i'm used to eating pizza not perpetrating cliche game-show tactics!

so, biggest loser tonight...yeaaah.

starting to remind anyone of that never-tiring, endlessly annoying phenomenon that is realworld/roadrules challenge?

next week i'm gonna look around for coral, queen of the alliance...maybe some quick and dirty lesbian sex on infared cam. ooh goody! stupid drama for ratings!

this week's episode did just what it was supposed to do. antagonize someone. anyone. there's gotta be a villain. and tracy was just dumb enough to take the spot.

though i have to say i was totally loving jillian. she can be a major douche, but she was pretty great this week. i'm trying real real hard to forget about her weight loss pill sell-out and concentrate on her on the show.

and poor mo. if i were him, tracy'da been bitchslapped up and down that ranch.


new awesome tv...

so i just got finished watching the pilot episode of Mercy, a new show on NBC. I thought this was just gonna be another wah-wah greys anatomy hybrid. (now thats not to say i don't orgasmically love greys anatomy...i just can't take any more of it) buuuuuuttt! no way, this show rocks frickin ass. the characters are funny as hell, the story base is current and hey! blood and violence!

the story is about Veronica, an iraqi war veteran who just got back and is having, shall we say, issues in returning to her everyday.

the show is awesome, you should watch it...i'm gonna.

you can find the first full episode on NBC.com, tvguide.com, and also hulu.com, my newest form of crack in HD

and can i just say michelle tratchtenberg is the cutest thing ever. here's a fun fact about erin g for ya'll. i'm a buffy the vampire slayer/joss whedon fanatic. yea, i said fanatic. i'm not ashamed of it. i own all 7 seasons on dvd and watch frequently. it kicks ass. but what was i talking about...oh yea, michelle tratchtenberg...she played on buffy and since the show has been off air, i've been missing seeing new stuff from her besides disney movies. and i refuse to watch gossip girl so i'm glad she's gonna be in on this new show.

jesus...nice thought soup there. maybe its the cough meds?

anyway...watch Mercy and help keep good tv on air.


battle chinese take-out...

i win, you lose chinaman.
tonight my papa called on his way home from work and asked if i would care for some chinese. really? no. i already had a fun little blackout oreo binge this afternoon. actually it was like 6 oreos, but it was still out of control. well, long story short i caved, but i made sure to specify my order because my dad is still in that mentality some guys (and some chicks who aren't food conscious) have sometimes that surprise food is a nice treat.
yea, nice and dangerous.
instead of my usual (read: former) order of sesame chicken, white rice and cheese wontons i got chicken and snow peas, a baby container of white rice, and wonton soup. i ate with chopsticks because 1) i would eat slower and concentrate more and 2) its amusing. i ended up only eating about 1/4 of the small portion i put in my bowl and only two wontons with broth. the soup was delicious and just filling enough. i drank lots of water in between bites and i ended up really satisfied with what i ate, not regretting it.
so hell yeah, i won another round of Food Fights (i look all sick and icko so no fun pic for tonight's food fight. though i am kind of thinking of doing this as a regular feature, maybe get one of those wrestling belts they make for kids and just having a nerdy ole time with it lol. what do you think? should i make it a regular?)


weigh-in/ week 5 goals

starting weight: 350
current weight: 343.6
total loss: -6.4

down another pound this week. to be honest, i'm struggling not to be disapointed. it's not the number i wanted to see, but i know that i've been kicking ass in the gym and have been moving more this week than i have in a long time. now that i've got a gym/exercise routine started, i can focus on my eating again. i had a little slippage this week, not too much, but enough that i'm conscious of the choices i could have made instead. i'm pushing myself hard to achieve this first goal of 22 lbs. once achieved, my next goal will be much easier to attain.

week five goals-
-drink at least 4 (32 oz) bottles of water per day.
-track food and activity on fitday. (i decided to see how much of a difference it will make as opposed to just journaling foods but not nutrition)
-lose 3 lbs.
-get in at least 1 hour of gym/activity time per day.
-walk at least 5 days

alrighty...there's 5 reasonable and attainable goals for the next 7 days. i'm ready to get started.

mmm today for lunch i did a little bit of a change-up with my usual, and it definately paid off. i usually make a tostada for lunch (black beans, cheese, veggies) with a little sour cream, but today i had some chicken that needed to be cooked, so i grilled them up with some olive oil and blackening spices and then diced. i used less cheese and more beans, chicken and veggies and it ended up being positively packed with protien (over 50 grams!) and fiber. i was nicely full afterward and bursting with energy.

spaghetti and meatballs tonight at my mamas. i'm praying that i can contain myself. i've pre-tracked it, just so i have an idea of what i'll be eating and i think i'll be satisfied. here's hopin.


this just in: Fried Chicken v. Fatty; A Winner Announced!

Erin-1: Chicken-0

"You may have seduced me, chicken, but I DEFEATED your ass!!"

how did she do it? we asked her.
"well at first i was intimidated, but then i decided to use the fried chicken's weakness to my advantage. you see, underneath that nasty, deep fried layer, there lies some pretty bad-ass protein for the taking. i chose to create energy from my slip-up and totally burned up that gym!"

oh. yes. dammit.

fried chicken: a contest of wills a.k.a deathmatch

in the past month i have really been working hard. making a lot of forward momentum and gaining heaps of motivation and setting myself attainable and worthwhile goals. in short; i have been kicking major ass.

about 3 months ago, my father moved back in with me. i had been living on my own in our family home for a year and a half. at that point i wasn't really trying to make many changes to the way i lived, ate, and moved but i was conscious of it. now, here's the rub. my father makes terrible food choices. pizza and beer several times a week. hot wings. more beer. generally anything fried, fatty or alcoholic he digs. then he came to me and said "Erin, i think we should get serious about getting healthy. start walking and cooking more and eating better." i thought "Awesome, this is just the extra motivation i needed!" and set down to making goals and menu planning and working out. but after a week or so...i was doing it on my own. there started to be a re-entrance of unhealthy food groups into our house. i got mad. i know that if i keep certain things out of the house, i don't even think about them.

so tonight, when my dad came home from the doctor's office, what did he bring home for his dinner? fried chicken and not one but 2 boxes of ice cream cones and ice cream sandwiches. and why? to cool him down. WHAT?! THE?! FUCK?! if you want to cool down you drink ice water or take a cool shower, or at the very least have a popsicle. he's making excuses to eat terribly. he uses his bed as a dining room. he lays in bed and eats all day and night long. i am seriously worried about him, but at the same time, i can't help but be enraged that he's bringing these things into the house. i've asked him more than once. i've asked him to bring home only a single portion for himself instead of several.

i had planned a very tasty and healthy chicken caesar salad for dinner. instead, the second i smelled the fried chicken, i wanted some. i fought it, hard. i even left the house for a while to try and get past it. but in the end, i decided that instead of foregoing the fried chicken and eating something else but still craving the stuff and bingeing later, i would have one piece along with some vegetables and leftover pasta from dinner last night. it was okay as far as dinners go. but i know that i have to weigh in tomorrow. i'm feeling anxious to go get in the gym. i want this out of my system NOW!

from now on...its over. i'm imposing a law. no more of that crap when i have spent precious time making menu plans and grocery shopping for healthy meals for both of us. if he wants to eat that junk...he can go for it. but i refuse to feel bad when his health problems decline even more because of it. i don't want it in my house anymore. ever.

so sayeth me. so i damn well expecteth it will be done.

::breathe in, breathe out:: ok. rant over.

in other news, while i was browsing blogs the other night, i came across this post on Tales of an Ordinary Life. the gist of it is that you make a list of 101 things/goals/activites you want to accomplish in 1001 days. created by Day Zero, the mission is to complete 101 preset goals in the 1001 day period (approx. 2.75 years). the tasks must be specific (no ambiguity) and the results must be measurable and require some amount of effort on your part.

since i'm an insane lover of lists, this appealed to me automatically. i decided to start working on MY list, tentatively because it is taking way longer to come up with 101 goals than i thought. currently i'm at about 40 or so. but it's a work in progress and one i'm definitely excited to do. once completed, i will post my list here for the world to see (or the random few followers and tagalongs i do have lol i love you all by the way :) )

also Tricia down at Fight Fat Phobia is having a giveaway! a whole big pile of awesome! but don't enter! i want!

alrighty y'all. i'm off to the gym to replace the fried chicken in my veins with adrenaline! raWR!


feeling better today, still a bit groggy and achy but on the whole it's dealable. my appetite is still playing come-and-go but i'm paying attention and making sure i eat regularly and reasonably. i had a pretty awesome black bean and cheese quesadilla for lunch along with a glass of iced green tea.

other than that i'm taking it pretty easy today. i'll probably hit the gym in a bit to get in some activity. work my arms and legs, maybe get in some yoga. nothing too strenuous, but i want to get out of the habit of working out one day and then not doing anything for a few days. i want to try and do some sort of fitness activity every day (i'm excluding the regular activity i get in every day; walking, housework, errands etc.)

i finally got the pics from sunday's lake outing uploaded. it was so so lovely up there.

(that's my mama y'all. isn't she cute? lol she's like the only person on the planet that makes me feel tall lol)
also, i wanted to post my super-flipping-fabulous soup recipe that i made on sunday.
~Veggie and Turkey Meatball Soup~
-1 can diced tomatoes
-3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
-1 cup sliced carrots
-1 medium onion, chopped
-1 bay leaf
-1 tsp celery salt
-1 tablespoon parsley
-2 teaspoons beef boullion
-1 1/2 tsp dried basil
-1 tsp dried oregano
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1 tsp salt
-1 lb ground turkey
-1 egg
-3 tbsp bread crumbs
-1 tbsp milk
-1 heaping cup frozen corn kernels
-1 1/2 heaping cup frozen green beans
-In a large pot stir together 6 cups water, undrained tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, celery salt, onion, bay, parsley, bouillion, basil, oregano, pepper, and salt. bring to a boil.
-meanwhile in a large bowl, stir together ground turkey, egg, bread crumbs, milk, salt, and pepper to taste. (i mix with my hands...icky but ensures total mixage) shape into 1 inch balls.
-carefully drop meatballs into pot. reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes
-add green beans and corn and cook until heated through.
yields around 10 cups of soup.


calling it an early night...

i'm so pissed. i'm starting to get really sick and i don't wanna be! (wonder if i can pout my way healthy? lol) it's really not helping that i am alternately starving to death and so nauseous that i feel like i'm going to boot up everything i've ever eaten. i had to be up at 7 this morning so i could watch abram and sofia and i barely made it through those few hours. on my way home i was so hungry but once i got home i could hardly keep my eyes open. after a longer nap than i planned, my previous hunger of the afternoon was then tenfold. ::mechanical voice:: let the bingeing commence. in all it wasn't too bad, but now i'm all full of rice krispies and i'm starting to get that "oh god i'm gonna puke" feeling.

gonna take me some nyquil and knock out for the night...

back to life tomorrow.

menu monday...

oh i had a delicious weekend. much relaxing and enjoying nature and just for once...having no plans. i made a big steamy pot of turkey and veggie soup to warm me up as it gets colder out, my mom and i went for a walk in the mountains...it was a great end to the week.

and today starts a new one...oi

my week in dinners goes as follows:

monday- coconut crusted tilapia, garlic pasta, and steamed veggies
tuesday- shrimp quesadillas
wednesday- chicken caesar salads
thursday- meatballs and spaghetti at my mothers...best fucking meatballs on the planet
friday- slow-cooker chicken curry, rice
saturday- stuffed pepper soup
sunday- leftovers a' la carte

i'll post recipes as the days go along!


chatty cathy...

so i finally got my aol re-installed (thank god for our new wireless net). i haven't been on in forever, but if any of you folks get on, feel free to say hullo. my sn is: onebadcupcake175

image courtesy of nataliedee.com



so i've done a little mixing up of things for the better.

-this blog for one, i've added some things, gotten rid of a few, and in all i think i'm shaping it up to look really great and not just another blog.

-myself; i've been really focusing on moving more, not necessarily working out more (though thats the next step) but generally just making sure i'm moving. i've been limiting my tv time, so i have more time and energy to dance around the house like a goof ball to my mp3 player on shuffle, more time to do projects around the house, and less time feeling like a lazy blob on the couch while i watch re-runs.

-my education; i've finally made some serious steps toward getting back to school. i hit sort of a wall and was feeling like a failure, but after some serious struggle and being an ass, i finally let someone help me. i felt like i had so much weight on my shoulders that i would suffocate, from how to pay for it and if i would ever find a major that i truly loved, but with actual work in the right direction i've managed to leave a lot of that weight behind. i'm starting to get pumped about school again instead of terrified. i just have to be ready to focusfocusfocus and i think for once i really will be able to.

as far as changing other things...i made a change to my menu for tonight and it was seriously for the better. i had been planning on making salmon fillets, but when i checked my reading list this morning i found a recipe that sounded amazing...

~Red Pepper and Salmon Quiche w/ Butter-Herb Crust~
this recipe is courtesy of Recipe Shoebox

this was seriously flipping good. i added salmon to the original recipe and it turned out amazingly. this was my first attempt at both cooking and eating quiche and it was definintely a winner. it was light and delicious and i served it with a caesar salad w/ light dressing and a quick, warm potato salad that i made from the leftover oven fries from last nights dinner and some fresh fruit. perfect perfect perfect.

~Creamy Herbed-Garlic Potato Salad~
1 medium russet potato, baked through and cubed
2 tbsp mayo (light or regular)
1 tsp lime juice
1/2 tsp garlic
liberal pinch of parsley (rosemary would work really nicely too)

stir together dressing ingredients until well mixed and then fold into potato cubes. voila!
(can be served warm or cold)


Yummy New Recipe...

~Honey-Lime Grilled Chicken Sandwiches~
recipe courtesy of Recipe Shoebox
this was SO delicious. it would have been better if my damn avocado had actually been ripe. as it is, it was very tasty without. i very much recommend this recipe!
i made a quick and easy garlic-lime mayo as well (combine 1-2 tbsp mayo, 1 1/2 tsp lime juice, 1/4 tsp minced garlic, sprinkle of paprika. whisk until blended) it was super tasty on my oven fries as well!

mexican victory!

my mom and i went and ran some errands today and decided to stop at an awesome mexican restaurant for lunch. it was (and still is) one of those pretty rainy days. i love rainy days. i wanted something warm and cheesy for lunch so i got my favorite quesadilla creation ever. it's called a Quesadilla Texana which is chock full of grilled veggies, chicken, shrimp, steak and cheese. it's a decent sized, filling meal and it totally hit the spot.

but the real victory here was i managed to completely avoid the tortilla chips. they're not all that good, and the salsa is eh. the only difference this time was that they were set way across the table from me. hmmm...out of arms reach = not much interest. if they had been sitting in front of me, i'd have munched mindlessly while my mama and i chatted. i was able to enjoy my meal without being full of mediocre tortilla chips. i had this "oh, HEY!" moment as we were finishing our meals and i have to say i was pretty proud of myself.

weigh in/ midweek menu planning

i lost this week! woo! down...1 lol hey though, i'll take it over a gain anyday.

starting weight: 350
current weight: 344.6

i meant to go grocery shopping on sunday so i could make all the meals i planned for the week but i ended up not being able to until yesterday...so i'm starting my menu midweek.
the lineup is:

thursday: grilled honey-lime chicken sandwiches served with oven fries
friday: coconut crusted salmon w/ garlicky pasta and steamed veggies
saturday: veggie and turkey meatball soup (homemade...woo woo)

sundays i do breakfasts instead of dinners and just do a sort of leftovers a' la carte. we've got some farm fresh brown eggs and i'm thinkin a good scramble with veggies and cheese.

i'll post my weekly menu plans regularly and anyone who'd like the recipes is more than welcome to ask.


tasty sweet treats/too much "stuf"

today while i was grocery shopping, i decided to indulge my cart with some sweet treats. usually i don't have a huge sweet tooth and i'm usually pretty satisfied with a popsicle if i get the urge, but as the weather gets colder (and sometimes when it's just cause i want it) i start craving sweets that have a warmer flavor, like pumpkin or chocolate or peanut butter. i found some great options that are readily available at any grocery store:

mini sized nestle drumstick ice cream cones. comes in a pack of 10 (5 vanilla, 5 chocolate) avg. about 150 cals per serving. they're a perfect little size to give the taste you want without feeling guilty for eating a full size ice cream cone.

-oat and peanut butter, oat and chocolate granola bars
i LOVE these. its a small snack with big filling potential. also a much milder sweetness, more savory kind of sweet snack actually.

made by little debbie, these snacks are cute and super tasty. like pumpkin pie only portable. i love these in the fall because i can get the pumpkin flavor i love without tempting myself by baking a whole pie

i also indulged in some halloween oreos. can i request to nabisco that they put less "stuf" in their cookies? theres only so much day-glo orange icing i can stand.
i've been obsessing over oreos for the past few weeks and when i had some for my dessert this evening i just wasn't as into em. i feel both proud and disapointed. its like all these things i scarfed so easily in the past, now that i actually let myself have them, let myself taste them...i don't even dig the stuff anymore. mostly i'm excited to be seemingly breaking myself of these foods that used to vex me and send me into wild bingeyness.


weigh in tomorrow...let's see how the numbers roll!


big drama...

so this season of biggest loser, huh?
drama much?

i'm still pumped though, i missed the last couple seasons due to a pretty crazy work schedule, so i'm gonna enjoy my free tuesday nights while i can.

does anyone else feel like its insane-o for people to lose upwards of 15 lbs. in a week? that just seems so crazy. totally unrealistic in a normal person's life. hell, i'm pumped if i lose 2 lbs. in a week. but then again i'm not spending 28+ hours a week in the gym, i don't have specially created meals made for me every day.

i must struggle on and celebrate my measly 2 lb. loss and dammit if i'm not going to be proud of myself for what i do get done.

unrealistic or not, it's still highly addictive tv. ha. i think it would be hilarious if they only showed biggest loser on the tv's at gyms. then no one will be sitting on their fat asses while watching, they'd be moving their fat asses.

so i had to play nursemaid today and fuck if i didn't get way tired of it after the first few trips up the stairs. my dad is sick all the time. it's because he eats like crap, drinks all the time and never follows through with anything health or fitness related. i weigh almost 100 lbs. more than him and i don't have half the health problems. the man was in the marines and national guard for god's sake. he keeps saying how we should work together on getting healthy and yet one day after we actually start making progress, he holes up in bed claiming fever. the only time he managed to haul his ass out of bed was to go to the kitchen for food. he laid in bed ALL flipping day. he even called me on the house phone from his cell phone because apparently he couldn't yell loud enough to make me hear. it was pathetic, but i have to admit, going up and down the stairs all day got my blood flowing a bit.
thats my little whiny rant for the day...thanks very much lol
anyone got any ideas on how to motivate family members to get off their asses?


oh, monday...

may we face boredom and oblivion together.

i'm in this moment where i have so much i could do, and yet...i really don't want to. then i complain cause i'm bored. it makes no fucking sense.

i suppose i shall work on my to-do list...

maybe later.

didn't get anything on my list done, but i did knock out a 2 mile walk tonight...so i'm gonna say woo hoo.

goodbye monday! see you next week!


holy gross...

bad binge night...and on fucking hot dogs. i don't even like hot dogs that much. but they were there. i was watching the girls and waiting up for my relief, and it was taking forever. i was tired and pissed, but definately not hungry. i tried my hardest to stay out of the kitchen, but the moment i did...fuck. it wasn't until i surfaced for air (3 hot dogs and some random sweet snack foody shit) that i realized what the hell i was doing. i was eating because i needed something i couldn't get at the time. i was angry and frustrated about the day and waiting up till midnight didn't help at all.

i feel disgusting. not emotionally. emotionally i know what i did, i acknowledge it and have moved on, but my body feels super-ick.

live and learn.


oh HELL yes...

i'm down 4 lbs.

fuck that rules. it's the evidence i wanted to prove to myself that what i'm doing can actually work. not that i can't feel the evidence, and i feel amazing, but that number going down is so great.

i'm seriously excited today. today started out on the crap side, but now, oh man. it defininetly helps.


funny...and ironic

they have an online store at shopaholicsanyonymous.com

saved by bad internet...

oh gosh.

ok...time for an intervention. my name is erin gunnett and i am addicted to shopping.

my surprise windfall put in me an incredibly strong urge to shop. the internet makes it so easy to just go wild. that and i found my credit card today. (backstory: i hid it. apparently really well. i think i need to hide it again) cut to hours later i've got a massive shopping cart (over $100) and a frantic desire to complete checkout. as i was trying to sign-in to the sites checkout feature, i got a message. my session timed out...? huh? never had that before. after like...20 tries, i took it as devine intervention.

now, to my credit, since i lost my job i've only done one mini shopping binge so it's not like i'm blowing all my money all the time. but i've been a compulsive shopper for years, and for much of the same reasons that i became a compulsive eater. shopping gives me a rush. a big big rush. even wal-mart isn't safe for me...in fact it could be worse there because i can get more things for less than at other places. things i rarely use or wear. i try to pretend my bills don't exist. i think i try to convince myself i'm not broke by spending the money i have (and sometimes what i don't have...hello credit!) i'm not in massive debt, but enough to make my life difficult. i pay off a little on a credit card and hey! shopping spree. online shopping is like heroin. i'm on one shopping site or another at least once a day...usually way way more. i've managed to slake my hunger for shopping by creating wish list after wish list. its almost like shopping, only you never spend the money and never get the stuff. you do waste a shitload of time though.

so today was a shock. i almost blew money i don't have. again. a lot of it. so i'm fighting back.
-i'm going to challenge myself to go a month and a half without going to an online store. no more browsing. no more wish-listing. for a month and a half.
-i'm going to also control my shopping and browsing at wal-mart and restrict it only to things i absolutely need (i.e. groceries).
-i'm freezing my credit cards. literally. covering the numbers and everything.
-also...no more take-out, fast food or impulse buying. i'm exempting restaurants, because sometimes you just gotta go out. but when i do, it's going to be somewhere worth it.
-i think i'm also going to look into shopaholics anonymous. it could be benefitial.

i just have to keep an extra conscious eye on my eating habits. i shop emotionally the same way i eat, and usually when you starve one hunger, it intensifies another.

anybody else struggle with this? any tips on fighting it? anyone have any crazy shopping binge stories?

surprise! money!

holy majoley.

i've had this pile of mail from the last month or so that i've been trying to avoid opening...cause really, who wants to open bills when you're dirt broke? not me. with a sigh i sat down and started ripping envelopes (half tempted to just rip them in half and pretend i didn't get them). i opened a credit card bill...sigh. i opened a hospital bill...sigh. and then i opened what i thought was junk mail and i almost peed myself when i pulled out...A CHECK FOR 300 BUCKS! what the who? how? what? apparently they decided to pay me my profit sharing from my old job, even though i lost my job before the end of the quarter. and to think i almost threw it away! holy yea! to go from no money to whoa money is a head rush. and i'm struggling not to go on a spending spree. but then i remember...sigh...bills, car repair, blah blah.

oh well, i'm not stupid enough to tempt the fates and not appreciate a surprise windfall so i'm going to enjoy the brief security of money in the bank. add in a couple big nanny gigs this week and i'm relatively rolling in it this week lol


gross day/new goals

yuck. gross day. nuff said.

in other news...i decided to make a list of goals, mini and long term, for myself. some of those are:
-walk or work out every day for a month
-Woo! Birthday Challenge! lose 22 lbs by my 22nd birthday in november. it might be a bit ambitious, but i'm gonna give it a go.
-complete each level of my Bootcamp DVD

long-term goals
-hit 250 by November 5, 2010 (my 23rd)
-hit 200 by May 5, 2011
-hit 175 by November 5, 2011 (my ulitmate goal)

i think these are decent goals, but i'm not going to be depending my happiness on the number or if i don't make the dates. it's just something to keep in mind and keep me motivated. i would absolutely love to hit my goal before my 25th birthday.

i've got a working list of fun rewards as well including some pampering, clothes, tattoos and other junk i might want real bad at the time lol.


a peek into my recipe collection: Hearty Turkey Chili

~Hearty Turkey Chili~
this recipe is courtesy of WW.com
a big bowl of hot chili is perfect for chilly days. (ha i punned. lol) this recipe is full of chunky veggies and ground turkey and hearty kidney beans.

i'm posting the original recipe, but will also include my own revisions...

Servings: 6 (i usually get 4-5 servings out of it, and i add stuff...so it's up for interpretation)
Prep Time: 25 mins
Cooking Time: 1 hr
Level of Difficulty: Easy and Fast

-cooking spray
-1 tsp canola oil
-1 large onion, chopped
-2 medium garlic cloves, minced (i used 1 tbsp minced jarred garlic)
-2 medium carrots, sliced into rounds ( i like lots and lots of carrots in my chili)
-1 lb lean ground turkey
-2 tbsp chili powder
-1 tbsp paprika
-1 1/2 tsp red pepper flake (i prefer ground to whole)
-1 tsp ground cumin
-2 medium tomatoes, chopped (i use 1 or 2 cans of diced tomatoes)
-1 cup canned tomato sauce
-1 cup canned chicken broth (boullion will also do in a pinch)
-1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
-1 1/2 cup cooked kidney beans, rinsed and drained (i use 2 regular cans of beans)
-1 medium green pepper chopped
(i also add one diced jalepeno pepper)
-salt to taste
-black pepper to taste
-scallions (i leave these off...not really necessary)

-coat a large pot with cooking spray; place over medium heat. add oil and onion; saute onion until soft, about five to seven minutes. add garlic and carrots; cook until garlic is softened, about one minute. add turkey; brown meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks, about five minutes.
-add all other ingredients and bring mixture to a boil. cover, reduce heat and simmer until meat and veggies are tender, about 30 to 45 minutes. season to toaste with salt and pepper. yields about 1 c. per serving.

i made this dish on friday for my brother's last dinner at home until he come's back for break. i served it with a fresh green salad and warm corn muffins. it's a seriously satisfying and filling meal for chilly weather.
for a great twist on corn muffins or corn bread, add 1 cup of frozen or canned corn kernels and 1 cup of creamed corn to two packs of Jiffy corn muffin mix. prepare and bake as directed.



woman shaped/midday musings/tasty new recipe...

i've been thinking a lot lately about our society's obsession with image. now, personally, i don't think there is anything wrong with being image conscious. in today's world, image carries a lot of value. it shouldn't be, but it is. and anyone who says they don't care about the impression they make is lying. but obsessing about body image seems to be a pretty american ideal.

when i was in my early teens i actually thought i was gay because i was so obsessed with the female body. i constantly studied women's bodies and shapes because i was so sure i didn't have a shape. i thought of myself as a blob shape, a big round circle, and at best an oval.

it wasnt until i realized a woman's body is made up of many shapes, and to try and become a cookie cutter woman was impossible, that i did have a woman's body. it was me shaped. i'm made up of a collection of shapes. i'm made up of colors. textures. perfections and flaws. all women are differently shaped, and while we should be celebrating our shapes, improving when we can, and accepting when we can't, we constantly focus on the shapes of other women. not even identical twins have the same exact body. why on earth should we try to force our bodies into someone elses shape? it's crazy.

midday musings

today as it was nearing lunchtime, i started thinking about what i would like to eat. while planning my tasty healthy lunch i remembered eating in the past this amazing macaroni and cheese from a tiny deli in my town. then i started obsessing over it. god it would be so good! macaroni and cheese is one of my favorites. when i make a pot of mac i usually end up scarfing it like a crack addict. it's one thing i've had to keep out of the house. i figure if i really want it, i can go out and buy a single serving.

so when i went to the grocery store to pick up a few things for a recipe i'm making friday night, i decided to get a small container of mac and cheese, instead of getting a whole box. i got home and fixed my plate. i had a spicy tuna salad sandwich, some crunchy potato chips, grapes, and my grocery store prize. i didn't eat it out of the container, i put it in a fancy bowl. visually, it was boring. pale and squishy. it kind of turned me off, but i set the table and sat down to eat. then about halfway through my sandwich and fruit, i noticed with surprise that i hadn't even touched my so-coveted side dish. so i picked up my fork, and scooped up a bite. and found it completely lacking. where was the rush i always felt when i had eaten it before? did it always taste this way? i honestly think it always did. but when i made it a forbidden food in the past, it made it all the more alluring. all the more terribly desirable. i could have laughed at how uninspired i was by it. i make from scratch 1000x better macaroni and cheese.

it was a lunchtime revelation. it was awesome

for dinner i cooked a fabulous, delicious, satisfying meal. i made a perfect, tender venison tenderloin, smashed garlic and herb potatoes, a green salad and crusty french bread. it was so good, and it was a total hit with the fam. i'm going to post for your reading and cooking pleasure, my steak recipe.
Smoky Parmesan Peppercorn Steak Marinade
(everything to taste...i don't do measuring. i go freestyle)
-extra virgin olive oil, enough to coat a decent sized beef or pork tenderloin
-crushed black peppercorns (about 1-2 tsps worth)
-parmesan peppercorn ranch dressing (i hate this on salad but it's good for a lot of other things)
-parsley to taste.

-whisk thoroughly and brush onto meat of choice. coat both sides well. (i usually pierce the meat several times to allow the flavor of the marinade to sink into the meat)
-bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.
-allow to rest for 10-15 minutes and then cut into 1/2 in. slices.
bon apetite mes amis!


jealous of barbie...

i was watching abram and sofia tonight and sofia was in full-on barbie mode. we played and dressed up our barbies and i found myself feeling little green feelings toward ms. mattel. and then i felt totally baffled by even the idea that i was for a second jealous of a plastic doll that had been rescued from under a couch. her hair was ratty and she had whorey plastic make-up. but she's got a great body. her clothes always fit. she's got killer clothes. a bajillion friends. job skills like no one's business...seriously, who can pull off being a pilot and a vet? she's got cars and boyfriends and kids and everything enviable.

and then i remembered. she's not alive. i am. i live and breathe and think and emote. i love and laugh and bitch and date. barbie's got a dream life, because it's made up.

it's so crazy, the things we compare ourselves to. to anorexic models who strain as they paint smiles and features of contentment on their faces. to pictures in magazines that rarely show truth. to flipping barbie dolls.

think of the person you think you would be if you were perfect and thin, how that person would act. how would she treat people around her? how would she treat herself?

now imagine yourself as a woman whose beauty and body are made up of her best and worst qualities. her quirks. her inconsistencies. her complexities.

are they the same person? can we be happy being the women we are?

i think we can. i encourage you to try.


facing fears, fearlessly...

i'm agitated. anxious. terrified. and totally excited.

sunday we went upstate to visit my family. my pap just got out of the hospital for his third heart surgery in the last year and a half. another family member is in the hospital and failing badly. my brother is getting ready to go back to school. a lot of things around me are shaking up. and i'm scared.

my automatic reation to things i'm afraid of is to eat. and eat. and then panic and immediately try and diet. but i've committed myself to taking care of myself and lose weight. hopefully at the same time.

on the way home from altoona we stopped at a chinese buffet for dinner. i was hungry. but i was also terrified. i couldn't control myself. i would eat the whole buffet. then i'd eat the chafing dishes. the crappy plastic chairs. bamboo plants. i'd eat and eat until i'd eaten the world.

but i faced it. i took a plate. browsed the dishes. i chose my favorites. i sat down. i thought about how hungry i was and how good i knew the food would be. how good it looked. i also knew i've got a problem with stuffing myself in this kind of situation. i started to eat quickly, like i was afraid someone would see me eating at a buffet and think i was disgusting. then i started to see other people around me and i thought, god, how disgusting they all are. i stopped tasting the food and started cramming it down as fast as i could.

and then i stopped. i remembered that i was hungry. that there is nothing wrong with feeding your body when it is hungry. that there is nothing wrong with eating food that i like.

i kept flip flopping between confidence and utter fear.

to be honest, i didn't go insane. i didn't eat ten plates of fried rice and lo mein and sweet and sour chicken and egg rolls. but just the thought of accepting that it was ok for me to eat the three fried wontons i got terrified me. but when i looked at what i actually got, there was nothing terribly bad with it. i had white rice, a favorite of mine. i had delicious, crisp, bright green beans. i had a scoop of coconut sauteed shrimp and a scoop of general tsos. everything was tasty and i was satisfied.

i went back for a bit more, even though i wasn't hungry anymore. terror again. i imagined every eye in the restaurant on the fat girl going back for seconds. seconds!? who did i think i was. obviously i didn't need it. good god, how selfish, how disgusting. i imagined the asain waitresses talking about me in a language i can't pretend i can't hear. i walked with my eyes down. i got a plate. got tiny tiny portions, as if i was being judged. that somehow i would trick everyone into thinking i didn't want to pile my plate high.

when i got back to the table and realized i had gotten exactly the amount i wanted. and if i wanted to pile my plate high, i could. but i didn't want to. i wasn't hungry for the amount i got, and i regretted it later when i felt too full for the rest of the night, but it told me something about the way i treat myself and the way i imagine others are thinking of me.

after my chinese buffet freak out, i spent the next few hours in massive anxiety. i needed to go on a diet. STAT. this whole eating what i want is bull. i could lose weight so much faster on weight watchers. i need the structure. i can't be trusted to make my own decisons.

but then...the anxiety went away. i ate what i wanted the next day. i made good choices, because i wanted to, not because i was afraid of gaining weight. i started feeling better. i realized that the structure was what i relied on in the past to take the responsibility off of myself. i needed a second-party disicpline system that required no thought. i realized i could handle this myself. i realized this because i can feel how great i feel inside. it may not be as noticeable on the outside, but i'm taking care of myself. i'm taking care of my body, nourishing it, loving it with the way i treat it. over the past few weeks i've felt so amazing.

but the fear is still there. the fear that i'll fail. that i'll sabotage everything. that i'll stay fat forever. my judgements on myself and my projected judgements from the people around me at the restaurant on sunday were a reflection of my inner anger and fear. it translated itself into a familiar scene and reaction. but instead of letting that be the end of it, i'm facing it. i'm letting myself experience the fear and anger and anxiety and dealing with it without food. sometimes it's easier to deal with after a binge. i'm ok with that too. but i'm acknowledging the binge. i'm storing in my mind the situations and triggers that send me to the fridge, or the store in a blind panic. i'm giving myself the tools to deal with my emotions the next time. i can make a conscious decision do try and heal with food or i can make a decison to take a time-out and deal. and it's empowering. to know i am in control with how i deal with situaitons and emotions that would normally incapacitate me. i am strong. i am amazing.

this ride...its exhilerating. and terrifying. :)