1

Saladfield Wounds

Honestly, what is with me and salads these days?

It’s kind of like Jenna Marbles and her soups, me and my salads. Making them, posting about them, and eating them. My innards are probably just lettuce leaves right now. Only, in the last few days, I’ve punctured my skin several times and now sport two lovely bandaged fingers from them. And I barely even touched a sharp knife; my Sharper Image veggie guillotine thing has some sharp blades which, oddly, I keep forgetting about, despite the machine being able to slice through an entire cucumber in one press, and, you know…it’s called The Sharper Image. You don’t get those kinds of injuries from cookies.

And speaking of cookies, despite being on this salad-binge diet, I had one on Sunday at Hubbard Avenue Diner – a yummy, gooey, freshly-baked chocolate chip cookie. I also had chocolate chips, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, a packet or two of fruit snacks, some Lindt chocolates, and an almond croissant from Colectivo, where I sat and finished 2 books this afternoon. Even so, I’ve managed to lose a little weight this week, so…progress? Maybe? I don’t know, and I can’t be too hopeful, but it’s something.

And now, to see if my bandaged fingers can manipulate the remote because it’s tough to type with them.

1

Happy In(Dependence) Day

The past few days have been kind of torturous, so before I get into the fun story of the day, here’s what up with me:

Thursday: Day 5 of the Get Yourself Together and Eat Healthy Diet. Pretty normal day, do a 20 minute interval run in the early evening. Once at home, I start to feel completely rotten. I’m hot and cold, my legs are numb, and I’m feeling dehydrated. Oh well, says I, probably a side-effect of running too much. Maybe I’ll head to bed a little earlier than normal (about midnight).

Friday: Wake up at 8:00 AM sharp, to…pain. Everywhere. My neck, my chest, my shoulders, my torso, my legs. I feel like I’m preparing for a full body X-ray with a suit of lead. I manage to get up, eat something…and then head back to bed, walking through my apartment at about 40% speed. I cave and have some cranberry lemonade that I find in the back of the fridge, then lie in bed, completely awake and completely motionless, for 3-4 hours. Torso and legs are still achy and numb, but I manage to sit up and then stand with less pain. Operating at 65% now, I manage to get some more food, get dressed, and head out for the day…at around 5:00 PM. After getting gas, I stop at Walgreens and wander around like a zombie until I manage to locate a thermometer, because my temperature is feeling wacky and I’m sweating. I take my temperature in the car, and maybe it’s the heat but I’m 99.6 degrees. No wonder I’m feeling rotten. I pop a few Advil. Next stop: Starbucks, to say hey to my favorite barista Lacey and get my daily iced coffee, probably a bad idea, but I need some caffeine. Head home an hour or two later, still feeling blah, and get ready to go to Chabad, giving myself extra time because I’m now operating closer to 81% than 65%. Take my temperature, and it’s 98.3, so maybe the heat from outside affected it. Go to Chabad for dinner, forgoing all carbs but a piece of challah, and head back home early, at about 9:45. I’m feeling a lot better now, but still I take 2 Advil and go to sleep.

Today: Up at 5:45, dehydrated and in pain. 2 more Advil and back to bed. Wake up around noon, almost as achy as I woke up the day before. Manage to get out of bed for yogurt and coffee (late breakfast) and a salami sandwich on lettuce (lunch). Now it’s just after 4:00 PM, and though my joints are less achy, this might not be the best day to go for a run since the gym is closed, which was my original plan. My temperature is 99.3, but it’s probably because I’ve been in my apartment all day, so maybe I should take a short walk outside or something.

I think I lost a little weight, maybe: Last night I weighed myself, and it looked like I had gained weight, but I weighed myself again right now, and it was five pounds LESS than last night, so by splitting the difference, I probably stayed the same or lost 1 pound since I weighed myself a month ago. I’ve heard that after about 2 weeks on the diet, the weight comes off, so I’m hoping to see what happens by this time next week and go from there. I don’t want to be on this diet forever – I want croissants when I get to Montreal! – but we’ll see how I do up until then, hopefully, which is a month from now.

But now, the story of the day…

Last night, I managed to get myself to Chabad for dinner, and just as I was sitting down at the table, we were doing the going-around-the-table doing introductions and answering a question. This week’s question was: what are you thankful for about America?

The answers were pretty banal and almost Miss America-esque, with people saying things like “I’m thankful for religious freedom,” “I’m thankful for a strong economy,” and “I’m thankful to feel safe everyday.”

Then, it’s my turn. My response?

“I’m Jacob, and I’m thankful for Target.”

A few snickers from the table, but I’m pretty serious. Who cares about freedom of religion when you can go to one store and get a laptop case, light bulbs, q-tips, bath towels, colored pencils, sweatpants, and a Nestle Crunch bar? Come on, friends, what do you think about more: free press, or shopping?

And, by the way, your freedom of religion? Tell that to black churches in the South. Strong economy? Europe has free education, and we’re not quite out of the woods with this recession thing. And…feeling safe? Try being a woman, an African-American, or identifying as LGBT. Being a cis-gender white male, I feel marginally safe in this country, and I might be totally wrong about the above three categories of people feeling safe, but were I one of them, I think I’d definitely feel at least a few moments of vulnerability here and there living in this country, especially in light of recent events in here in the good old US of A.

My first choice answer was actually Starbucks, but oddly enough, I did not want to sound too materialistic.

Happy July 4th, y’all. I’m off to celebrate with more salami and lettuce.

8

Raw Food and a Raw Deal

So much is going on in the world today, but as for me, I have finally decided to take a tighter hold on my eating habits.

As of 48 hours ago, I have subsisted almost solely on raw food. My only exceptions have been yogurt and peanut butter, because who has time to make those items from scratch unless you live on a farm.

I’ve always been of the opinion that a healthy diet consists of moderation. Protein, carbs, sugars, fats, all in harmony, just never too much of one thing. Carbs are not the enemy; well, not all carbs (hey, maybe that can be the next Facebook/Twitter movement, NotAllCarbs) but the majority – potato chips, white bread, sugar cookies – are just empty calories.

But now, I think it’s become time to purify my system, and maybe this raw food thing is the way to go. So far, my meals have consisted of:

  • Breakfasts: Yogurt and banana (the only fruit with more protein than sugar)
  • Lunches: Egg whites, salmon, tuna and lettuce
  • Snacks: Salad (sigh), chicken soup, post-workout green smoothie
  • Dinners: Chicken, some sort of veggies to pretend to enjoy
  • Drinks: Water, coffee, tea, water with sugar-free lemonade powder

I spent most of my day looking forward to my post-workout smoothie so I could have something sweet in my system. So, as you can see, my life is terribly exciting. Yeah…not so much. In fact, I’m miserable. I feel like I can’t eat anything. How do people live like this for days and months on end? Maybe, just maybe, if I make a list of foods I’m craving here, it’ll help me stop thinking about them all the damn time.

List of foods I miss:

  1. Sushi. (I wonder if I could get away with nigri or sashimi and still be on the wagon)
  2. Chocolate-covered almonds/bridge mix.
  3. Twizzlers.
  4. Frappuccino.
  5. Caramel Macchiato.
  6. Diet Coke.
  7. Cookies.
  8. Popcorn.
  9. Pretzels.
  10. Muffins.

I guess that’s not too bad or long of a list.

Here’s to Day 3, I guess.

But I don’t have the rawest deal of the day.

After Donald Trump’s crazy rant about Mexicans being drug lords and rapists, he’s been losing traction. First, Univision canceled the airing of Miss USA and Miss Universe, which, by the way, is two weeks away. Then, individuals started dropping like flies: judges including former Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera, the entertainment, the Spanish-language commentators, and Farouk Systems (the hair and makeup stylists). Today, NBC officially announced that they are dropping Miss USA from its airing schedule. So, basically, 51 women who have already traveled varying distances to the pageant (well, I guess Miss Louisiana didn’t have to go too far, given that it’s in Baton Rouge this year) will either a) not get to participate in something they’ve been preparing for for the better part of a year, or b) be denied the privilege of having their non-present family members watching them getting crowned. Either way, it’s most likely that these poor ladies wasted thousands of dollars on travel, gowns, and other preparation-type-things.

Prepare for some epic backlash. Meanwhile, I will prepare some vegetables.

 

4

Foolproof Food For Every Mood

These past few weeks, I’ve been trying to lose weight for the Phoenix/San Juan/Baltimore trip. I should be working more on packing my apartment and doing research, but this post will not be about that. I’ve been spending most of my days (when I’m not in bed) exercising and focusing on eating healthier. This week hasn’t been the greatest for my exercise, but as far as my dieting goes, I don’t think I’m doing that badly. I’m not focusing on being strict as far as time; I’ve been eating when I’m hungry, and stopping when I’m full. I’ve been avoiding any type of “zombie food,” like chips or pretzels, things that you eat subconsciously when watching TV or on the computer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My problem, though, is picking foods that are tasty, satisfying, and healthy. It seems like everything has something in it that’s bad for you, but here are some things that I’ve been consuming over the past few weeks that have kept me sane and helped me lose weight. Also, disclaimer, I know nothing about nutrition so this might all be wrong, but just go with it.

1. Protein shakes.

As everyone knows, it’s all about the protein. And the protein shake is the way to get it in the morning, after a workout, or at night. I’ve been having one with breakfast, and after a workout. Beware: some of them are very sugary and some contain animal products. My brand of choice is the Whole Foods 365 brand: organic and not too sugary.

2. Eggs.

The other main protein source, the ever-popular egg. My breakfast usually consists of four boiled egg whites, although I have been known to make a mean omelette. There is good stuff in the yolk as well, but also some fat and cholesterol, which is bad considering my personal family history.

3. Coffee.

The jury’s always out on coffee, but sixteen ounces of black iced coffee, sometimes with a half-packet of sugar, ups the caffeine without a lot of the fat of milk and/or syrups.

4. Tuna fish.

Tuna fish was a whole food group in my house growing up, so I have no problem eating it in any form, raw, cooked, or from a can. I don’t add anything but black pepper. I stopped putting mayonnaise in awhile back, and I recently had some mayo on a tuna sandwich at a restaurant and found that it had a bit of a sour taste that I didn’t notice before, so I don’t think I’ll be adding it back in. Also, it quantifies eating bread, because who can say no to tuna on rye? Especially if that rye has RAISINS in it. Thank you, Angelic Bakehouse.

5. Tilapia.

Cooking fish is really not as hard as everyone thinks. I just shove it in the oven for about fifteen and it comes out flaky and delicious. Woodman’s sells huge bags of frozen tilapia, so that’s basically what’s in my freezer, aside from…

6. Chicken.

I usually tell the world that I’m a vegetarian or pescetarian, mostly because I don’t want to have to explain kashrut every day of my life. And when I do talk about chicken to a friend who thinks I’m a vegetarian but doesn’t know about kosher, I just say that “I don’t trust restaurants,” or “I only like chicken the way I make it.” Both are somewhat true; restaurants are overpriced, and I’ve never disliked any chicken I’ve made. Metcalfe’s has bags of frozen Empire chicken, $16 a bag but worth it for the kosher symbol.

7. Iced tea.

Diet Lipton citrus green and mixed berry are my new roommates. They’re too awesome to pay rent, so I just let them loaf.

8. Sparkling water.

First, there was water. BUT THEN THEY MADE IT SPARKLY AND FRUITY WITHOUT ADDING SUGAR.

9. Nuts and baby carrots.

I’ll admit, the only snacky food that I do partake in are almonds and baby carrots. Seriously, just turn on the TV and stuff your face with a half a bag of carrots and some almonds. Your body will thank you.

10. Peanut butter/almond butter and jam sandwiches.

Oh PB&J, how I do love thee. Sugar free jam is the way to go, and chocolate almond butter is like eating Nutella, only not.

11. Salads.

Yay for eating salads! Boo for making them at home though, I usually go out and have huge salads at restaurants because I am lazy and veggies go bad too quickly.

12. Indulgences.

I do indulge, like everyone else, from time to time. But when I do, it’s on foods/drinks that have some nutritional value, albeit very little, but not horrible in moderation. My food indulgences: biscotti (one piece and I’m done), cheese (as a topping for salads/eggs only), and Chipotle (sofritas salads for the win). My drink indulgences: diet soda (usually just one can/cup at a restaurant), Caffe D’Vita (a little sugar, but not a whole lot), and lattes with skim milk and sugar-free syrup (usually a weekend treat).

My diet could probably use a few more vegetables, but overall, I’m not depriving myself of nutrients and eating healthy portions. And yes, I do crave Twizzlers, cookies, cake, pizza, pasta, Starbucks, but not enough to cave and get them.

Here’s to getting in shape for the summer.

Oh, and welcome to my newest visitors from Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman. Apparently I’m big on the Arabian Peninsula; now if only the Yemenites would come and say hello.

0

Having the Late Night Munchies

I have a serious case of the late night munchies.

I don’t really know when it started, and as much as I try to avoid it, it constantly returns. It’s there every night. Right now, I am feasting on challah and peach soda, wondering what has become of my life. Well, really, I’d be eating something way less nutritious were I not at my parents’ home. My mom loves candy and chocolate,  so it’s kind of odd that those things aren’t around. But then again, my parents survive on homemade soup and nothing, so there’s rarely ever any actual food in the house; hence, the challah and peach soda. Desperate times = desperate measures?

No, but seriously, I should find a way to stop this. Snacking at night can’t be good for your health. Well, my whole eating plan during these few weeks has been overall detrimental to my health, what with waking up around lunchtime, snacking, eating dinner…no wonder I’m hungry at night. Or maybe I’m making up for all the weight I lost due to stress in November/December. No, that can’t be it.

I heard this proverb one time, about eating like a king in the morning, a servant for lunch, and a pauper for dinner. It does promote a certain body image, I guess? Robust at the top and lean towards the bottom. There should be a proverb about that. Maybe I should write it and trademark it. Either way, a change of my eating habits is in order.

And since the challah is now decimated, and I just finished the end of the bottle of sugar, caffeine and sodium-free sparkling peach soda, now’s a good time to be comfortable with that thought.