Monday, March 26, 2012

back in the saddle

Have you ever just woken up in the morning and felt like… a completely different person? Or perhaps an earlier incarnation of yourself?

On March 23, I woke up capable of eating healthily again.

I woke up and went, “I can eat proper food. I can sit down and eat and not eat out of bags. I can eat a meal slowly, savoring what I taste, and stop eating and feel satisfied. I can calmly and angst-free turn down offers of unhealthy food. Neither booze nor sweets particularly appeal to me, and I do better when I don’t consume them. Gosh, I really enjoy eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and I feel good after I eat them.”

There will be more reflections on this, because it kind of completely boggles my mind, but here is everything I ate that day.

Not everything minus “a few nibbles” of this or “spontaneously” eating that, or feeling sad and eating that or feeling happy and eating that or feeling stressed and eating that or being bored and eating that. Or eating too much of so and so to then feel the need to skip dinner (ugh!).

Just… the food I ate. All of it healthy. None of it crap.

Holy crap, guys. It has been literally more than a year since I can say that. I ate three deliberate meals, a few deliberate snacks… and nothing else.

Breakfast: first proper meal of the day.

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My favorite bucket of tea and a perfectly refreshing green smoothie.

The ingredients:

a 1-cup serving of frozen spinach, thawed
1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/2 cup milk
1/2 a frozen banana
2 handfuls ice

Whirrrrrr. Top with bite-sized shredded wheat, the all time, ultimate, best smoothie in a bowl topper.

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Next we arrive in nutrition class, where one awesome and creative group included bingo cards in their presentation on Vitamins C and B6.

Winning bingo meant getting a Vitamin-C rich clementine! Love it!

First proper snack of the day: more or less exactly four hours after breakfast, the optimal maximum interval without food for my body.

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Following class, eating outside was just non-negotiable. It was like 85 degrees. Ridic.

Someday I may do a post ruminating on how much I love community college and how glad I am I decided to do my grad school pre-req’s this way (aside from the obvious monetary advantage), but for now let me just point out the prettiness of the campus, particularly in the springtime. Sat at a picnic table beneath cascading cherry blossoms. Tidal Basin, shmidal basin.

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Ate with a friend from nutrition class, with whom I discussed supplements-obsessive people.

Fun fact: our professor said if your supplement does not have a dissolve test on its label (mine doesn’t), try sticking one in a glass of water. If it doesn’t dissolve in half an hour, it won’t dissolve in your stomach, either; and you aren’t absorbing those vitamins. She says she is taking calcium supplements and CHEWS them thoroughly and washes them down with orange juice (an acidic environment makes for better calcium absorption).

Anyway, natural sources of calcium and Vitamin C.

A proper lunch:

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Flatbread with homemade hummus (my latest incarnation: cilantro, green onion, tons of lemon. Yum!) Plus Greek yogurt with mango (my ghetto way of chilling stuff in class- put frozen fruit in your yogurt!); and a salad with farmer’s market greens, strawberries, and vinaigrette.

Shortly after this picture was taken, in my extraordinary grace, I promptly knocked over the salad with my elbow and lost a bit. Sad :(

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Next: a proper afternoon snack!

What I have learned about myself: how much I eat or even what I eat does not particularly affect my satiety. It’s just frequency! I just do much better when I eat every four hours and my body knows and can rely on this. An afternoon snack is the ultimate example of this: it gives me a pick-me-up in terms of energy and prevents me from being hangry and/or in an eat-everything-in-the-house mentality at dinnertime.

It’s fun eating from an ice cream bowl. I put veggies in it sometimes and giggle.

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In this case, I enjoyed homemade coffee yogurt: more Greek yogurt, and a sprinkling of decaf instant coffee crystals (less than 1 tsp.) and stevia.

Yum!

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And since my complete mental alteration (seriously. Seriously. That is the best term I can come up for for it) I have enjoyed meals out twice. And they have been delicious, healthful, mindfully eaten, and satisfying without any feeling of having gorged.

Enough about my mindset; how gorrrrrrrrrgeous is this?

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So on our first “date” (by which of course I mean the day Steve and I went kayaking with friends and ended up wandering around DC together, just the two of us, and both ended up being all “Oooh I gotta crush on you!”), we passed the above restaurant, beautiful with its balcony overlooking the street.

Steve and I have had a lot of good times just romping around Georgetown since then, and have always passed Piccolo, that of the beautiful balcony, many times, always kind of going, “Ooh… let’s eat there!”

Well, a week of endless sunshine in March and Steve called me up and asked me on a date :D To Piccolo, of course. He said he’d called for a reservation and they couldn’t guarantee a balcony table but said once we arrived we could wait. So in we stroll, they warn us it’ll be an hour, we agree and go sit at a bar… And two minutes later they took us up here :D

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I mean really. NOT a bad view.

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Our waiter was extremely adorable and we ended up taking his recommendations (both of which were excellent).

Our bread arrived (crusty and possessing a pleasant and subtle sourness; I ultimately ate half a slice with some of the olive oil and passed the rest to my bottomless pit boyfriend)

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Our entrees arrived roughly THIRTY SECONDS LATER. Hahahaha.

I had flirted with the idea of the grilled calamari salad, but our waiter said it was balsamic overload, and if I fancied something light and flavorful for the warm evening (yes!) I should try the salad de frutti de mare.

Sold!

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I delightedly squeezed my cheesecloth-wrapped lemon over the incredibly flavorful salad.

It rested atop a bed of pleasantly bitter raddicchio, along with a garnish of also pleasantly bitter Belgian endive (a vegetable I adore and doubt I’ve eaten since my grandmother died; it was one of her signature items). The bulk of the salad contained some julienned veggies tossed together with wonderful and flavorful seafood. There were impressively large quantities of shrimp, mussels, scallops, calamari, and rockfish.

It arrived perhaps a hair colder than I would’ve served it (the temperature it’d reached as I was finishing it as it was exposed to room temperature was the temperature at which I would’ve liked it to start) but the flavors were sooooooooo nice. So refreshing! And very satisfying. Flavors to linger over :D

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Steve had chicken picatta (which the waiter called his favorite dish on the menu) for the first time in his life, and now seems likely to become obsessed with capers :D

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And then of course arrived the violinist, who chatted with us about where we were from and shared stories about his grandkids; performed a highly theatrical rendition of “My Heart Will Go On”; and compared me to Natalie Portman and told Steve he should tell me I was beautiful every three hours (hah!).

He was hi-larious! (And definitely grabbed me and kissed me on the cheek as we walked out of the restaurant. Oh old men. The things you get away with).

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When our entrees arrived so quickly, I definitely though they were trying to hustle us out of there as quickly as they could to free up a prime table (and I mean, who’d blame them?) but actually they let us linnnnnnnnger over the meal :D Actually, I’d call the service in the latter portion of dinner “loving neglect”. But it was great, man. Great view, heavenly warm evening, good company.

The balcony dinner concluded with decaf espresso, my favorite way to conclude a proper Italian meal.

I told Steve this, and recommended he get a cappuccino if he wanted something to drink (since he doesn’t particularly like the taste of coffee), but then the waiter arrived and he asked for espresso too. And I said, “He doesn’t like coffee!”, and the waiter went “It’s too strong for you” and then forget it. Tell a male something is “too strong for them”?! So our espresso arrived, and I savored mine while Steve melodramatically and insincerely pretended to savor his. Eyeroll eyeroll eyeroll.

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Anyway. Great great GREAT night.

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We continued to stroll around Georgetown and then (shocker shocker) a normal person entree, as usual, failed to satisfy Steve, because his metabolism is something at which to marvel.

But I was actually kind of pleased, since we could return to the crepe place we went on our first nondate-date, and I could treat the boy to a (seriously) macaroni and cheese crepe.

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Yep. Noodles and all. Yep. He ate it all.

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I enjoyed some mint tea :D

And that’s March 23! A great day! What I ate! It was great!

The following morning unfolded slowly, with a clementine split with Steve, tea, and paper.

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Steve made his latest favorite omelet, of which he required me to try a bite: it contains kale, mushrooms, carrots, queso fresco, green onion, and tuna. Sriracha atop.

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Electic and delicious, but since his estimation of a me-sized breakfast is just not a me-sized breakfast (3 eggs, cooked in tablespoons of oil, etc.), I had my own healthy breakfast plans and headed home to make them happen.

We had a tea party last weekend and until I made more bread (which I pulled out of the oven as I wrote this post!), all we had was miniature tea sandwich bread.

So I made the world’s tiniest egg sandwich :D

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Aw!

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Delicious, delicious contents: fried egg, arugula, Sriracha!

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With a duh-licious bowl of homemade applesauce (tons and tons more where that came from!)

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A final note: upon picking up the sandwich, I squooshed the egg yolk and it spilled all over the plate. The ensuing breakfast, scooping up the creamy and delicious yolk with the pieces of toasted bread, egg white, tangy arugula, and sweet and spicy Sriracha was one of the most fun sandwich experiences I’ve had in awhile :D  

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I feel so saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaane! As you can see, with this newfound feeling of health and well being I’m inspired to blog again. Proper official meals are capable of being blogged (I spose I could do a reenactment of eating handfuls of cereal, but really who’d want to see that?) and they’re also so beautiful :D

Expect more soon!

1 comment:

Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon said...

Sounds like some wonderful times and some wonderful meals!
I especially love your lil' egg sandwich--eggs and arugula are truly a match made in heaven!