouds, so we nixed the idea.  Instead we made a quick trip to the grocery to pick up stuff for dinner.  (And we got the pimped out CARt instead of the hoopty mobile - woot woot!)  Since we'd kind of ignored the whole Cinco De Mayo thing on Saturday (sorry, Mexico), we decided to have quick chicken tacos with guacamole and sauteed veggies.  The "quick" part means I bought a rotisserie chicken and shredded that little cutie all up.  I warmed up some corn tortillas, slathered the insides with guac (literally just avocado mashed with lime juice and salt - I'm a guac purist), and put the shredded chicken on top.  The sauteed veg consisted of portobello mushrooms, red bell pepper, a fresno chile, sweet onion, corn, zucchini, garlic, and grape tomatoes, with about half a can of black beans (rinsed and drained) thrown in for more protein and fiber.  I seasoned it with dried oregano, dried thyme, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lime juice and some fresh cilantro and parsley tossed in at the end.  We are goat cheese lovers, so I put a few crumbles of that on top once I served everything up.

Everything was super tasty, but it was really filling - I ate all the veg, but I could only eat one whole taco.  The veggies were better than I'd even hoped, and they could stand on their own as a vegetarian taco/burrito filling.  There was a lot of food leftover, so tomorrow for lunch I'm planning to toss some baby spinach with a store-bought lime vinaigrette (Newman's Own) and top it with the chicken and veggies.  And goat cheese.  (Duh.)  Yum.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Once Upon A Time

... there was a hooah who got shit done.  Or at least as much shit as one can get done with a toddler up her ass all day.  But then one day that hooah discovered a magical world called Pinterest, and she was never heard from again.  The end.

Is it bad that right now all I want is to send my family away on vacation so I can stay here and do nothing but pin things all day?  And night?  I'd never get up except to make coffee.  Probably not even to pee.  I could just have a stack of puppy pads next to me.

So new rule:  No cardio, No Pinterest!  Except on the weekends.  Cardio can suck a giant dick on the weekends.  So the weekend rule is:  No laundry, No Pinterest!  I hate doing laundry.  Chores are supposed to have a beginning and an end.  You scrub, dust, vacuum, and mop, and for however short a window it lasts, at least it's DONE.  But unless everyone in the house is planning to go buck naked for at least a day, laundry is NEVER done.  There are always the clothes on your back to worry about for next time.  It's the song that never ends, and it just goes on and on, my friends.  Kind of like Pinterest.

I had to make a quick trip to the grocery yesterday, because I forgot a bunch of crap when I went the day before.  That's what happens when I don't make a list.  I get all indignant and think, "I don't need no stinkin' list," and I'm convinced my awesome brain will remember everything.  But then the reality of shopping with two kids sets in (full of Up! Up! Up!'s and Hey, Mom! Guess WHAT?'s) and I'm too busy trying not to have a nervous breakdown to remember we're out of toilet paper.  So back to the store we went.  You know your life is no longer your own when your choice of which grocery store to frequent revolves not around their food selection, but the quality of their suped-up kid carts.  You know, the kinds with steering wheels and stuff?  That's what I was after yesterday.  My daughter loves them, and they make the whole experience less traumatic for all involved.  The game of finding said cart is on like Donkey Kong as soon as I hit the parking lot, because I know there are a limited supply, and because most of the time these precious carts are sitting in some cart corral out in the butt fuck Egypt region of the lot.  Can you picture me weaving up and down the aisles, scoping things out?  Ridiculous.  I spotted another mom with a coveted cart, and she was unloading her last few bags into her SUV.  SCORE!  I pulled into a spot a few spaces down, and as soon as she parked that puppy in the corral, I had my son hop out and guard it.  (Even as I type, I'm shaking my head thinking how absurd this all is. ) I grabbed my daughter out of the car and went to strap her in.  No straps.  Awesome.  But whatever, she's usually pretty good about sitting down in it, because she's so excited about the dual steering wheels.  And then I notice one of the steering wheels is missing.  And the remaining one is the most wobbly-ass thing I've ever seen.  I begin to have doubts, but I decide to hang on to the cart until we get inside, hoping there will be a better option available.  No such luck.  But baby girlfriend was still content, so I pushed that hoopty piece-of-shit through the whole store.  And every time I saw another mom with a non-hoopty version, I couldn't help thinking, "Bitch." 

Dinner put me in a MUCH happier place.  I made a take on Aarti Sequeira's Bombay Sloppy Joes.  They taste a lot like regular sloppy joes, but with some Indian flare.  Garam Masala, chiles, pistachios, raisins, honey, cilantro... the recipe is amazing.  I used ground turkey breast and less oil to keep things light.  And instead of serving it as sandwiches, I did butter lettuce cups and wedges of whole wheat naan bread.  I also roasted some zucchini and Japanese egglplant (tossed in olive oil, garam masala, and salt & pepper).  For a side salad I made Aarti's massaged kale salad.  It's thuper thimple, and it holds up really well if you want to make it ahead of time.  I added a little parsley, cilantro, and mint since I had some on hand.

Here's what Jake's plate looked like.

He destroyed it.  Our son even enjoyed it, chiles and all!  The pistachios and raisins really make it.  You should make it, so you can taste for yourself.  Or bring yo' ass to Hawaii so I can make it for you.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pill Popping And Not Pooping

Warning:  This may be the stupidest post ever.  I wrote it before bed and AFTER taking melatonin for the first time.  The melatonin label says not to operate machinery or drive after taking it.  It should also say Don't Write Blog Posts.

This may be common knowledge for some of you, but I'm full of shit.  As in, I'm not pooping.  I've always had problems in the regularity department, but I found that a cup of coffee in the morning made a huuuge difference in helping everything come out okay on a (mostly) daily basis.  I gave up the caffeine last week, but the poop senna tea had me "pulping" my 30 year old funk out on a more than daily basis.  But with no tea and no coffee the past few days, I've come to the conclusion that my colon has a stimulant dependency.  And it's on strike until I give it some sort of stimulus package.  I've been trying to give it healthy things like roughage, plenty of water, and a little fat to lube everything up, but it's acting like the fucking Hungry Caterpillar, without the butterfly part.  I've gained almost three pounds in three days!  I know that's not TERRIBLE, but since I've been working out daily and eating healthier than ever before, it's pissing me off!  So I caved.  I had a cup of coffee.  And it was delicious.  Balls and battery acid has been replaced by creamy hot comfort.  And my colon thanked me by growing wings and flitting away to seek nectar.  No.  But I did poop.  Thrice.  I also lost almost 2 pounds.  Told you I was full of shit!  I almost didn't make it to the bathroom, because the one downstairs was occupado.

I promise he's not bulimic.  He was just really hungover. 

I may not ever give up my daily cup of coffee, but I was curious to know if there is anything less stimulating I could do to get things moving.  Castor oil is NOT an option.  It's the devil.  I've been in labor twice already (once because of castor oil), and I have no interest in doing lamaze on the toilet.  I also draw the line at anal sex.  (Thank you, darling hubby, for your smart-ass advice and your creepily eager willingness to help, but NO I don't need you and your stimulus package to "clean me right out.")  Seeking guidance, I emailed a practitioner of hippie magic to see if her homeopathic almanac of a brain had any ideas.  She suggested some exercises I could do to release the kracken.  I will try them tomorrow.  (And probably have coffee.)

I've completed Level 3 of Omnicentric.  I love Level 3.  Almost as much as I love lamp.  I think I love it because it doesn't make me do planks.  Anything that gets me out of planks is awesome.  Sore rotator cuffs are NOT awesome, and both of mine are sore.  As is my lower back.  So I'm taking a couple of days off arms and abs.  I did 30 minutes of cardio yesterday and felt like a bad-ass.  Today, I carried a 20+ pound toddler around the grocery store while pushing a cart for an hour, and that was all the cardio I could handle.

Also, I ate things today.  I took pictures of some of them.

Hemp Protein Smoothie with coconut milk (the kind in the 1/2 gallon carton, not the canned kind), strawberries, spinach, spirulina, pineapple, mint, chia seeds, and ice.  And hemp protein.  Duh.

Blackened Chicken Salad w/ Creamy Maple Barbeque Dressing.
 I was a little heavy handed with the dressing here, but this salad's a party in your tummy.  Here's what's in it: 

A chicken heart.  Not really. They're actually very "love-ly" organic chicken breasts.  I sprinkled my tits with salt, pepper, smoked paprika, cumin (or CUH-MEN if you're Teresa Guidice and like to use lots of ingredientses), coriander, onion powder, garlic powder, and a spray of canola oil. 

I seared them over med-high heat for a couple minutes per side, then lowered the heat to medium and let them finish cooking through so we wouldn't all get diarrhea.  (Although that would probably help with my pooping problems.)  I let them rest a few minutes before chopping them up so they wouldn't juice all over the place.  (Because it's just embarrassing when that happens.)

Not sure exactly what to call this, except delicious.  Carnivale Salsa maybe?  It'll make you wanna samba your ass off, for sure.  Black beans, corn, grape tomato, cucumber, sweet onion, jalapeno, mango, pineapple, celery, red bell pepper, avocado, and cilantro all tossed with lime juice, rice vinegar, agave nectar, salt, and pepper.  I could eat this all on its own.  And I will, because there were leftovers.

Spinach mixed with an iceberg/carrot/red cabbage blend.  It looks so lonesome without its friends on top of it.

The dressing was a shake-up of nonfat plain Greek yogurt, extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, ketchup, dijon mustard, real maple syrup, molasses, worcestershire, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper.

I'm too damn tired for measurements right now, so if you want any specifics, hit me up in the comments section.  I'm going to bed now.

UPDATE:  I forgot to actually hit PUBLISH before the melatonin completely took over, so I'm posting this late.  Whoopsie.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Show and Tell

Hey, all.  Lots of sharing today.  Some pics, some websites, some recipe ideas, and some videos that will hopefully have you laughing your asses off.  First off, I dragged my tired ass out of bed at 5:30 this morning to get my muscular structure over with.  Confession: I had some coffee first.  But it tasted like balls and battery acid, so I only had a few sips.  I didn't feel like going downstairs to cue up the dvd player, so I decided to do just the leg workout in the comfort of the bedroom and would finish the arms and abs when I did cardio mid-morning.  I started on the left side this time, in hopes that I'd have a little more luck with evening out my reps.  I did have a little more luck.  But since it had been less than 10 hours since my last attempt, and since it was five-fucking-thirty in the morning, my muscles were basically telling me to go to hell.  I did the best I could, but my best fell far short of 40 reps.  The moment the baby girlfriend went down for her nap later in the morning, I got back down to business on finishing my TAM for the day.  The arms and abs were no problem, but cardio was a different story.  You know that scene from Superbad where Seth Rogan has been chasing Michael Cera and has that moment of, "He's a freak! *panting, panting* He's the fastest kid alive! *more panting*"  Yeah, that was me.  I wasn't puking up beer, but I was definitely out of breath and wanted to vomit.  I could only handle 20 minutes.  But I was okay with it since I hadn't done cardio in weeks.  I got cleaned up and made a salad for lunch.  It looked like this.

Kale (massaged with lemon juice so it wouldn't be so tough), spinach, cucumber, grape tomato, pineapple, and mint all tossed with a splosh of apple cider vinegar and EVOO and sprinkled with salt and pepper.  It was a little too acidic, so I drizzled about a teaspoon of raw honey over it.  I also added a few pumpkin seeds for texture. The result was really fresh and tasty.

For dinner, it was more salad... but this salad kicked lunchtime salad's ass.  I got the idea for it from a blogpost by my girl, ParkerShe found it on Loretta Urban's post.  Loretta's recipe was a spinach salad with panko breaded, baked buffalo chicken breast, blueberries, strawberries, almonds, carrots, and tomatoes with olive oil, and it looked fabulous!  My take was baby spinach with blueberries, sliced strawberries, chopped cucumber, crumbled Stilton, and Lightlife's meatless buffalo smartwings chopped up and all tossed with an easy, homemade raspberry yogurt vinaigrette.

You can't see the blueberries, because they're shy.  The salad was soooo good.  Spicy, salty, sweet, and crunchy.  It had that great chemistry between the creamy Stilton and the buffalo flavors.  I'm pretty sure those two in particular got it on on my tongue while the other ingredients sat and watched with big hard-ons, just waiting for a piece of the action.  Even Jake, with his soy phobia, loved it.  I'll post the recipe for the yogurt vinaigrette at the bottom.

I also want to mention a clothing website I saw recently on a blog.  It's  It's private, so you have to join and then get someone else to join in order to shop (sounds like a pyramid scheme, I know, but you won't go to jail).  But once you're in, you get amazingly high quality stuff for crazy affordable prices.  Their "perfect tee" would sell for $50 in stores, but they cut out the retail mark-up, so you get it for $15!  I shared the link on Facebook, but no one joined.  Boo.  I almost forgot about it, and then Jenny, of (the one who brought the website to my attention in the first place, and whom I adore so much that I kind of want to have her babies), posted this video review of the perfect tee she ordered.

After seeing this, and after watching it five more times because I laughed so hard, I thought, I want a shirt that makes me rub my boobs!!!  I think we ALL need a shirt like that, don't you?  And it's only $15 dollars!  But apparently I was Ever LAME and had no friends to help me get my foot in the door.  I told Jake that if he posted the link on his Facebook and got 50 people to join (which gets you free shipping for life), I'd fellaish him.  None of his friends joined, but Jake did, and his membership was enough that I could start shopping, and I got free shipping for the first 24 hours. (AND escaped a BJ. Woohoo!)  I ordered each of us a T-shirt, and they came a few days later.  This is us in our new shirts, after we calmed down and stopped feeling our boobs.

They really are super comfy and soft, and they didn't get all stretched out five minutes after we put them on. Y'all need to join and getchu some.  Now if only Pinterest would invite me in.

Since I posted the T-shirt video of Jenny, I have to go ahead and share my other favorite of her videos.  It's TAMtastic.

Anyone who's done Tracy arms knows exactly how she feels.

Here's the recipe for the vinaigrette:

Raspberry Yogurt Vinaigrette
(These measurements are kind of approximate, because I was eyeballing everything.)
1/4 c lowfat raspberry yogurt, raspberry kefir, or plain yogurt sweetened to taste with raspberry jam
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp aged balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

I like to put all the ingredients in a mason jar (or any container w/ a tight lid) and shake away.  This will yield about a 1/3 cup of dressing, which was enough for our two salads. 

If you like it sweeter, add a little honey, agave, or stevia to taste.  You could also swap out any fruit flavored yogurt or jam for a different flavor.  I happened to have raspberry kefir, so that's what I used.  Strawberry would work well for this salad, too.  You could also forgo the fruit flavor altogether and go for honey or maple syrup w/ plain yogurt and have something that would be delicious on, say, a barbecue chicken salad or a vegetarian salad w/ black beans, corn, avocado, tomato, and peppers.  The possibilities are endless.  If you're not a dairy person, I've never tried or cooked with soy, almond, or coconut milk yogurts, but I'm sure they'd work just fine.

A New Food-itude

Well, people, yesterday was my first official day off the juice, so to speak.  I did start the day with a pear-blueberry-banana smoothie, just 'cuz it's so damned delicious!  But by mid morning, I was ready for some mastication.  (I love that word... it sounds so dirty, but it's not.)  More than anything, I've been craving vegetables.  Crazy, right?  A week off food and all that talk about motor-boating pizzas, and now all I can think about is salad?!  'Tis true, I'm afraid.  I wasn't hungry enough to put together a salad, but I had some steam-in-bag frozen butternut squash in the freezer, so I nuked that.  I tossed it with a little coconut oil, some maple syrup (grade B... since I've got like 3 jugs of it left!), some cinnamon, and a little salt.  It was so delicious and comforting, not to mention beautiful... that bright yellow-orange with flecks of cinnamon?  Come on!  It was exactly what I needed to get me through the rest of the morning.  The husbie and I decided we'd hit up Whole Foods for lunch, but we wouldn't be able to leave until The Precious finished her nap.  It's like she knows when we're waiting around for her to wake up and decides to sleep even longer just to be a pain in the ass.  But if I'm counting on her to sleep so I can get things accomplished, she's wide awake in less than an hour.  Sigh.  Can't win.  I microwaved some edamame to munch on while we waited for her to wake up, but I forgot Jake won't touch soy with a 10ft pole if he can help it (something about it raising estrogen levels in men and giving them moobs - that's what happened to Jeremy Piven, allegedly), so he opted for carrots and cucumber w/ dip.  I should note that he no longer feels the need to don the "cloak of shame" during snack time.  Baby girl finally woke up, and in a good mood! Bonus!

We got to Whole Foods and opted to eat first and shop later.  I hit up the salad/hot food bar and started taking spoonfuls here and there of various things that looked good or that I'd never tried and wanted to.  I wasn't feeling any of the meat dishes, so I grabbed some veggie stuff and a couple of different pasta salads.  I didn't grab a huge amount of food, but I still couldn't even finish half of it.  The stomach has definitely suffered some shrinkage.  (Not that I mind - my portions pre-cleanse were a little out of control.)  A few of the dishes I got were completely off-putting.  I can't really pin-point the specific flavors I found foul.  I think it was more that there was just too much of the flavors.  I tried the smoked mozzarella pasta salad that had been calling my name since the first day I started shopping there, and was, unfortunately, disappointed.  The cheese was just a little too... I don't know, mozzarella-y?  Any cheese cravings I've been having have been for bleu, goat, parmigiano, aged gouda, and things like that. Funky cheese - that's what I want!  (I totally just opened things up for a Fromunda joke, didn't I?  You know who you are, and you can Shutty!)  It didn't help that all I could taste in the pasta salad was mayonnaise.  There was just too much.  It needed some acid like vinegar or lemon juice to cut through all that fat.  It's something I'd like to make at home and Fabulize.

I didn't really have a shopping list, something which always elicits a whiney "Oh, noooo!" from my husband.  He LOVES for me to mosey through all the aisles going, "Oooo - look at THIS!"  He LOVES it.  Especially when The Diva is with us and putting on her usual performance.  Good times!  NOT.  But I did get some cool stuff... red quinoa, chia seeds, hemp protein powder, du puy lentils (which I'm gonna use to make Ina Garten's insanely delicious warm French lentil salad), organic whole grain baked chicken nuggets for the kiddies, all natural bacon-ranch(!) popcorn, and Vosgue's alderwood-smoked-salt-and-BACON dark chocolate.  Oh, yeah, baby.  (I draw the line of my vegetarian tendencies at bacon.)  You just can't find this stuff at the regular grocery.  I was in heaven!  This makes me a total foodie nerd, I know, but I own it.  One other thing I picked up was Arctic Zero.  Have you heard of this?  I know all of you TAM-ers have, because it's on the food plan as a dessert option.  I'd never seen it anywhere before this, so I had to check it out.  It looks like pint of ice cream, but it's made from whey protein (safe for most dairy allergies) and has 150 calories in THE WHOLE PINT.  I grabbed the strawberry flavor for me and the mint chocolate for Jake.  On the way out of the store, I stopped by the cafe and bought a few of their mini-cannolis - I'd been drooling over them for weeks, and since the craving wasn't going away, I indulged and got a traditional, a pistachio, and a chocolate one.  They were each about 3" in length and about an inch around, and I thought the four of us could share.  We ate them when we got home and were NOT disappointed.  That shit was da bomb, yo.  I had one or two bites of each one (about the equivalent of one whole mini cannoli) and was so satisfied.  I didn't feel guilty or like I'd over done it.  It was just right.  I love when I can have my cake and eat it, too and not feel like a gluttonous fat ass afterward!

For dinner, I made Tracy's veggie-protein soup, minus the protein.  It's basically just carrots, celery, and broccoli simmered in vegetable broth with some parsley and black pepper thrown in at the end.  I added some lemon zest, as well.  You can add tofu or chicken or whatever floats your boat in the protein department.  I hadn't made it for months, and I remember the first time 'round adding coconut milk, cilantro, scallions, lime juice, and siracha to boost the flavor, because I found it a little blah.  A week of cleansing, however, has apparently reset my palate.  Not only did I have to dilute the broth with water because I found it too salty, but both Jake and I were marveling at how amazingly tasty the carrots were.  CARROTS.  What?!  But they were.  They were sweet and delicious.  The kids liked it, too.  And they went nuts for those chicken nuggets, by the way.  Even out of the microwave!  My little guy, who is quite the kid food connoisseur, said they were "waaaay better than McDonald's."   (So if you can get your mitts on some Earth's Best Baked Chicken Nuggets, they're kid tested and approved.)  Later, we tried out the Arctic Zero.  Not. A. Fan.  Especially of the strawberry.  Hurl.  It tasted like a strawberry protein shake.  If strawberry protein shakes are your deal, then getchur freak on, by all means.  You can have mine!  The only way it's gonna get used up in this house is if I put it in a beet smoothie.  Because maybe the beets would mask the taste.  In other words, raw beets taste better than strawberry Arctic Zero.  Hell, asshole might taste better than strawberry Arctic Zero.  I haven't tasted asshole (other than in hot dogs), so I can't be sure.  The mint chocolate was bearable, but it's got a weird aftertaste.  I just asked Jake to describe what the aftertaste is like, and he said, "Bigfoot's dick." 

So there you go.  Personally, I'd rather have a half cup of Haagen Dazs than a pint of Bigfoot's Dick.

I put off the workout until almost 9pm... downer.  But I sucked it up and cleared some space and did my first day on Level 2 of Meta.  Cringe.  I remembered hating Level 2 the first go round, and this time was no different, unfortunately.  Remember that whole promise to myself to do full reps?  Well I fucking LIED.  I was able to do more than I did when I first started Level 2 back in November, and I was able to go full reps on some of the moves.  But those damned planky-kicky-moves get me every time.  Those, and that damned half triangle thing she does at the end.  I pushed through to 3/4 of the reps on the really tough moves on the right side, but by the time I switched to the left, my right (supporting) leg was in Muscle. Failure.  I almost busted my face on the mat a couple of times from falling over.  I did more like half the reps of the tough moves on the left side.  If I keep this up, my ass is gonna be its own before and after pic.  I love Tracy Anderson, but by the time the cool-down started, I was ready to tell the bitch to fuck OFF.  And I mean that in the nicest way possible, Tracy.  Really.