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Halfway

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Anyone else relieved we’re halfway through February—and thus, another month of winter?

V-Day red wineDespite the snow, I can’t complain so far about this winter. I also actually had the first enjoyable (aka conflict-free) Valentines Day I can recall since, well, ever. After an amazing, headache-clearing massage, I spent the afternoon working in my favorite coffee shop before meeting up with a girlfriend for a glass of wine.

There was a lady at the bar teaching her clueless man-friend how to eat oysters. It kind of made my night.

I’ve been working a lot of Saturdays at the hospital, so a mellow Friday evening with an early  bedtime suited me just fine. Besides, full moons make me tired.

Speaking of full moons, have you heard about the lunar/werewolf diet yet? Or excuse me, Moon Diet. Though I can get on board with the idea that our bodies might be more inclined to retain—or get rid of—water during a particular phase of the moon, I don’t really see why fasting is necessary. You could do just as well being mindful of sodium intake and filling your plate with bloat-fighting foods that are rich in potassium. Also, losing 6 pounds (of water weight that you’ll probably just gain back) in 24 hours isn’t exactly healthy. Just my professional opinion, of course…

Anyway, happy weekend.

How did you spend Valentines Day? What’s the craziest diet you’ve ever heard of? 

 

A Few Random Things for Sunday

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1.) Last week at work I spent almost an entire day on orientation computer modules. The more fire safety education I do, the more random information my brain retains about the nature of fire. This particular time, I was most struck by all the different Classes of Fire. Why is this not a Buzzfeed personality quiz yet? I’m totally a D (combustible metal). Or maybe a C (electrical)?

2.) The other night, whilst assembling furniture and drinking bourbon, I found myself thinking of a favorite quote from Gloria Steinem, on women becoming the men we wanted to marry. Not that all men—or only men—assemble furniture and drink brown liquor, but in some settings that are not my apartment, this Friday night home-improvement might garner a raised eyebrow. When I told my mother about it the next day, she laughed and said, “I love that, becoming the men we wanted to marry—someone has to do it.” Seriously.

Another old photo I couldn't part with
Another old photo I couldn’t part with

3.) The cleaning jag continues. In an effort to free up space on my computer, I trashed a bunch of old photos and music files. Like that EP from that awful guy in that awful band circa 2006 or 7? Why was that even still there? Please don’t ask me which awful guy or which awful band…

4.) This book. If you just got engaged or just a signed a lease with your boyfriend/girlfriend, you probably shouldn’t read it unless you’re prepared for some deep thoughts to wake up your morning commute, but if you’re game for a little positive reinforcement about enjoying and appreciating your independence, you’ll enjoy it. Love the NYPL for making e-books so easy to borrow. 

5.) Elaborate Valentines Day dishes? Meh. Who needs to wait until February 14th to make this chocolate soufflé? I love how sane Mark Bittman’s recipes are. I also can’t believe this one is from 5 years ago. Of course, 5 years ago I was shacked up with someone who hated eggs so much he felt compelled to make gagging sounds when I fried one up for myself, which explains why it wasn’t on my radar. Live and learn.

So…which class of fire are you? What was the last book you read? Do you like chocolate soufflés? 

What I Ate Wednesday #148: How the Light Gets In

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Good morning! How’s your week going? My inner clock is a bit confused from working Friday through Monday, so today is sort of like my Sunday this week. Whatever works, right?

This actual past Sunday was gorgeous in New York. Waiting for the bus in the morning felt almost like spring. While scrolling through my Instagram feed, I noticed a post from Foodtrainers featuring a quote from one of my favorite Leonard Cohen songs: “There is a crack, a crack in everything/That’s how the light gets in.”

That line has been in my head since then. It’s the kind of thing that, when you sit and think about it, takes on more meaning and depth. The way I respond to it certainly has changed and evolved since I first started listening to L. Cohen when I was 18, but in other ways, some things remain the same.

Anyway, light has been on my mind a lot in general, mostly because I’m getting a lot more of it in my day to day life. I mean that in the most literal sense of the word. After spending almost nine months in a windowless office, I’m still not over the novelty of sunlight as I eat breakfast at my desk. Today’s What I Ate Wednesday post will feature Sunday’s well-lit meals and snacks. I definitely notice I need to eat more snacks to get me through work days, especially at this new place, where I feel like on my feet in a way I haven’t been since I was a dietetic intern. I can’t lie, though—I kind of love it. As always, many thanks to the lovely Jenn of Peas & Crayons for hosting the weekly link party—take a little trip over there to see more WIAW from other bloggers!

  • Breakfast: Overnight oats made with Greek yogurt, 1 tbsp flax, 2 tbsp oats, cinnamon, and berries—simple and satisfying
  • Lunch: Big salad with roasted veggies, black beans, and half an avocado
  • Snacks: Green apple, Trader Joe’s teriyaki turkey jerky
  • Dinner Part One/After-Work Snack: Sprouted grain toast spread with nonfat ricotta and topped with roasted eggplant and a sliced hard-boiled egg
  • Super Bowl Party Snacks: I was pretty full from my snack/mini-dinner, so I munched on some carrots and hummus
  • Dinner Part Two: Red lentil chili (again—I have lots in my freezer) when I got home from the party and realized I was hungry. Working hours that are different from other people’s “normal” means weird meal times occasionally, but as long as it all works out in the end, no harm no foul.
  • Chocolate Fix: I had a square of this before calling it a night. This chocolate is basically my wildest PMS dreams come true.

Actually, I think my wildest PMS dream of late is a recent one about trying to froth coconut water, mostly to see if it worked. Long story. Paging Dr. Freud.

Do you have natural light in your workplace? What’s your wildest PMS dream? Any good Super Bowl eats? 

Happy Lunar New Year and some announcements

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Today marks the Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year. It’s the year of the wood horse. Got your lucky red underwear? As a New Yorker, I can’t help shaking my head at the madness of the Superbowl festivities in Times Square and the New Year festivities in Chinatown, but then again I’m working all weekend, so it doesn’t make much difference to me. Mostly, I just like the symbolism.

Though I didn’t plan it this way, it feels appropriate to me that it’s a new moon/new year the week I say goodbye to one clinical job and hello to another. If you’ve been with me a while, you know I’m a bit kooky like that. IMG_4813

My coworkers actually managed to surprise me with a cake on Tuesday. I got a good laugh about the leaf on top because at first glance I thought it was feather. Unless it is a feather? Hard to tell because I was out sick the day we did the botany of chocolate in science class. Anyway, my manager would have no way of knowing about the odd feather motif that came to be when I was working at this place, so it was one of those funny little moments that reminds me of why I don’t believe in coincidences.

Long story short: It feels like a really good time for change and for new endeavors.

As I hinted at a few weeks ago, I am expanding my time available for private clients. You can see more about specific nutrition services I offer on my Nutritional Counseling page.

I also have an event coming up in February in New Jersey where I’ll be speaking about Nutrition for Healthy skin. Email me at KeepingItRealFood(at)gmail(dot)com for more details if you’re interested in attending!

Lastly, I have a fun project I’m working on with a nonprofit organization where I have been interviewing musicians about life and healthy living on the road. If you or an artist you know would like to be included, please get in touch with me!

Do you believe in coincidences? Do you know your Chinese astrology sign? I’m an ox. Go figure. 

What I Ate Wednesday # 147

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So, this isn’t just any What I Ate Wednesday, but it’s also my last day at my old job. The past few weeks of training at the new one on weekends and days off has been nothing short of exhausting, but in the grand scheme of things, totally worth it to me. For this week’s post, I thought I’d share a day of weekend work meals. As always, many thanks to the lovely Jenn of Peas & Crayons for hosting the weekly link party—take a little trip over there to see more WIAW from other bloggers!

I realized as I was posting that these are quite similar to last week’s WIAW eats. Whenever I’m starting something new (work wise), I tend to go on autopilot, working with what I know travels well and things I know will keep me satisfied for the right amount of time. What can I say—I thrive off routine, especially when I’m getting acquainted with a new setting.

  • Breakfast: Greek yogurt with flax & cinnamon, a banana
  • Lunch:A giant salad; hummus on the side for dipping
  • Snacks: an unpictured hard-boiled egg before an early morning gym visit; carrot chips; a green apple; avocado toast when I got home from work; unpictured cottage cheese with cereal before bed (was so tired I forgot to take a picture)
  • Dinner: Red lentil chili (this incarnation had pumpkin instead of squash, and a little bourbon cooked in for a kick); an unpictured bottle of ginger kombucha and square of dark chocolate

Do you ever put your meals on autopilot? 

Prepared

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I’ve often wondered what it’s like to “be one thing.” For example, I’m mystified by the idea of being in a family where everyone is the same nationality.

Another big one: what it is like to have worked at the same company for many years? Dietitians, at least early on, tend to jump around a lot between jobs. In the past year alone, I’ve had three different name tags.

Though every job has its own atmosphere, there are some things about clinical nutrition jobs that are the same. There are also things about me that change and do not change with each one. One constant, however, is that I always need to have a notebook, formulary card, and hand sanitizer in my left lab coat pocket. Pens, keys, and calculator go in the right pocket. I also absolutely cannot handle a workday without blotting papers.

blotting papersAfter 6 months or sharing a windowless annex office with me, one of my coworkers must have picked up on this. Since she’s on vacation next week, we said goodbye last Thursday afternoon, even though my official last day is this Wednesday. I think her going-away gift was one of the most thoughtful I’ve ever received:

It’s the little things that help me feel prepared. I know that on stressful days (every job, no matter how awesome, has them), these Japanese blotting papers and tiny blue bottle of hand sanitizer will make me smile and chill out a bit.

Hope you have a wonderful week ahead of you. Can you believe we’re winding down to the end of January? Great time for a new moon! February is almost here, what the f***? I’m kind of, well, more than okay with that though. Who else is ready for a new leg of the journey?

What’s the most thoughtful gift you’ve ever received? 

 

 

Late to the Cage-Free Party

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The other day as I was going to deliver some light mayo packets to a patient because they didn’t trust the kitchen to send them up, a different patient who calls me Blondie started singing “Heart of Glass” down the hall. Now that I’m in the very last days of my “old” job, I’m acutely aware of the things I will and will not miss about the place. I’ve also started noticing little things that never struck me as funny or weird before. For example: Cage-free mayo is a thing?

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Apparently it’s been a thing since 2008 in Europe, and since 2010 in the States. Unilever, which owns Hellman’s aims to go totally cage-free by 2020 in their products. According to the press release on the company’s website, creating the formula for the 30 million jars of Hellmann’s Light® Mayonnaise, this involves sourcing ~3.5 million pounds of eggs from an estimated 125,000 hens. That’s a lot of mayonnaise. And a lot of loose hens. There’s probably a joke there.

On the one hand, cool.  On the other, cage-free, doesn’t automatically mean the hens are raised more humanely or without antibiotics and hormones. In some ways, it seems like a gimmick to distract consumers from the fact that they’re eating whitish paste in a tube that has a lot of other crap in the mix. This is to say nothing of what they’re putting the mayonnaise on. Adding health-halo cage-free mayo to your s*** sandwich isn’t actively making you any healthier.

Anyway. I’ve never been a mayonnaise fan—it’s the flavor and the mouthfeel that just don’t do it for me, even when we made it from scratch back in the food lab in grad school. I’d rather spread hummus or avocado on my sandwich or use Greek yogurt to make a dip. However, I suspect I’m in the minority. For those of you mayo-lovers out there, here’s a recipe for a homemade version.

Do you like mayonnaise? What are your favorite sandwich ingredients?