In which I tackle New Year’s Resolutions.

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[Photo from my Christmas vacation!] Morning, C. Louise! Thanks for the delicious enchilada dinner this weekend — the salad on the side makes them healthy, right? In any case, I had a fabulous time and you better let me host the next (impromptu) dinner party! I’m thinking lamb stew and crusty bread. Or maybe chili and cornbread. Whatever.

Onward, march: Last night I got to thinking quite a bit about 2008, what I did (or didn’t) do. My highs, my lows. How I felt, if I grew, what I learned, what I wanted, and how that changed. C.L., 2008 was a CRAZY year for me. It wasn’t all good, but it sure was eventful. I rarely make New Year’s Resolutions, but there’s something about the concept of a ‘fresh start’ that is really appealing to me this time around. Reinvention, reconception, reimagining who we can — and want — to be is kind of what this blog is all about, right? At least in some way. Or at least, the idea of being the best version of ourselves.

That being said, there are some resolutions that I’m going to try out and flex my Commitment Muscles. I obviously can’t do them all at once, all the time, but instead maybe I’ll pick a certain week to focus on one, and see how it works.

1. Join morning yoga class. (This so did not work in 2008.)

2. Take more short walks while at work. (I hate sitting at a desk for 8-10 hours a day.)

3. Cook more meals at home, spend less money out eating.

4. Call my parents more.

5. DRINK LESS. (This will be really tough. So maybe I’ll just amend it to: “Drink less beer.”)

6. Write more about music, listen to more music. (This one will be easy.)

7. Think less about my weight, and more about how I feel about my weight. (This will be the hardest one; I already broke it this weekend when I bought a scale and spent 2 hours being depressed about the number in the little window.)

8. Spend more time with Cheddar Chap and Cheese Louise!! ❤

Happy Winter Solstice

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Today marks the Winter Solstice, otherwise known as the “shortest” day of the year. It’s grey and severe and chilly outside, unforgiving but also beautiful, in its own kind of harsh way. I was catching up on my reading and found this thoughtful meditation on winter, slowing down, cooking, and stillness. It’s lovely and inspirational, in a subtle way, I think. A small portion below, to guide us on our dietary adventures:

“In the Northern Hemisphere, today is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, a time of deep rest that is sacred to all living things and necessary to life. As a culture, we push against this darkness with celebration and light, busyness and bustle. This is fine, essential even, but there is wisdom to be discovered in the slumbering dark, in allowing the brightness to fade and the quiet to prevail.

The natural world is resting, the seeds and roots of our future harvest are chilled and dormant, alive but not actively growing. For humans, while it’s rare to be as still and silent as a dormant seed in winter, it is possible to experience deep quietness. A walk in the woods has moments of stillness, but it’s also conceivable to find it on a crowded bus or in a busy market. It can be as simple as pausing in the middle of a busy moment, or finding the time to stop and sit quietly for a few minutes. This quiet waiting is often mistaken as passivity but it’s not always that simplistic. Stillness can be quite dynamic and powerful if we engage with it wholeheartedly and without agenda. Equally important, from stillness, we rise into activity. In the kitchen, we engage in the preparations for the feast, surrounded by the rich, complex flavors of winter foods. The kitchen is full of the sound of chopping knives and sizzling onions. The air is scented with the warm spice of cinnamon, clove, cardamon. There are nuts to be ground, meats to roast, and winter fruits to pile into a big bowl: oranges and all citrus, pomegranates, persimmons, dates. The oven is put to constant use, it’s warmth steaming up the windows and spilling out into the rest of the house. The smells of the feast mingle with the scent of piney boughs, beeswax candles, peppermint and the perfumes of visiting friends and relatives. It’s a time to pause for a moment, take stock and appreciate: we are sheltered, well-fed and loved. We are blessed.”

Via the Kitchn. I’m really going to miss you over Christmas break, C.L.!

Pensively staring into coffee mug,

M.M. xo

Note to self: Eat dinner.

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Hey C. Louise! How’s your weekend going?

This weather has been such a big bummer and only one thing happens when it gets this cold (at least for me): I want to snuggle up, stay in, nap, drink beers, and eat salty food. Oh wait that is totally not different from any other night.

I’ve had a pretty weird (weird = bad) week of eating. I think I’ve nailed a big problem for me, so I have the diagnosis. Now I just need a cure. I tend to skip dinner, drink a lot, and binge-eat in the middle of the next day. I was chatting with The Boy about it this morning (couched in a slightly less pathetic way) and he says that if you eat small portions throughout the day, then your metabolism speeds up and you won’t feel so hungover. Then again, he’s 5’11 and about 140lbs and can eat whatever the hell he wants.

For me, I do exactly the opposite. For example: after our fun night on Thursday (of which I had all of zero dinner), I passed out, woke up, got sick, skipped breakfast, and was RAVENOUS by 2pm, at which point I hit up my favorite Indian buffet and had two ginormous plates of curried lentils, basmati rice, naan, and other savoury delectables. Then I went out at night, skipped dinner, drank too much wine, woke up feeling like ass. Repeat as needed.

Lord, C.L., we need to eat dinner more together because I need someone to remind me to eat healthy and at night, so I don’t binge the next day! It’s a vicious cycle and one that I want to put a stop to.

We should start brainstorming New Year’s Resolutions. Do you have any yet, C.L.?

Me love you long time,

M.M.

grease my arteries, please?

perusing my swath of blogs this morning, i happened up THIS on dlisted.  enjoy!

julia child & dirt juice

i am horrible with surprises!  therefore, cheddar chap has already received a few christmas gifts. a subscription to dwell and two cookbooks: julia child’s the french chef cookbook (wonderful action shots from the early 60s) and cajun-creole cooking…actually wait. while typing this, i also told him about the subscription to architectual record.  oops : )  cheddie responded by letting me know that he got me a two year sub to BUST!  yay!  so sweet.

two days in a row, now, i’ve hit the gym hard. feeling like i’ve caught my stride again. well, today, after a satisfying workout, i hit up the gym rat snack shack for a juice. i thought why not get my serving of fruits and vegetables in cup?! i ordered the “beetnik”… beets, apple and carrots.  mmmm mmmm mmmm, me thought.  but noooooooo.  if you go to my gym, please do not order this cup of dirt juice!  yes, this magenta concoction tasted like it was ladeled from the earth!  i watched as my blender girl put dirty, unwashed carrots into the juicer.  i thought that stems, roots and seeds would just result in juicy goodness.  heed my advice: wash your fruits and veggies before blending! 

i’ll post some pictures later.

time for a tuna sandwich!  and a coors light – it is 2pm after all.

love,

cheese louisa may alcott : )

i’m back…

thanks for holding down the fort, m.m., while i’ve been m.i.a.!!!!  i came off a long weekend of funeral induced reunions, end of semester recouping and work.  but i’m back!

i had horrible eating habits during this time; although, i did enjoy the 5 white castle burgers (they’re little) and pizza rolls! ; ) last night, the fun continued with pizza and wings!  however, last night i got a full 9 and half hours of sleep! woke up a bit after 7, made some tea (i’m off coffee), read news, journaled, chatted with cheddar chap… i feel so good, and it’s barely 9am! i’ll be heading to the gym shortly, followed by a day of grading papers.

i feel slightly over-caffeinated…in a good way. is this contributing to my happiness? i don’t know. but, m.m., i can’t wait to hug you!

love,

cheese louise : )

To snack or not to snack?

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It’s true: I’m a huge snacker. I think that accounts for most of my weight gain — I just can’t stop! Snack, snack, snack. I even like the word “snack.” Snackies. But how to stop? Or how to choose healthy snacks? Not to mention something relatively inexpensive! One option that I go for is small-portioned leftovers, but more often than not, it’s a million times easier to just buy something. I’m pretty sure I give Oasis grocery like 60% of my salary, because they have the best snack-sized foods ever. I like buying soups in the smallest size (around $2.50), day-old bagels ($.50), bottles of juice ($2.20) and prepackaged foods from their deli counters. Today, I bought penne with sundried tomatoes and capers ($1.19). Cheap, healthy(-ish), and delicious.

C.L., I hope to hear from you soon! IMY!

Love & Rockets,

M.M.