Living It

Despite my best efforts to avoid it, this is quickly becoming a weight loss blog. I don’t really want it to be. But, it is such a big part of my life right now that it is hard not to talk about it, think about it, blog about it all the time. That is partly the problem. I am a whole person. I am a person who likes to read, and sing badly, and play cards, and shop for shoes and none of that has anything to do with losing weight. Part of my whine last time was that sometimes I just want to feel like a normal person, not a weight losing person. Just a person.

However, part of the person I want to be is a healthy person. I want cooking yummy meals from whole, fresh foods to be part of my daily routine. I want biking and running and hiking to be like breathing. It is just what I do. But, since it is not already what I “just” do, I have got to practice. That means until it becomes natural, it has got to be deliberate. If you know me, you know if I am doing something deliberately then I am talking about it. Now, I am blogging about it.

I have read some great books lately that have helped me understand health as a way of life. I read Born to Run by Chris McDougall cover to cover in about three days and it left me hungry to run, hungry to explore, and hungry to challenge my body. I picked up Eat and Run by Scott Jurek, an ultrarunner featured in McDougall’s book and I will probably wrap it up just as quickly. Jurek is a vegan and weaves narratives about clean eating and recipes deftly through his stories of training and perseverance. In the middle of a chapter, I couldn’t stand it any longer and put the book down to do an hour of yoga. Reading about people moving makes a person want to move.

I have enjoyed the journey of transforming the way I cook and eat. Here are a few pictures of some of my latest meals.

Slow Cooker Beef Gyros

photo (6)These were good. Not great, but good. The meat didn’t taste as “Greek” as I wanted, but it made enough for leftovers and the homemade tzatziki was delicious.

Eggs Benedict Burgers

photo (3)Scenes from my first stab at poaching an egg. Not too bad. Not that pretty, but it didn’t affect the taste at all.

photoMy attempt at hollandaise sauce were much worse. I used this recipe but cut it in half to avoid using an entire stick of butter. Maybe that was my problem. Either way, I’ll probably try to find something pre-made next time because overall, this meal was great and definitely worth trying again.

Paleo Pancakes

photo (5)

photo (2)I’m not going to link to a recipe here because every one you find will say the same- mix together one egg and one banana. Add mix-in of your choice. The real gig with these was getting them flipped over. Make your cakes small and cook on low heat. I burned one side of every pancake I made, but it still tasted somewhere in the neighborhood of fried banana bread. I used blackberries and they didn’t need any syrup

photo (4)

Lastly, here is a photo of my big, beautiful black bike- Hank the Tank. Fatty loves Hank because he can rub his cheeks across the tire spokes, and I suppose if you are a cat then that feels wonderful. At least someone is getting good use of it because my ass has not touched the seat since I rode it around the parking lot of Walt’s Bike Shop. Boo and hiss.

 

 

Sunday Media Review

Books:
I’m stuck on Harry Potter of course. I’m on the fourth book, but I’ll probably take a pause because Brett has decided to read along with me so we can have really meaningful book discussions based on ideas like “is the wizarding world a socialist society?” and “do wizards in all wizarding families have any formal schooling prior to Hogwarts?” You know. Important stuff.

What books are you reading right now?

Blogs:

Do you follow the girls at A Beautiful Mess?

If you don’t, get ready to just D-I-E of envy. They’re just.. ugh.. adorable. And I’m going to be honest, I’ve tried real hard not to like them. They’re so hip. And cute. And just literally everything I think is right with the world. So naturally, that bugs the hell out of me. I can’t find a single thing not to like about them. So- I’m just now coming around. They live and work in Springfield which just blows my mind. Did y’all see my engagement pics? (Taken by the adorable, wonderful, darling Katie Day) The one’s taken by the colorful buildings were done on the street where they have their vintage shop, Red Velvet. See:

Anyway, I’ve taken to following them regularly and they’ve got a new e-class on blog design that I would really like to take called Blog (Design) Love.  They’ve also got a course called Blog Love, that focuses more on content and development that would probably be super valuable as well. The face is, these girls built a mini-empire based entirely on their lifestyle from the ground up. You know they’ve got good things to say.


TV/Movies:
Brett started watching Walking Dead and I didn’t look away. I mean, I did in the parts where GUTS ARE HANGING OUT OF PEOPLE’S BODIES, ETC but I did watch about 3 episodes and I didn’t hate it. Mostly because the guy they cast as Rick kinda looks like Josh Lucas.

Music: 
I don’t know if you are listening to Lana Del Rey’s new album Paradise, but you should be. I really, really like her. I can’t quite tell if that makes me super hip or if the hip thing to do is to not like her but it doesn’t really matter because I think her music is just great. I think she’s doing very interesting things lyrically and representing our culture much more accurately and interestingly than by rhyming “maybe” with “baby.” From “Gods and Monsters”:

In the land of gods and monsters, I was an angel, Living in the garden of evil, Screwed up, scared, doing anything that I needed, Shining like a fiery beacon.You got that medicine I need, Fame, liquor, love, give it to me slowly.Put your hands on my waist, do it softly, Me and God we don’t get along, so now I see…



Monday Media Review

Since today is like my Sunday, (thank yoooou veterans) I’m gunna do my media round up post today! Also- I forgot to do it yesterday.

Books:
So I’m still working through the Vonnegut biography, slowly but surely. I think I’m going to have to renew that one at least one more time. It’s thick! In the meantime, I’ve continued on through the Harry Potter series. I read the second one yesterday. Like, started and finished it. I just eat them up. I’m watching each movie as a finish the corresponding book, so that might be a little motivating. My cousin Emily had a great idea to have a discussion group and talk about the differences between the Muggle and Wizard worlds (her point: why don’t they know what a dentist is? haha)

Here’s a photo of the cast looking just dangerously attractive, imho:

(I’m Team Neville, all the way)

Blogs:
I read Jezebel pretty much everyday. I really love it, but warning- if you aren’t a super liberal feminist, you won’t be in to it. Like, if you have a conservative bone in your body- keep a wide berth. But, because I happen to be one of those, I dig it. (Though honestly, sometimes I’m even like really ladies? Really?) Anyway, I read this post about plus size bloggers and the corresponding NY times article, and I did in fact, want to go shopping. My favorite part of the article was this statement:

“When you feel that your current body is temporary, why spend money dressing it well?” said Ragini Nag Rao, 27, who writes for the blog A Curious Fancy from England and India. “Fat women need to realize that their bodies are worth dressing well.”

That just speaks to me. I know I’m guilty of that. I’m constantly convincing myself that I’m on the verge of losing weight. That, as we know, can lead to some tricky emotional baggage. Anyway, Brett and I went to Columbia this weekend and fresh off working my tuckus off at the trainer and reading that article, I was full of shoppy confidence! Here’s some photos of me rocking new purchases:

A really great and flattering royal blue shift with my new boots. Super comfy all around.

Been die die dying for an animal sweater and I, of course, find one at Target. I was going to make one folks. That’s how desperate I was getting. Shit, I might still make one. Also, hello pink pants.

Another great flattering shift. Navy blue. Threw my lacy top over it and gave it a sort of peplum feel. Would definitely wear with tights this time of year! Great work wear!


TV/Movies:
As mentioned previously, I’m catching up on my Harry Potters. We found the last two on sale for $10/each this weekend which was a total score. I expect I’ll be doing little else until I finish the whole series in a couple weeks.

The good news is that I got yarn to crochet at lap blanket for Brett and I at the Chiefs game, so I’ll be able to multitask!

Music: 
My friend Kimber reminded me of the excellence that is the Now 5 CD. I want to meet the person who owns this entire collection. AND HUG THEM.

Sunday Media Review

Practically took the weekend off from posting! I’ve been doing good about writing up posts when I’m off work, sometimes churning out a couple in one day and having the luxury of scheduling up to a week’s worth of posts at a time. I’ve used up my queue however, so I’m gunna have to sit down and get creative again!

What would you LOVE to see me post about? Seriously- I’ll take requests!

In the meantime, I thought I’d do a quick run down (might make this a regular thing) about what I’ve been reading/watching/listening to lately!

Books:

As you know, I started in on the first of the Game of Thrones novel. The first of this series was very engaging and considering how visually dense the book is, I can only imagine what a treat the television show is going to be.

I’ve also restarted reading the Harry Potter series. I just *gush* cannot ever get enough of the whole Harry Potter world. I’m going to read the Chamber of Secrets after I finish the book I’m currently reading which is-

And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life. This is a biography of Vonnegut by Charles J Shields. I simply adore Vonnegut for his simple prose, his deep philosophy, and his dark humor. I know very little about the man outside of the image he projects into semi-autobiographical plots and characters in his novels, so it’s great to read about his parents, his children, his jobs, and so on. It’s very touching and I expect my admiration will only grow when I finish.

If you’ve been reading along, you know that I’ve also recently finished Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes. It’s got an intriguing message and I’d say certainly worth a read.

Blogs
As I begin posting more, I’m trying to expand my blog reading list too! My absolute favorites are, of course, from the people I know personally. So, some shout outs:

My cousin Emily writes great posts about what she and her husband have been up to, bits of solid advice, and general pondering on the whats and hows of life. Good stuff.

A new friend Sarah has started taking photos more than recreationally and she does wonders with a camera. I can’t wait to see her talent and her client base grow. If you’re in the KC area, I’d highly recommend her!

I’ve also been keeping up with Iowa Girl Eats, a blogger with a great philosophy: “Eat well, Run often, Travel far”

TV/Movies:



I CAN’T STOP WATCHING MURDER, SHE WROTE! Honestly, I’m usually pretty noncommittal when it comes to television. I mostly like short-form, children’s cartoons.  But there’s just something so charming about Jessica Fletcher and her 45 minute hijinks. I lurve it.

Also, Brett and I started going through (chronologically, of course) animated Disney feature films before the wedding to get in the mood for our Disney honeymoon. We didn’t get all the way through our list, so we are still trucking along. Besides, I’m always in the mood to watch a Disney movie! We just watched Hercules and it’s as adorable as I remember. Next up- Toy Story!

Music: 
Y’all ever used Songza? It’s a free online music player that matches a play list to your mood/activity/day. It recognizes what time of day it is and then suggests play lists to set the stage. Brett and I really like it. I’m rarely disappointed in the play lists. You can also search for play lists by name. I suggest “70s Pool Party” which is chock full of 70s disco and rock and perfect for a Saturday night drinking whiskey cokes and playing cards which is exactly what Brett and I did. Currently, I’ve got “Harvest Moon” pulled up which is right up my alley with artists like Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, Joni Mitchell. It’s perfect for the newly crisp weather!

Happy Sunday friends!

Danger, Will Robinson!

Bad news bears, guys… First of all, I used two catch phrases in two sentences. Yikes.

Secondly, I’m getting seriously addicted this Game of Thrones novel. I’m worried about it because I’m not even halfway through the first book of the series and I can tell it’s going to start sucking up all my free time. I can’t wait to finish book one and start reading the other four books in the series.

Also, we don’t have HBO so I’m anticipating the desperate things I’ll start doing once I’ve finished the books and I’m ready to start in on the TV show.

The problem is that as I write this, all I want to do is finish this damn post, grab the book and a cup of hot tea, and curl up on the couch. Which is fine, except now I’ve got all this free time that I was hoping to spend doing creative and life affirming things! Not to mention that our house is not quite restored from the wedding hangover.

I promise promise promise that this won’t become a Game of Thrones fangirl site. Promise.

It’s just that it’s been so long since Harry Potter gave me a fantastical, media rich world to pretend I live in and I’m sort of reveling in the newness of it!

Have you guys read or watched Game of Thrones? Turns out I’m kind of a Fantasy lover! Anyone else?