Archive for April, 2010

Day Twelve

April 30, 2010

I had another pleasant walk in the dawn light and went to work for an extremely hectic day of stress that was about two notches beyond productive. I spent a lot of time telling myself that I don’t own the fact that there’s more work than three of me could do, so I can choose not to be stressed out about it. I can choose to just do the work that I can do in the time I have. It’s very difficult to carry out, though, when I’m under this kind of pressure.

I took three breaks to run up stairs, but the late afternoon got so hectic that I forgot about the other set or two that I’d intended to do. Still, 300 stairs is not nothing. The point is that I’m getting back into the habit of keeping awake and keeping my metabolism up during the work day.

I had a very robust exercise routine when I got home, which makes me very psyched. Pretty soon I’m going to be back to my old routine: Jump rope, bench dips, jumping jacks, pullups; repeat the entire cycle three times. Tonight I not only increased the number of jump ropes I did during the first two sets from 200 to 250, but I added another set of 200 to the end, thereby taking that first step toward a full three cycles.

I was pretty much angelic in my eating today: an egg sandwich, 1% milk and and the juice of one orange for breakfast; a Zone Bar and three prunes at 10:00; a healthy salad at 1:00; a small handful of nuts and raisins at 4:00; and a single pita with half a small tub of hommus with half a baked sweet potato after my evening exercises. Oh, and I bought a Minneola from a street vendor on Broadway around lunchtime. It was so delicious that I bought six more to take home. I just enjoyed one for dessert.

I’m planning a big hike early in the morning, so I need to hit the sack. Good night!

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Yummy Sweet Potato!

April 30, 2010

Baked Sweet Potato Hot Out of the Oven

I had to post a shot of this beautiful, enticing sweet potato hot out of the oven. I love the way it puffs up, and the way the skin detaches from the flesh, and the way the caramelized sugars glisten, and the way the steam pours out.

Heating a root in the fire: it might just be the oldest source of culinary pleasure. There certainly is an elegance to the simple process.

Aha! There’s the Culprit!

April 30, 2010

*sniff* *sniff* Hey, what’s that beguiling aroma of fat and salt and nitrites wafting across the sidewalk that little old me is just trying to navigate home?

There you are! I see you sitting there on your deck with your grill acting all innocent! I know what you want! You want me to fail in my diet! You want me to go buy up all the hot dogs at Stop & Shop, roast them, and devour them all in an orgiastic rout of self-dissolution! Well it won’t work!

I am going to exercise.

244

April 30, 2010

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Good morning.

I wore my hat on my walk but it turned out that I didn’t need it. It would seem that our little cold snap is over.

On the way back across the courtyard I saw another rather theatrical sign of change: a cherry tree on my left whose petals had all dropped, and a flowering shrub on my right just beginning to pop with cheerful white blossoms.

Things change. Gradually. I need to give myself time while focusing on today. It’s a difficult balance to strike: when I look square at how far I have to go, part of me wants to give up; yet my knowledge of the massive cumulative effect a bunch of days can have informs my motivation to work toward my goal today.

I’m walking that line, and feeling pretty good about it. Down to 244 today. Woo hoo!

Day Eleven

April 30, 2010

Today was up and down but mostly up: a lovely walk, a discouraging day at work, 400 stairs, a pleasant walk along the west side to the village, a successful refocusing of my energies into non-food-and-drink rituals, a new big gun in my arsenal of sensible eating, and a bloody spectacular performance of the Monteverdi Vespers.

Now for five hours and forty-five minutes of sleep. Ugh.

Good night.

The post-concert reception food that I didn’t eat

April 29, 2010

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Oh my GOD that was a magnificent performance of the Monteverdi Vespers! I could have gone in and eaten the table while socializing with my singer acquaintances as easily as a cat flops into a sunbeam.

But I didn’t.

Go me!

Hommus and Pita FTW!!!1!

April 29, 2010

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This afternoon’s trip for PB&J constituents didn’t turn out as planned. I could not abide buying the Smucker’s Jelly with 12 grams of sugar per tablespoon or the Jiffy Peanut Butter with added sugar and other crap that I didn’t see because I stopped there.

So tonight I was walking around the West Village trying to find something healthy to compose a small but filling dinner. After pulling myself drooling from Murray’s I’d nearly given up hope. But then I went into Bleecker Farm — basically a bodega — and look what I found!

Half of that container of hommus is four servings, which add up to only 120 calories, 4 grams of fat, 300 mg of sodium, and 16 grams of carbs. One pita has 150 calories, 290 mg of sodium and 31 grams of carbs. Add a Fuji apple for dessert and you’re looking at a small meal that’s about as tasty and healthy as I could wish for.

I sat on a bench in the little garden next to St. Luke’s parish hall and savored my meal. I had to devote a *lot* of energy to putting the pita down between bites and chewing carefully. Blogging helped; I paused to e-mail two entries as I chewed!

I’m relieved to have scored a win in the healthy eating column tonight. I can probably buy pita and hommus just about anywhere in Manhattan, so this represents one more “Yes you do!” in response to my mind’s constant assertion that I have no choice but to eat junk when I’m out on the town.

The Murray’s cheese that I’m not eating

April 29, 2010

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On the way back from Porto Rico to St. Luke’s I checked out Murray’s, supplier of cheese to my beloved Blind Tiger. Many’s the happy Wednesday night I’ve spent imbibing quality Belgian ales that pair so gloriously with Murray’s stinkiest cheeses. But this was the first time I’ve set foot in the store.

Wow. Now *that* is a big selection of cheese. I ain’t seen anything like that since Paris.

I didn’t buy any. I’m still a little sad and a lot salivating about that. But I’m more happy at the thought of my skin clearing up and my pants continuing to loosen.

The entire bakery window that I didn’t eat

April 29, 2010

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To add insult to injury, I walked by this place after I walked by Blind Tiger on my way from McNulty’s to Porto Rico. The cookies and hamantashen and… what *are* those things?… looked SOooo good!

But I didn’t buy ’em.

Wah.

Yay?

The beer bar I’m not going into

April 29, 2010

I love Blind Tiger. I’m not a bar person to say the least, but somehow Blind Tiger has always been the exception that proves the rule. It’s run by serious beer geeks; they’re on a first-name basis with the head brewer of most any microbrewer you could name. Just to give you one example: I was here the night that Sam from Dogfish Head presided over the east coast premier of Randall — a device for supercharging a beer with hop resins as it’s being tapped.

Blind Tiger is also no slouch in the food department. The menu was designed by a former employee who got a tour on the Food Network for her efforts. The chicken quesadilla is to kill and die for.

The bouncer is a really nice guy named Kevin. I stopped to say hi as I passed by. I told him I wouldn’t be going in until I “lose some of this,” pointing to my gut. I left him with “I hope I see you sooner rather than later.”

And I do believe I will.