Did you know there are pages and pages on the Internet explaining how to boil an egg?
The Burrito & I are still maintaining our healthy lifestyle (see, Absence makes the liver…happier? ) and I wanted to make some hard-boiled eggs for snacking on and to make Avocado Toast, a recipe from Bob Harper’s new book, Skinny Meals, Everything you need to Lose Weight-Fast!
We cook together almost every night, so I am no stranger in the kitchen. But, it’s been a while since I’ve made hard-boiled eggs and I just couldn’t remember how long they were supposed to boil.
So, of course, I Googled it.
And I was kinda shocked at the result. Pages upon pages about how to cook hard-boiled eggs, how to cook them in the oven, how to peel them, how to cook them at a high altitude, how to make them in the microwave, and the overall top results: How To Make Perfect Hard Boiled eggs.
I mean, I had no idea that there was such a demand for perfect hard-boiled eggs. Unless you are Martha Stewart or Oprah’s chef, I didn’t know making flawless eggs was such a sizeable concern.
Needless to say, I guess a lot of people do care about this, so I figured, what the hell? Let’s make some perfect hard-boiled eggs.
What I remembered about making hard-boiled eggs was to boil them for about ten minutes, submerge them in cold water and let them sit for a bit.
Apparently, things got fancy and I had no idea:
A lot, right? I mean, cooking eggs in water should be about as easy as just boiling water in my mind. But, again, I figured I must be missing something here, so I clicked on this link by Simply Recipes:
Now, no offense to this site, but holy crap. A little too wordy for me. I felt like I was looking at a recipe for a fancy pants soufflé.
Not to mention, I just didn’t believe the recipe.
It says to put the eggs in the boiling water for one minute and then let them cool for 12 minutes. Going by what I knew of boiling eggs, I could not wrap my head around reversing the system of boiling longer and cooling less.
So, I didn’t.
I am learning new cooking methods and recipes by cooking with The Burrito all the time, so I am open to learning new techniques.
But, I went with my gut this time.
I decided to just go with tradition and boil for eight minutes, dunk them in cold water for two minutes and then let them cool for ten minutes.
They were perfect. Without any website telling me how to make them differently that I had before.
Fancy recipes and innovations aside, the moral of the story is it’s okay in life to go with your gut, stick with what you know, and strive only for your own model of perfection.
Photo by: The Craftsy Blog,© Arights reserved.
The rain is making a soft pitter-patter against the window. Each drop clears a trail through the dusty pane and then falls to the ground. Birds are happily chirping as they dip their wings into puddles of water and let it roll off their backs.
Damp, cool air blows through the window and dances across the back of my neck bringing tiny goose bumps to the surface of my skin.
A lawn mower hums in the distance and children are laughing loudly in the park nearby.
But I don’t hear or feel any of this.
I am in dreamland. Tucked in between the sheets, my hibernating brain sees visions of the past and present intertwined in colors and shapes.
I breathe deeply as the breeze continues to float around me. I am lost in time and space and the lovely distractions outside do not stir me.
It’s raining. I’m sleeping. It’s dreamy.
Photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/caitdphoto/3117111108/
I started blogging to put my writing out there and see what kind of feedback I got. I posted excerpts from my book and the response was great. Of course, most of the readers were friends of mine from Facebook and my stats started out low, but it didn’t matter. I felt validated and my confidence in my writing ability soared.
I worked on my book for about two years and intermittently would post personal essays on the blog as well.
I removed my book from the blog about 6 months ago since I would like to try to publish it offline in the future. I have posted on the blog, but not as much as I would like.
Like all writers, I would love to spend all my time cranking out witty, smart pieces that pay the bills.
This is a stretch goal, but it’s not impossible.
As part of a writing challenge, Blogging 201: Branding and Growth, my assignment is to set three goals for my blog to help define its content and drive traffic.
I hope you will cheer me on as I take on this task.
- Post more often. Specifically, more than zero. Ideally, one to two times a week.
Writing is important to me and it’s what makes me happiest. It’s not easy though, coming up with ideas to write about and making it all work on paper. That, along with life getting in the way, can make sitting down to write daunting and the procrastination sets in. I want to be able to make writing a priority in my life and make time to do it.
- Gain followers, increase traffic and participate in the writing community.
Having a blog is not only a place to express your creativity, it’s a forum to see other writer’s work and bounce ideas off each other. It’s an unassuming community and the support system is fantastic.
Gaining followers and increasing traffic is what all writers want on their blog. We want to be seen and be heard.
- Define and expand my writing skills.
I’m still trying to figure out exactly what my blog is and what my style is. I want to take on writing challenges and continue to grow into what hopefully can become a profession for me. I would like to do copywriting work and finish my book.
Now, I could use your help as well.
- Please, give me topic suggestions. As I stated, I am looking for new challenges and could use fresh ideas from you.
- I would love to start a conversation with you about whatever topic I post about, so feel free to tell me what you think in the Comments section of each post.
- Make me accountable. Gentle nudging when I haven’t posted anything in a week or so is welcomed.
As always, thanks for reading!
Removing. Restricting. Eliminating. Withdrawing. These are not kind verbs in their own right and adding them to my nutritional vocabulary has been stinging.
You may have read my article, Absence makes the liver…sadder? that chronicled the start of the process of me and the Burrito (aka, the fiance) eliminating alcohol, sugar and carbs for 30 days. It’s been over a month now and since we are still waist-deep in vegetables, coconut milk and pea protein, I thought I would provide an update.
As a reminder, Here were the major issues I needed to combat:
- I kinda love my processed foods. Chips, cookies, aspartame, cheese in a jar (love you queso!) and any other bad idea in a box that crossed my path.
- I love sugar. Chocolate, Skittles, Starburst, Hazelnut creamer, donuts. Sugar is my crack.
- My love of wine and Gin. Too many empty calories and my wallet weeps for the money washed down each bottle.
Now, let me just say, I have never really had to work hard to lose weight before. I have been thin most of my life, have eaten fairly healthy and have been working out since I was sixteen years old. But, along with all the other joyful presents that age 41 brings, losing weight is now harder. It doesn’t help that I have snarfed my way through engagement bliss eating pizza, cheeseburgers, chips and pounds of chocolate. Living in NYC provides options beyond one’s imagination and I have taken well advantage of that.
The Burrito has stuck with me through this, being part sweet supporter, part ridiculous drill sargeant. Working together with someone is so much easier than doing it alone.
I have lost a solid 6 pounds. The Burrito has lost 14. Of course he has, because he is a man and they are annoying when it comes to their easy weight loss. Do I sound bitter?
Anyway, down to the nitty gritty. Here is what we did to eliminate these vices and how we got through it.
First off, let me show you what one week of groceries looks like for us now, every week. (This does not include the dairy or nuts or seaweed snacks that we eat as well.) As you can see, my cat thinks he wants vegetables, but he doesn’t (he confuses oregano for catnip.)
We eat all of it, too. We juice using beets, kale, cucumbers, apples, fresh ginger and carrots. Every night for dinner, we prepare 2 to 3 sides of veggies. Produce does not go bad in this house.
This is how we start off every morning. Protein shakes consisting of Pea protein, vegetable protein, coconut milk, kale, honey, frozen dark cherries and a shot of espresso. And a zillion supplements that the Burrito got from a nutritionist at a Medical Spa- everything from probiotics to neutralize the bacteria in our guts to Choline to repair our drunken livers.
Lunches and snacks consist mostly of salads, 2-3 ounces of turkey or chicken lunchmeat with string cheese and fruit, plain Greek yogurt with honey and cinnamon and 28 g of walnuts. Yes, we weigh everything as well. Calories are hidden in everything, and when you think you can just round something up or down, that’s where you get into trouble. In lieu of bread, we use Boston Bibb lettuce as wraps and some lower carb tortillas.
We experimented with cauliflower. Now, I am not a fan of this bland vegetable that reminds me of dirty gym socks (so does Saganaki cheese, so I have this thing about gym socks. Not sure why) but it was our only alternative to flour.
We made a cauliflower “crust” pizza. Yeah. I know what you’re thinking, and you would be correct. It wasn’t great. Pizza is one of my favorite foods, so it wasn’t the slice of pie I was looking for.
Now, we did make “fried” chicken with cauliflower as the base, and that was actually pretty good. I would welcome any suggestions for future recipes using cauliflower as a replacement for flour.
Roasted artichokes are a staple now. In case you didn’t know, it’s so easy to do, a monkey could make them. Therefore, so can I.
Simple directions: Cut the base off, open the leaves, drizzle olive oil and fresh lemon juice inside and out. Put either a clove of garlic in the middle or crushed garlic all around inside the leaves. Sprinkle with sea salt and double wrap in aluminum foil. Bake at 425° for 1 hour. Amazing.
Who knew I could be this domestic?
We didn’t have any alcohol for 25 days. This was pretty tough. We truly believed that we would lose all our friends and never go out again. We were pleasantly surprised when, wait for it…we actually had fun while sober! I know, crazy, right? We went out with friends one night and they all just happened to not be drinking much either, so we spent an evening playing “Catch Phrase” and drinking hot tea. This may sound like old people kind of fun, but we laughed so hard and had a fantastic time. It’s shocking for all of us.
We went to a couple music shows and didn’t drink. That was a bit harder only because the crowds were kind of annoying and some gin may have made that more palatable.
There were definitely nights that I craved wine. I kind of believe now that it has to do with the sugar. Eliminating sugar has been the hardest for me, and that includes delicious glasses of Sauvignon Blanc.
These days we are only drinking one day during the week and two days on the weekend. And due to our lower tolerance now, we get tipsy off the first glass and have become cheap dates. See how I reunite with wine in my article: Fifty Shades of Red.
I really blew it with the sugar crack addiction on Day 26. We were in D.C. visiting friends and semi-officially off the diet for that weekend. We had drinks and then after dinner, dessert was brought out.
Très Leche cake. We are having this for our wedding cake and it is to die for. This is where it gets really ugly. After consuming far too much champagne and wine that night, my defenses were down and I wolfed down 3 PIECES of cake. THREE.
It gets better. The next morning, we were all hungover and brought out the remaining cake after breakfast and I proceeded to eat another piece and a half. SHAMEFUL.
I gained a pound just from that weekend.
Let this be a lesson. Sugar crack is wack.
A few words on how I feel about this whole experience. Despite having my favorite delights taken from me, it has been worth it. We sleep so much better. I have more energy. I used to get so tired by 9 pm and want to go to bed. The processed crap I was eating was making me crash and burn. Now I am staying up until almost midnight every night. I get a lot more done and I feel pretty good. I actually crave vegetables and fruit, which is amazing in itself.
We did not cheat for 25 days, but going on maintenance now and treating ourselves to what we “missed out on” during that time is a slippery slope. We both have some more to lose, but it’s more of a lifestyle choice now. I’m hoping we don’t turn into that annoying couple that talks about healthy living all the time, but if someone wants to hear about it, good news-we both love to talk.
I am going to allow myself to have a slice of pizza (maybe two) in a couple weeks once I am down a couple more pounds. And I can assure you- it’s not going to be made of cauliflower.
Barbie Donut photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lauralewis23/
You are so beautiful. As I run my hand down the sides of your body, electricity runs through me. My fingers circle around lightly, tracing every inch of your smooth skin. I notice you are slightly chilled, which is exactly how I like you.
Don’t be alarmed. The knife I am using to cut you open is sharp, no jagged edges to mar your sparkling foilage. As I grab you and twist you around and around with the knife to your throat, I get excited. My eyes widen as I slowly peel your top away, exposing the door to your entry.
I’m sorry that I have to force myself on you. It will be fast and relatively painless as I stab and twist deeper over and over again until you pop ever so gracefully beneath my palm.
I bend over and breathe deeply. It’s over, you can relax. Your aroma is intoxicating as it penetrates through my every pore. The scent of tobacco and leather blend magically with your peppered, dark cherry skin. Closing my eyes, I inhale you again.
Velvety, creamy red is your color. As I bend you over, you cascade and flow across the glass. The sound you make as you try to escape makes me smile. It’s slightly unpleasant, the gurgling, but I know you will be worth it, so I keep going.
Finally, you are almost here with me.
I hold you in my hands and swirl you around in our own private dance. You’re flushed and rosy and sparkle in the light. All around you, your long legs stretch out and melt against the glass. I am salivating and breathing harder now. I am ready for you.
I pull you close to me, my lips touching you. The smell of you, your color, it’s all too much. I must have you now.
Ahhhh. You are delicious. I drink you in and hold you on my tongue, savoring every last drop of you. I have missed you. I have missed us.
I promise not to stay away so long next time. We belong together. You, me and that dirty old Rib Eye.
- Photo: All rights reserved by oisingormally
It’s the morning of Day Six and I am up at 6:45 on a Saturday. Somebody alert the media.
I am sipping espresso with a splash of cream instead of my usual coffee drowned in Hazelnut creamer.
No pounding headache from too much gin and wine.
The usual regret of eating too much is absent.
Kids, I drank the Kool-Aid and it’s working.
Now, don’t get me wrong. This week has been tough. During the first three nights of this insane detox, I was sweating like a whore in church. Tossing and turning, going from intense heat to freezing cold. I actually thought refraining from sugar and alcohol was giving me the flu.
I had a meltdown on night Four. The day had been rough for me. I was craving chocolate, pizza, cheeseburgers and lots of wine. I was whining and pissy and fed up.
We were making “fried” chicken fajitas coated in cauliflower (I know, it’s extreme) and wrapping it in lettuce. Having never undressed Boston lettuce before, he simply was telling me how to do it right (I was failing at this very easy project) and I lost it.
Tears of frustration rolled down my face.
“I need sugar and I need a drink! I can’t do this anymore!” I cried.
Poor fiancé. He hugged me and we both laughed about it once my hysteria calmed down.
I managed to have my first sober lunch with a friend that I normally would have had drinks with. She showed solidarity and didn’t have any wine either. It turns out that good conversation can be enough. Who knew?
The sweating has stopped and sleep has been amazing.
We’ve lost a couple pounds and we’ve saved around $150.
My thinking is clearer and I feel pretty damn good.
I am, however, terrified that I won’t ever want to drink again. I know that I’m now entering the Honeymoon Stage and may feel superior to those around me drinking and acting like idiots. By week three, I may look down my nose at you and say something stupid like, “You don’t need to drink to have a good time.”
I’ve always wanted to punch people in the face who say things like that.
Don’t worry, this too shall pass. I enjoy my social life way too much for this to last forever. And giving up gin and wine and the occasional Belgium beer would leave a void in my life that I simply cannot fill with kale and cabbage.
In the meantime, I apologize in advance for being overly optimistic (I normally frown upon too much optimism) and excited about my new clean lifestyle. If I try to lure you in by telling you my mind is clearer and I have seen the light, just roll your eyes, have a good laugh and order yourself a drink.
Let’s talk about these favorite things of mine.
Right now it’s 6:52 pm on March 3rd and normally we would be picking out a bottle of wine for dinner. Instead, we will be having tea. Lots and lots of tea.Detox tea to be exact. And compared to wine, it really sucks.
We are both pretty angry about it.
All day I have had moments of daydreaming about a buttery Chardonnay dripping long legs of yumminess inside a white wine glass while I peruse the Internet. Or having a delicious salad and cleansing my palate with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc. I’m Dreaming of sipping on a Hendricks and soda during Happy Hour at the local bar.
I’m not a huge carb person, but I do enjoy my Carr’s water crackers with chunks of cheese, an afternoon snack of Kashi Warm Cinnamon cereal, and my morning egg sandwich on an English muffin. I don’t crave pasta or eat plates of fries, but carbs are definitely slipped into a lot of foods, so it could be tough.
OMG. Where do I start? Lindt’s Classic Recipe Hazelnut Chocolate has taken up residence in our kitchen drawer for months. It’s there for me when I’m happy, sad, moody or just bored. It’s the perfect finish to a great dinner. Peanut butter. I am obsessed with peanut butter. I eat it by the spoonful, which is part of the reason I can’t squeeze into my size 2’s anymore. First World Problem, I know. But it is what it is.
There are fricking Girl Scout cookies in this house that the fiancé had to HIDE from me. They were even hidden in plain sight-the freezer-and I didn’t find them. He brought them out on Saturday, when we were tipsy and having fun. This is why they need to be hidden. We ate an entire sleeve.
I’m not going to lie and try to be optimistic about this. I am not going to promote this healthy lifestyle as something fun and energizing. I am going to die when I watch The Real Housewives of New York and they are drinking wine and eating chocolate. I will lash out at friends who are going out to enjoy Happy Hour.
This is simply an emergency situation (impending muffin tops and ass jelly) that calls for unfortunate sacrifices.
And so, I hold my cup of detox tea up to you and toast to juicing our vegetables, eating our lean protein and trying not to kill each other.
Photo: All rights reserved by d3_plus
It’s March 2nd, 9:47 pm. I have just finished scarfing down a large helping of Pad Thai and Panang Curry and a bottle of wine. My man has done the same.
We have decided to stop drinking for 30 days and it’s our last hurrah.
Emotion has overcome us and we are already pissed and upset about it and haven’t even started the process.
He just walked by the wine rack and huffed, “Quit pushing these bottles out to make them more appealing!”
We have complained about it all day. And by complaining, I mean we had a glass of wine and a beer at a restaurant in Union Square in between shopping for running shoes and a tea pot before coming home to polish off two bottles of Red while eating Thai and watching House of Cards.
Why would we torture ourselves with this nonsense?
We live in New York City and it’s socially unacceptable to not drink. What else is there to do in the winter but go out with friends, eat a delicious dinner and share amazing bottles of wine with?
But, newly engaged bliss has lent itself to eating and drinking too many empty calories and we are now busting out of our clothes. The wedding is six months away and its time to stop the fat insanity.
We are giving up a few of my favorite things: Alcohol, Sugar & Carbs.
Shit. Stay tuned.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/alsis35/5724009679/”>alsis35 (now at ipernity)</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a>
More change has happened since my last post. I am newly engaged. That man in my last story, that carried me to the train? He’s going to be my husband.
It’s pretty damn exciting and life has been really, really good.
I’m slowly adjusting to New York City. I spent the first couple of months trying not to get lost, in a daily, semi-panic that the newness of this massive place inflicts on you. So, the writer in me didn’t observe and relish all the delicious characters that had been laid out to develop and absorb. The people all seemed to have the same faces, and each street felt like the one before because I wasn’t paying attention.
Time has passed, and I am easing into a moderate comfort level in moving around the city. For the most part, I only get lost half of the time now, and it’s much less dramatic than the early days. I have a love-hate relationship with the subway. It is a well-oiled, functioning tube of transportation. It’s easy to understand, relatively safe, and marginally clean.
For the most part, the people follow the rules and go with the flow: let the people out of the train before pushing your way in, stay to the right on the escalators if you’re going to stand, and let the people on the left walk up. Make room, move over and squeeze as many people in as possible and try to be polite. Avoiding eye contact is best, but sometimes you have to look at their eyes. Because they all have a story.
A cloud of desperation and anticipation hangs in the air in and around the subway. Everyone is just trying to keep it together while being smashed like sardines in a can. The single mothers, dragging their kids around, the yuppies in their suits checking their email, the senior citizens holding onto their bags of groceries; all essentially trapped together, racing through a tunnel to get to where they need to go.
There is absolutely no privacy on the subway or on the streets. You are inches from stranger’s faces. You breathe in the exhales of coffee breath or a garlic-filled lunch, smell the body odor of the non-showered, and virtually taste the perfume of overtly saturated women.
There are no private conversations. Fighting and couples breaking up in public is a common occurrence. Business deals, first dates, parenting strategies, they all happen on the subway. Bring your headphones, or you will be an involved witness to this narration of life you did not even know existed.
But I think that this is all part of the rush of living in New York City and why people love it. The excitement, the anxiety, the energy, it’s the constant entanglement that keeps you going. You never know who is going to sit next to you or what part of your history they will be in your memory. They have a story, you have a story. You are all intertwined in each other’s lives for brief moments while speeding through time and passageways, waiting for the doors to open and continue on with your day.