Saturday, January 31, 2009

Signs of a successful meal

Trader Joe's has become an obsession of late. I have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of the foods I've purchased there. Even more surprising is my husband's eagerness to accompany me to grocery shop. For one, Trader Joe's isn't that close to our home. But most of's grocery shopping. He's never been much interested in that. So I've found a new favorite place to shop. I love having company while I shop so I can share my excitement as I discover another new item I haven't tried.

I'm not good at taking pretty pictures. I'm also not experienced enough yet to figure out how to manipulate dough. So I decided to take a picture of the last two pieces left over after we massacred the rest of the pizza. At least those two pieces look like they came from something that resembles pizza.

I'm currently looking for a bread making class since it's one thing I've never been able to figure out. But even after the dough is made, I struggle with forming it into a realistic looking pizza shape with uniform thickness. And then there's the process of transferring it onto a pizza stone. What a mess! The dog was covered in flour as he stood below me while I was rolling out the dough. There's burnt flour all through the oven. And my pizza looked like something a child may pull out of an EZ Bake Oven. But it tasted phenomenal!!! But it certainly wasn't for my dough making expertise, though. It was Trader Joe's pre-made pizza dough. I bought the whole wheat variety, and even though my husband shuns all whole wheat products, even he liked the taste. Accompanied by a Stoudt's Fat Dog Stout, dinner was perfect for a snowy, cold Friday night. I'll be heading back to TJ's soon for more dough and my favorite Sweet Potato Bisque that they were sadly sold out of last week.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Should I take up running?

I'm starving. I had an early dinner today and ate as lightly as I could considering the caloric content of what I ate. I didn't take any pics unfortunately, but it was roast beef, mashed potatoes, homemade white bread, and roasted carrots in butter. My hips are plumping as I type this. To add icing on the cake, I ate homemade carrot cake with cream cheese and butter frosting. It was an excellent, comfort food filled meal. So I shouldn't be starving now, should I?

I love to eat. I love to eat a lot. I mean volumes of food. And it's not the right type to be eating volumes of it. I love dairy. I love grains. I do love veggies, but not always plain green leafy veggies. I think I can continue this way if I increase the intensity of my exercise.

Currently I walk 2 miles/day at 4.0 mph at a 2%-5% incline, so 30 minutes a day of walking. I also do some yoga. I could lift weights if I had a gym membership. Or I could take up running to up the intensity of the 30 minutes I already commit daily to some physical activity. But every time I try, I poop out.

I have not been successful at doing a regimented Coach Potato to 5k routine. I get bored doing the 1 minute walk, 1 minute run, blah, blah, blah . I could if I had a coach or friend cracking the whip telling me I MUST do it. But on my own, I am merely motivated by the music on my portable player (not an iPod fan) . Usually when a cheesey Britney song, like Toxic pops on my player, I get motivated enough to run. But often I get a cramp in my right side near the bottom of my rib cage that keeps me from continuing more than 5 minutes. I just don't know what I'm doing wrong. Maybe I need to grin and bear it and keep running through it? Am I a baby?

I've always wanted to be a "runner." I always wanted to be one of "those people." The ones that look like jocks who LOVE to run. I LOVED to hate those people growing up. I was the 'big-boned' girl who did the sports, who was never an effortless jock. I worked very hard at every sport to be good or just to qualify to participate. I was a thrower in track. We ran the "fat girl's relay." It was my only running training. We spent more time training how to pass the baton than the running itself. When I joined the track team in college, Coach told us to run a 1 mile warm up. He may as well told us to strip naked and walk through the boys' dorm. I was mortified. How was I ever going to do that? I almost walked off the track and back to my dorm room. But I did it. And every day it got a little easier. But I never ran it faster than what I can walk it now. I'm much healthier today than I was in 1996 when I first had to run that mile warmup. But in my quest to life a healthier life, I want to find more ways to enjoy working out.

Should I try running? And how do I begin? There has to be an easier way than the few online sites that tell me to run intervals. Maybe I'll try my first 5k this summer?

PB Recall

This peanut butter recall keeps peanut butter at the top of my mind. I need more. I have just finished a jar of Naturally Nutty Butter Toffee Peanut Butter and halfway through my crunch Barney Butter almond butter. So, I thought it may be time to get some more to keep the variety going. I googled 'flavored peanut butter' and PB Loco was one of the top results. So I went and saw some heavenly varieties. I couldn't contain myself. Armed with an American Express gift card with a balance left over, I went for a few:

Peanut Butter with Chocolate-Chip Cookie Dough

Peanut Butter with CoCoBanana

Peanut Butter with Dark Chocolate

Peanut Butter with Jungle Banana

How did I not know about this company? Have I been hiding under a rock? Is it new? Or is it not buzzworthy, so no one wants to talk about it?
I'll be sure to review these once they arrive as I am so impatient I know I'll open every one of them and try each as soon as they arrive.