Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Candy Madness

Every year I buy a big bag of candy for the guys at work. I am the office manager at my family's machine shop, a building that is, by day, filled with men, mostly older than myself, but who generally act about 12 years old.

Needless to say, Halloween candy makes them about as happy as 12 year olds in Spider Man costumes, except they all dressed up as machinists.



I, myself, love a good twix or kit-kat bar, but I am desperately trying to avoid putting my hand back in the bag. I've had ONE kit-kat so far today, and I'm trying to keep that number as low as possible by distracting myself with a handful of mixed nuts instead.

What healthy snacks do you use when you are trying to avoid eating something you know you shouldn't?

Weekend recap and waiting for wedding photos....

Married friends, is there anything more painful than waiting for your wedding photos? Every day I check the photographer's website and every day it greets me with the same happy little message. "This gallery is coming soon! Please click here to receive an email when the gallery becomes available." Blah, blah.

But come on, how long are you going to make a girl wait?!

Enough ranting, I suppose.

My weekend was rather eventful, beginning with an unwanted trip into San Francisco that turned out to be a pretty fun day. I mean how can anyone argue with "We'll get a piping hot delicious bowl of this stuff!"?

[caption id="attachment_35" align="aligncenter" width="529" caption="clam chowder in a bread bowl, a S.F. must-do"][/caption]

Of course, this delicacy had to be followed by a bucket (there were three of us!) of those little baby donuts they make fresh on Pier 39.

And sad to say, this was pretty much the pattern my weekend followed. Junk food followed by more junk food.

Jim and I had friends from Connecticut come into town yesterday, and we spent a nice relaxing Sunday lounging around his parents' house catching up and showing everyone our honeymoon photos.

But you must know one thing: Dinner with Jim's stepdad is sure to be a deliciously greasy plate of way too much food. The man is Italian, he doesn't know any better! We had raviolis with homemade alfredo and marinara sauces, caesar salad, garlic french bread and they all ate meatballs and sausage. Notice the complete lack of vegetables in this equation. And I never eat the caesar salad because I like just a trace of dressing and most people seem to prefer gobs of the stuff.

Just before dinner, however, we did sneak home because we forgot something we needed and I filled my mouth with as many slices of cucumber and strawberries I could before we left again! Anything to get some healthy, much needed nutrients in my body!

We closed the evening with pie and pumpkin ice cream. One of my favorite things about fall is pumpkin! I could eat it every single day.

Since today is Halloween and we will be at Jim's sister's house tonight, I have a feeling I'm going to be in the same unhealthy boat, so I've started my morning with a nice warm bowl of oatmeal with sliced strawberries and almonds. And a cup of earl grey tea. Hopefully I can keep my act together until dinner.

...and my hand out of the giant bucket of candy I brought into work for the guys today....

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

New life, new blog

I figure a good first blog post should include a few standard things:

1. What you're writing about.

2. Why you've chosen to write about this and what makes you knowledgeable.

3. A little background about yourself.

4. Possibly why you've decided to write a blog in the first place.

So to start this list (and this blog) off... I want write about the challenges of being a (mostly) vegetarian (will explain more later) in a world dominated by a meat based main course. And, to further complicate my situation, we're going to add an uber-meat eating husband to the equation.

Ever since I was little, I've disliked meat. I would eat it because it was on the table in front of me and my father always used guilt to get my two younger brothers and I to finish food we didn't like ("there are starving kids in Ethiopia..."), but meat was always the last thing to disappear off my plate (unless, of course, canned spinach was involved....yuck!).

Mostly it was the texture...and the weirdness....that bothered me. I hated biting into a piece of chicken and pulling a bone out of my mouth. Even today, if I'm eating fish and I find a bone, it's pretty much meal over. I didn't like meat that was chewy. I didn't like dark meat. I didn't like the way it got all stuck in my teeth and stayed there forever. I couldn't handle fat.

When I was eleven years old, I learned about vegetarians. Not only did they not have to eat meat, but the magazine article I read also said they were healthier overall. It sounded like a good plan to me! I told my mom right away, and being the supportive, tolerant mother that she was, she began making a meatless version of whatever she was cooking for dinner every night. She packed peanut butter and jelly or cheese sandwiches in my lunch instead of turkey or ham and if the main course was strictly meat (ie. BBQed chicken or meatloaf), she'd make sure to have extra veggies for me.

My mom thought this would be a phase. Seventeen years later,  and she's learned I'm not giving it up anytime soon. And I don't miss it. On occasion, a meat-based dish will offer me a tantalizing aroma, but I've never felt the urge to eat meat since.

There is, as I mentioned, one exception: seafood. For two reasons. #1: when I was about thirteen, I had to go to the doctor because, well, I was 13 and I knew nothing about proper nutrition. I figured it didn't matter what I ate as long as I didn't eat meat. And it was making me sick. I decided to compromise with seafood because... reason #2: my dad is an avid fisherman, and he catched all of his own salmon, halibut, crab, shrimp, tuna, etc. Knowing where it came from, that it was fresh and that he'd take all the bones out of it for me was a sufficient compromise. Plus, it's delicious!

Fast forward to today, and I've been married for three weeks to a man I love and adore and who would do anything for me...including eating meals that are either meatless or contain soy-based products modeled after meat as a substitute.

[caption id="attachment_21" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Uuber-Goobers, Stephanie and Jim"][/caption]

So as we forge our new life together, meeting challenges such as when to have children and where we are going to live, we also face the daily challenge of "what's for dinner?" And I plan to share some of these challenges as well as some of my (and Jim's!) favorite meatless recipes here for friends, family and the occasional "lost vegetarian" as I was once called to find and enjoy.