Intermittent slowing

I love breakfast. It’s my favorite. It’s always been my favorite. Growing up it was the only meal we had at home that resembled what other people ate…kind of. I mean my parents didn’t make coffee, they made chai, but we did have toast! It wasn’t made from soft, fluffy white bread like Wonder – we had something that was literally called Brick Oven. Brrrrrick oven. The name literally told you what it would feel like in your stomach. But at least it wasn’t Indian food. Although sometimes it was Indian food, but that’s another story.

I’m an early riser. Even in high school I woke up early. These days it’s 7am on average in Covid days because I’m not commuting. Before that, I was up at 5:30 or 6 and out the door by 7:30ish. That’s a lot of breakfast time. So much breakfast time that on some days – not always – I had two mini breakfasts before lunch. Two! And because it was mostly non-protein…even though it was simple stuff (toast, etc), it didn’t help. Help what you ask? Help my di….my die…. my diet! Phew. There I said it.

I never say that word. Shockingly I’m hardly ever on a diet. Seriously. I know I probably should be, but I’ve never been obsessed with my weight. I mean in high school I wanted to be thinner and I started walking more and lost some weight before college, which was great. My first few years of college I actually lost weight because the food was gross (this is pre-vegetarian friendly years in the country), this was also great. Plus I was in love and drinking my suppers away – it was all good.

I’ve talked about this before, food was a really important part of my childhood. What other family do you know that drove from Harrisburg, PA to Queens, New York for lunch? Ours did. We did it multiple times a year. That’s also what counted as “vacations” for us.

I was never thin. Ok maybe that’s wrong. I was thin for about a year in elementary school. I had pneumonia and an enlarged heart situation. Spent a few months in the hospital and then bedrest for another few months. I missed half a year of school. When I went back everyone was very curious and I felt famous. I’d lost a lot of weight, my hair had grown out and I was a bit yellow from an iron deficiency. Not exactly hot stuff, but I loved it. It was very dramatic and fun. By the summer it all wore off and I got back to my normal self. The life threatening illness was fun while it lasted.

My parents never talked about my weight. I never remember my mother or father ever saying anything positive or negative about it. It just was what it was. That’s not to say I didn’t try all the new fads and classes that came out. I’ve done Spin class, Zumba, SlimFast, the Beyonce cayenne cleanse, yoga, Weight Watchers, etc. I tried them all, but mostly because I was curious and I’m into new things. Did I lose weight, sure. But I never fluctuated all that much. 5 up/5 down if I was lucky. I was also never that devastated or excited by any of it.

Now, at 48, I’m not on any real medication (besides Progesterone which has changed my life, we can talk about that someday) and I haven’t had any real health issues (knock on a BIG piece of wood). I’ve never had a doctor sit me down and say,” you need to lose weight.” This could also be because I avoid doctors as much as I can but whatever.

All of this is a very long winded way of saying…I’m not that into diets. Ask my friends. I don’t really talk about it. I’m not really that interested. I know beautiful, dear people that go from one plan to another. That are in a constant state of diet. There’s always a comment about what they’re eating and how bad they are doing. It’s seems sad to me – and exhausting, but I get it. I think I’m the freak here, I get it.

At the beginning of Covid we tucked in and started doing what everyone did. We cooked. We baked. We ate. We drank. We’re still doing it. Shockingly – I didn’t gain weight. I didn’t lose weight, but there was no uptick. While I was cooking, baking and drinking I listened to podcasts. Lots and lots of podcasts. One was about Intermittent Fasting (IF). Basically reducing the amount of time in a 24 hour period that you can/should eat. It’s not about what you eat exactly – it’s focused only on when you eat.

There’s 3 big methods of IF: alternate day fasting, periodic fasting and daily time restricted fasting. The podcast I listened to was about alternate day – which is restricting calories to 500 on fasting days (every other or every two days, however you choose to do it). The health benefits are beyond just weight loss. Clearer mind, better mood, etc. It also seemed less restrictive because it doesn’t focus on what you eat, as long as you’re staying to a calorie reduction. I mean you can’t eat donuts as your only meal but it seemed doable. So I tried it. It was super duper hard. Not eating for a 24 hour period was not my thing. I only did it for a couple of days. One day fast/one day eating. It lasted only 3 days. By the 2nd day of my full fast I was done. Did I eat a vat of ice cream – no. But I needed a meal. I was light headed and not feeling great. So I was done. Back to my usual.

A few weeks later I was reading an article about another method of IF. Daily time restricted fasting – or 16:8. Don’t eat for 16 hours, eat for 8. That seemed like a small change. 7 of those non eating 16 hours would be sleeping hours. How hard could that be? Again I was curious. So about two months ago, maybe more, I started doing it. No food until noon or 1pm. Then I eat normally until 7pm or 8pm. I’m still trying not to go nuts during the day but I’m not doing any real restrictions. I have a carb. I have a glass of wine. Maybe 2. It wasn’t easy, I’m going to be honest. I like my morning time and I like my breakfast, as I’ve said. But it wasn’t that hard either.

Something started to change. Something really really slowly started to change. I lost a pound. It took me a really long time, but I lost a pound. Then I lost another. Slowly. My clothes started feeling better. No one can really tell. Then we went away for the weekend and I had a piece of coffee cake for breakfast. The next day I had another piece. But nothing happened. I came home and went right back to the 16:8. No big deal. A few days later I lost another pound.

Again – will anyone notice, probably not. It’s really a small, slow, and I do mean slow, change. But it feels good. And it doesn’t feel like a diet. More importantly I’m still doing it. The longest I’ve ever done anything else is Zumba (and I may get back to that too!).

Just sharing my very long, very slow moving journey. I’ll be hitting my goal weight (although I don’t really have one) by 2027.

I had onions for lunch

Now you know. I didn’t have JUST onions but I thought it was important to tell you that they were a big part of that particular meal.

If I was alone in the world I would have onions for lunch every day. And for dinner. I could even squeeze them into breakfast. Actually I could more than squeeze them in. Have you ever had a plain bagel with scallion cream cheese, tomato and red onion? Or an omelette that’s so full of onions and peppers that you can’t really see the egg?

I’m in the office today and the rest of my team is either off or working from home. In fact the entire floor is pretty vacant so I thought I was safe. I’ve been trying to have salads at least once a day and nothing makes a salad better than…yep.

Alone in the office. No in-person meetings. The next human I’ll see today will be at 6:30pm. Hours after consumption. I had no choice. The stars were aligned.

It’s been a tough couple of weeks. An insane work schedule mixed with the usual family obligations mixed with unexpected health scares (my mom – who is recovering like a champ). Can you blame me for letting off some steam? Going a little crazy? Letting my hair down? Sure I could have turned to alcohol and drugs – I still may – but for now, this will do.

Anyway – I gotta go brush my teeth and eat a pack of mints.

Poor me

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My conference ended today. I have a few more hours of work and then I’m on the red-eye home. But I did get to sleep in and enjoy my room for the first time all week. And I ordered room service. Look at the size of this French toast. And the size of the butter on top. Toasted coconut and a caramelized banana? Check. Although I miss my family a ton – this isn’t all that bad. Just sayin’ (the newspaper came with the breakfast. Bless their hearts)

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One more pic. Just to show off.

 

’twas the dawn before Thanksgiving…

And all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except for the nutty woman making cranberry sauce at 5am.

It’s pre-gobble time. Run to the store time, prep your turkey time, run to store again time. I love this holiday. It’s my all-time fav. We never celebrated it when I was growing up, which is ironic because a holiday about food would have fit right in. My husband’s family taught me to love Thanksgiving. The gathering, the laughing, the shouting, the forcing-the-vegetarian-to-mix-sausage-stuffing-by-hand-ing.  I digress.

Through the years I’ve found my own way of doing the holiday – I’ve tried garlic mashed potatoes and truffle mashed potatoes and pecan glazed sweet potatoes and apple cranberry stuffing and every other recipe that Martha Stewart pimped out. You know what I learned? All I need is pounds and pounds of butter. And maybe some heavy cream. Other than that – I leave everything alone.  My mashed potatoes just have potatoes in them.  I save the pecans for the pie, and the craziest thing I add to my stuffing is some green onions.

I’m not sure if I’ll be able to blog throughout the cooking, but I’ll try.  Here’s almost everything – minus the 28 pound fresh bird that’s waiting for me at the market.

If I knew how to do one of those cool panoramic shots, I would. But I don’t, so I won’t.

Yes, we’re a Poppycock family. There’s no hiding it now.

I thought I’d highlight two of my favorite “cheats”.

Why cut celery and onions when you can use that time for more productive things, like watching Top Chef Seattle (do you love it like I love it?).

The best $2.99 cents you have ever spent at Trader Joe’s.

Here’s the other thing I don’t bother making from scratch … sorry about the blurriness but it’s early you know. Get off my back.

I do make a quick honey and maple syrup to drizzle on top. See, it’s kinda like homemade.

Ok, gotta get back to my day. Hope you are all knee deep in turkey day prep too! No? Damn.

The eating nook

This is the spot. I usually have at least two of my 4 meals here (2 breakfasts, lunch, and dinner – what?).

This is me eating in my spot.

The gods created this spot for me. It’s perfect. I have the sink to my right for easy disposal, the stove to the left for refill access – and a view of any shenanigans happening at the table or in the family room. The only thing that would make this better is a kitchen TV. But that’s just nuts. Or is it?

That’s my boy and his pal after a sleepover enjoying their pancakes. These are my boys leftovers. If you have kids you aren’t disgusted. You know that sometimes whole meals consist of what’s left on the kid’s plate. Another bonus to eating leftovers while standing up? Those calories somehow don’t count. Truth.

Do you have an eating nook? Or do you always eat nicely at the table with a folded napkin with your pinky up?