January 25, 2015
Let’s just start this post by saying that i’m eating this as I write. It is arguably the best breakfast i’ve ever made in my entire life. Homemade migas with leftover carnitas.
Disclaimer: This is my personal, not self-aggrandizing, account of what it’s been like to become a slightly less fat person.
1. Nothing to Wear – I have really great clothes, and I love them. I spend my free time organizing The Big Fat Flea, because I think that access to great, affordable, plus size clothing is really important politically and personally. I treasure my clothes because finding fantastic pieces at my size is a challenge. Like Johnny Cash, i’ve put this wardrobe together one piece at a time (ok, actually none of the clothes are stolen). I’ve painstakingly peicemealed together a closet full of fringe and faux-leather and men’s sweaters and crushed velvet and non-mom denim. And now, a lot of it doesn’t fit. I never would have guessed that the feeling of putting on too-tight jeans is just as bad as too-loose jeans. As a quick fix, i’ve started putting together bags of my best clothes for a clothing swap at my place next month. I want someone great to love on these clothes like I have, and maybe i’ll walk away with another pair of pants that fits so I can give these poor jeans a rest.
2. Proud? - On Friday I hit a big milestone number of pounds down. My nutritionist asked me if I was proud of myself. I kind of just stammered. I didn’t feel especially proud. It’s kind of like when Bubs is getting clean on the last season of The Wire and he’s like, “I don’t know why i’m getting rewarded for doing the shit I should have done all along”. But then I found myself tearing up at dance class that night. I am proud that i’ve gotten to a place where i’m at a dance class on Friday night and not at a bar or eating a whole pizza (I actually still love those things, and i’m sure there will be times that’s what I need). I feel proud that I can make it through two hours of crunches, jumping, and shaking my ass so hard without dying. I feel proud that i’m in a place where I know what I need, and I prioritize that. The REALLY complicated part is whether or not it’s “okay” to be proud of the scale number. My value is so much more than a weight, and I believe that for me, and for you, and for everyone else. But what if it felt kind of good to see that number dip? Would that mean I was a less of a fat activist? Or less body-positive? Or less of myself? Or is is just my literal mass that is less? I don’t really have an answer to any of those questions except to say I feel more like myself than I have in a long time.
3. Control + Body Love – Did you know that weight loss is in no way like photo shop? I basically have no say as to how my body changes as i’m loosing weight. The body that i’ve been in all my life is changing a lot, and pretty quickly, and that is weird. Every day is another chance to be psyched about my body or not that psyched about my body. I jumped really high (relatively, for me) and I watched it happened in a full length mirror and I was like, “HAY LOOK AT THAT! GREAT JOB BODY”. But I also noticed the other day that my arms look kind of deflated and not like my regular arms and that made me feel weird. This is a big deal, because fat arm acceptance was a big moment for me. I know that this is a narrative that is not just mine, and is a big deal for lots of awesome fat broads. I wore cardigans all summer long over my dresses until I was 22. And then I worked outside in fields all the time and it was too hot to do that so I cut all the sleeves off of all my shirts because I couldn’t keep giving a fuck. And then I got a huge tattoo on my big fat upper arm because I wanted to and I needed to so that I wouldn’t ever go back to covering them up. I’ve realized that I get to say how my body looks and how I feel about it. I even met with a personal trainer so that I could gain some kind of control about how this goes. (I knew it was a good fit because I told him my goal weight was still FAT and he understood.) I want my ass to stay big so i’m doing squats. I want an upper body that feels (and looks) strong so i’m learning my way around a weight room. My body my choice, na’meen?
Come back next time to hear about food policing, identity, me feeling like a weirdo in restaurants.
December 14, 2014
Disclaimer: This is a super personal account of 2014 for me. Since August i’ve lost 30 pounds and am learning a lot about what it means to actually take care of myself. This is how I got here. The below is about me and my experience, I don’t think you need to loose 30 pounds (unless you feel like it), I think you look great. I am still fat and will, in all likelihood, be fat always. There are no “before” and “after” photos because my body was fine before and it will be fine no matter what, because it’s mine and it gets me around this earth and helps me eat snacks and wear clothes and pet dogs.
I spent the first half of 2014 feeling like complete dog shit. At the very beginning of the year I went through a bad break-up and more than my fair share of personal trauma, but the real tipping point was having two (in retrospect, totally shitty) health care professionals refuse to give me anesthesia due to my height/weight ratio. To wit, that awful experience was the only time that my weight has negatively impacted me, ever.
Instead of dealing with any of the goings on of last winter, I threw myself into 70 hour tax season work weeks, ate a lot of takeout, and on my one night out per week drank until I got sick and had to lay on the couch the whole next day (eating more takeout). It wasn’t great. I gained about 15 pounds pretty quickly. I stopped exercising. I felt sluggish and crummy.
I had a bunch of totally un-fat related little illnesses come up – a gross skin infection, and what was probably a round of mild listeria, and I needed to get checked out. After my garbage experience with the anesthesiologists, I found myself paralyzed by trying to find a new doctor. It’s one of the most anxiety inducing things i’ve done in recent memory. But I asked around, finally found a new GP, and made an emergency appointment.
The day of my appointment was late in July, and it was totally gross outside. I lugged myself up the sticky subway stairs and up 14th street to the dilapidated “real New York” waiting room of my new GP and just stood there, tapping my foot and trying not to sweat on anything. When I finally met the doctor, it was like a mirage. He was handsome and funny and a godamned micro-farmer. We clicked really hard and he laughed at all my nervous jokes. He took my blood pressure, had the nurse take some blood samples, gave me antibiotics, and asked me if there was anything else bothering me.
That’s when I lost it. There I was, in the tiny office of a complete stranger, bawling. It was the first time I really talked about how shitty my experience with the other doctor’s had been, and how shitty I felt, and how I felt uncomfortable for the very first time in my body. I felt like the skin infection on my inner thighs and the bout of stomach issues I had been having were just gross reactions to being at my heaviest weight ever. He assured me that they had nothing to do with my weight, and that I was, on paper, a completely healthy person. He told me that if I wasn’t comfortable, and I wasn’t feeling well, and I wanted to make a change, he could put me in touch with a nutritionist to try to see if there was anything she could do. He understood my background, and promised not to set me with up a “rah-rah aspartame” nutritionist. He didn’t tell me I was going to die. He didn’t tell me I needed weight loss surgery. He just helped me help myself. It sucks that I feel GRATEFUL that a doctor did right by my fat self, rather than that being the standard operating procedure.
So I did it. It was TERRIFYING but after one session I knew I was doing the right thing. Beth is a MS, RDN, CSSD and probably the sweetest woman I have ever met. We did a two week reset during which I didn’t have any sugar, or complex carbs, or booze. I thought I would die but I didn’t. I thought I would be grumpy as fuck, but I wasn’t. She called me on how much I was drinking, and I was honest with a health care professional for the first time about just how much I was drinking. It was a lot. And it was fucking with my life. I was saying shit I didn’t mean or remember, and I was not showing up for my friends, and I was wasting a whole day a week being hungover. She told me that I needed to limit myself to 5 drinks a week. Hard rule. And i’ve been (mostly) doing that, and it’s insane to me that i’ve been doing that.
Since then we’ve met every two weeks. She’s become like a therapist, a sounding board, someone to share recipes with, and someone who helps me not take this shit so seriously. She laughs and nods that I tell her my fitness goals include “just being more Sporty Spice” or when I bitch about quinoa. I can’t imagine doing all of this without her. She knows that this isn’t just a numbers game, it’s about changing my fucking life, and figuring out what makes me feel good. She doesn’t let me beat up on myself, and she talks me through all of the shit that is weird about being a body-positive fat person becoming less fat. (More on that later.)
It clicked for me when I went away camping for a week a few weeks after our first meeting. The trip is really the highlight of my year, and it’s usually reallllllly boozy and we eat a lot of hot dogs. Like, a lot. This year something changed. My best pal came prepared with a bunch of healthy snacks. We brought swim fins and did long swims or hikes every morning. We ate salads (and some s’mores, of course), and had a bourbon before bed, but it wasn’t WILD and that was fine. It was more than fine, it was GREAT. I came back to work feeling renewed instead of kind of beat up. That was the point of no return.
So here I am. I feel pretty awesome. All of this learning how to take care of myself has really spiraled into all the other non-food related parts of my life. My skin looks good. I still see my friends and they still like me (I think.) I have a bagel every now and then and it’s cool. I feemore in control of my shit than I ever have. I am killing it at work – i’m more focused and more productive. I’m going to get a dog. I’m not dating just to date – not taking any bullshit from tepid suitors.
I feel like a clearer version of myself. I feel pretty happy. I feel a lot of things ALL THE TIME because i’m not suppressing that shit under work or bread or wine. I want to be able to swim a mile. I want to rip a fucking phonebook in half. I mean, who knows what’s going to happen, but for now, I feel good. And that’s good enough.
My basic plan:
I track everything I eat, and eat around 1,600 calories a day.
I exercise 5 times a week. In the Summer/Fall that was a mostly swimming. Now it’s African dance and Couch to 5k training.
I eat whole grains (but not whole grain bread) at breakfast or lunch only.
I drink 5 or fewer alcoholic drinks a week.
I drink a boatload of water.
I get two deviation meals a week that can be whatever I want/need. (Yesterday’s was a cheesesteak.)
October 15, 2014
I don’t know how professional cooks eat.
Seriously, aside from shoving a few eggplant donuts in my maw, and tasting a few things before they went out, I hardly ate this weekend as I prepped for our Supper Club.
There was a moment, a few hours before the event, that I called and begged Kate to bring us anything to eat that wasn’t what we were serving. The three of us then housed sesame bagels from Dunkin Donuts standing up because that’s what was closest. (I am actually remembering it tasting awesome, but i’m sure I would have eaten pretty much anything in that moment.)
This is about 1/8 of the chard I prepped.
You’d think after spending the entire weekend shopping, chopping, and cooking that I would want to not do any of those things for a while. BUT you would be wrong, because there must be something wrong with me. I found myself so, so HUNGRY and needing my own food. And to do that, i’d need to do the shopping/chopping/cooking.
The event was on Sunday, which threw off my farmer’s market/groceria game plan. I found myself getting out of my nutritionist’s appointment by 4pm, and got the green light to head home after work just after. I thought, “OH, I can go to Trader Joe’s before everyone gets out of work and everything will be quiet and beautiful.”
Obviously that was not the case. At any rate! I found that I had some goods like beans, eggs, and tomato sauce left from last week AND i’ll be out of town this weekend, so I felt like I was able to go for a couple more spendy items that will last a few weeks. I clocked in just under $50 for the following:
+ yellow miso
+ brussels sprouts
+ spaghetti squash
+ acorn squash
+ 2 sweet potatoes
+ crimini mushrooms
+ canned pumpkin
+ bagged arugula
+ bagged kale
+ parmesan cheese
+ greek yogurt
+ organic ground beef
+ chicken sausage
+ canned tuna
+ bolognese with spaghetti squash
+ pumpkin quinoa cakes
+ mushroom parmesan quinoa cakes
+ roast veggies with miso dressing
+ brussels sprout hash with eggs and sausage
October 15, 2014
I cooked a bunch of tasty stuff last week! Good fall food!
On Sunday I made a pot of SAWCE and turkey meatballs to ladle over spaghetti squash.
And then I put on my finest mesh crop top and rode my bike over to go see Sinkane and Helado Negro which was pretty much great. The air was crisp and there were tinsel dancers and Tecate. I’ve had the below on repeat pretty much since then.
Other tasty things I made:
+ Brussels Sprout Hash with fried eggs and amazing beet sausages from The Meat Hook (these were gifted to me, so back off.)
+ Coconut Curry!
+ This boss pantry salad with chickpeas, tuna, chili, lemon, shredded carrot, and kale
+ AND the winner of the week was definitely this pureed golden cauliflower that I set a tiny steak on top of. I just steamed a half a head of cauliflower, and whizzed it up with a pad of butter, salt, pepper and garlic. I may or may not have licked my plate.
So then after that I worked with two amazing ladies to shop, prep, and cook a seated dinner for 18 people! And also snacks for like 20 bar guest.
It was amazing and exhausting. This menu, a take on a classic north east Sunday supper using Middle Eastern flavors, really pushed us to explore the city and put our fingers in spice bins. It was really great. I teared up as I set the tables because everything looked so godamned beautiful. I was pretty much too busy to take and pictures, but look upon these gorgeous pickles we made!
My absolute favorite were the carrots, pickled with cinnamon and cardamom.
October 5, 2014
I spend so much time dreading the end of summer (and tomatoes) and then all of a sudden I wake up and it’s actually Fall and it’s so godamned good. I wore tights for the first time, begrudgingly, but then realized how much better my fall wardrobe is than my summer attire of tiny jorts. This morning I got up early and went for a long walk in my hood. The air was crisp, and I wore a favorite jacket and stopped after grocery shopping for a big ol’ latte. I saw my first dog sweater of the season and crunched some leaves. In the middle of writing this, I tried to take my A/C unit out of the window, but stopped, because my neighbors are on their porch and I don’t want to kill them. Good stuff, all around.
My grocery shop and meal planning for the week is definitely reflecting the change in weather. Feeling psyched to make lots of roasty, warm food this week.
+ Cheapo Pro: At the farmer’s market, pretty frequently, for ease of sale, items are priced ‘each’ rather than by the pound. I went hard at grabbing the hugest ‘each’ available this week. Greed is good.
+ Cheapo Con: Ok, this is probably the saddest single lady sentence of all time but WHY CAN’T I GET A TINY LITTLE POT ROAST FOR ONE?! I was craving a classic pot roast all week, with carrots and potatoes and wine! But the littlest ones were still $12, and I can’t eat pot roast for like 3 meals this week. Can I? I can’t. I settled for tiny steaks instead.
WHERE MY $50 WENT:
+ Farmer’s Market-
-1 HUGE head of golden cauliflower.
-1 HUGE head of red Russian kale
-1 Orange Pepper
-1 Dozen Eggs
-1 large zuchini
-1 little spaghetti squash
-1 little delicata squash
-1 big handful of green beans
-2 little sweet potatoes
-1 bag of brussels sprouts
-1 big carrot
– 1 head lettuce
-3 cans of beans (butter, black, chick peas)
-1 can of coconut milk
-1 bag of onions
-2 cans of tuna
-1 pound of hormone free ground turkey
-2 tiny steaks
-1 large can of crushed tomatoes
– 2 lemons
WHERE MY $50 IS GOING:
– a big pot of coconut curry with sweet potatoes, green beans, peppers
– turkey flax meatballs with kale, chickpeas, and spaghetti squash
– tiny steaks with cauliflower mash, caramelized onions, roasted brussels sprouts
– Nicoise salads for lunch
– Brown rice zucchini boats
– Baked Apples with honey, cinnamon, cashews
October 4, 2014
I’m eating my delicious post-yoga breakfast in front of my rainy window writing this after having survived my first week on this $50 grocery budget experiment. I don’t know why more people don’t eat fried rice for breakfast, it’s awesome.
Mostly, it was awesome and easier than I thought.
+ I actually ate everything I bought! There are relatively no wilting vegetables in my fridge, and i’ve got just enough leftovers for dinner tonight.
+ I spent seriously less cash than usual.
+ I ate way more home cooked food than usual.
+ I realized that making due with what I have is a fun challenge, even if it sometimes feels like settling. Like, these zucchini pancakes would have been better if I had stopped off for a $9 wedge of Parmesan cheese to grate in, but they were totally delicious without that.
+ All those food bloggers who have their shit together and swear by Sunday meal prep are totally dead on. Coming home to a bunch of half started meals seriously took the pressure off.
CAVEATS + ADDITIONAL SPENDING:
+ WINE! How did I not budget this in. Whatever. I need wine to live. I’m giving myself a $20 budget for this a week. I spent $18 on a perfectly delicious 2011 Bordeaux this week and braised beef with it and drank the rest.
+ Chocolate. Sorry, not sorry. I needed this. It was $3.49.
+ Meals out. I had one lunch and one dinner out. Which feels pretty good for someone who was doing way more than that previously. I think that’s a general rule i’ll try to keep. I spent $32 on those.
+ Sometimes eating leftovers sucks, no matter how good they were the first time around.
+ I didn’t really think about how eating chili for four days in a row would effect my guts/butt. I’m eating a lot of beans and veggies these days so, i’m feeling jet propelled.
+ I’ve had some kind of monster sinus thing all week, so sometimes I really just wanted a bowl of hot spicy thai takeout for dinner instead of cooking.
WHAT I MADE:
+ Chili with turkey, beans, sweet potato
+ Salad with olives, hard boiled eggs, tomato (2)
+ Braised beef with onions over roasted butternut squash
+ Garlic roasted brussels sprouts
+ Kale and eggs
+ Roasted chicken thighs with kale, chickpeas, wine, mustard
+ Fried rice with broccoli, peppers, egg
+ Zucchini Pancakes with spicy paprika tomato sauce, egg
(This was absolutely the best thing I made all week!)
1 large zucchini, grated, salted, and squeezed (like really, really squeezed)
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 clove grated garlic
salt and pepper
Mix that batter together (it will look loose) and shallow fry in oil of your choice. I just plopped big teaspoons, and then flattened them with the back of my spatula.
I cooked some crushed tomatoes down with vinegar, paprika, and chiles, and put the cakes right on top. And then on top of that a crispy fried egg, because duh.
September 28, 2014
I am lucky enough to have a great, tiny farmer’s market 2 blocks from my new digs in a little park. It’s quiet and full of good dogs. No one is reaching over you for squash. There are ice pops, and good meat, and flowers, and organic veggies. It’s on a Sunday, and it’s made my Lord’s days really awesome.
There’s something awesome about the potential energy of a big bag of produce. Like endless possibilities for the week ahead. I spend the rest of Sunday afternoon tidying the kitchen and cooking and prepping food for the week and listening to nineties hip hop. It’s a great ritual.
Except, sometimes, like with anything great, I have a tendency to over do it. And then i’ve spent $90 and I have a house full of wilting flowers and a bunch of squash shriveling up in the crisper that I didn’t quite get to.
So, i’ve challenged myself to spend $50 on Sunday and that’s it. No popping into the fancy bodega for a few ingredients I missed on Wednesday. Just me, my $50, and a pretty well stocked pantry. (Pantry includes: cooking oils, bulk grains and nuts, and a pretty well stocked spice rack.) I aim to have lunches and dinners all set for the week. Breakfast is usually a yogurt or some oatmeal at my desk.
Full disclosure: I am going on about 8 weeks of working with a nutritionist. I am (mostly) avoiding processed food, including processed wheat products. Also, not eating thing with >10 grams of sugar.
Here’s where my $50 went this week:
FROM THE FARMER’S MARKET:
– a head of broccoli
– two orange peppers
– 3 onions
– 1 head of garlic
– 1 bunch of kale
– 2 little bunches of tatsoi
– 1 big zuchini
– 2 little sweet potatoes
-1 medium butternut squash
– 1 bunch of pink dahlias
– mixed salad greens
– brussels sprouts
– 5 apples
– 1/2 dozen eggs
– 3/4 pound of grass fed stew meat
– two tomatoes
FROM THE GROCERIA:
– greek yogurt
– 3 cans of beans
– 2 big cans of fire roasted crushed tomatoes
– organic chicken thighs
– ground turkey
– 3 bottles of seltzer
– ice cream bars (fuck off, ok?)
– soy noodles
– 2 lemons
Geez. Typing that out and seeing it makes me realize that’s a ton of food, and I feel awesome about that.
MEAL PLAN FOR THE WEEK:
– a big pot of chili with turkey, beans, and sweet potatoes
– braised beef with roasted butternut squash, kale
– roasted chicken thighs with tatsoi, fried brown rice
– shaved brussels sprouts salad with apple, lemon
– salads w/ hardboiled eggs, tomato, olives
– eggs with zucchini pancakes
September 20, 2014
Yeah, it’s been a while. You know how it goes. So many things happened! Like, the worst winter of my life! Seriously, that shit was whack.
But, the spring and summer were better.
I moved! To a great little railroad apartment in the still Polish part of Greenpoint. I immediately ripped apart the entire tiny kitchen and reorder it to my liking. It’s sunny and small.
I ate a lot of good food. Some that I made. Some that my friends made. Not a lot that stranger’s made. I ate this food on the beach and on lakes and around my new dining room table. Some that a private chef made while he listened to a table full of women talk serious trash. My best friend got married and I catered cocktails and sides for a hundred people.
I started taking care of myself. Like, seriously. I finally figured out that my love of swimming translates into real physical activity. I started swimming laps at a public pool overwhich the sun rose. I’m starting to get neck muscles. I’m drinking less and sleeping more. I’m working with a nutritionist. After six months of feeling so, so bad, i’ve started to feel so, so good. And if i’m being honest, it’s the first time in my life that it doesn’t feel like a phase.
As the summer ended I moved the laps indoors to a beautiful 1920’s bath house. My best mornings involve a swim, a Blue Bottle coffee, and a ferry ride across the East River. I will be able to swim a mile by next summer, mark my chlorinated words.
February 20, 2013
As of the publishing of this post, i’m halfway through my 21 day adventure in abstinence! I’m alive! And fairly well, I must say. I only cheated once, when I drank a tiny tin cup masala tea with milk in it, because I didn’t have the heart to send it back!
I wanted to check in, and give you all some of my more successful recipes for tasty vegan grub!
Mind. Ok. I wasn’t really prepared for the caffeine headaches. I will say that. I likely should have weened myself off instead of going cold turkey. I had gorgeous blood orange tea while a friend drank a flat white, and I wanted one so bad! Also, I formally disagree with anyone who has suggested there is some kind of mental acuity associated with hunger. I miss things (good bread and cheese seem to top the list), but that’s to be expected, and I spent about 45 minutes salivating over the St. Anselm menu yesterday. But going without has helped me realize that I should stick to eating the best bread and cheese if I love it so much, which doesn’t include deli egg and cheese sandwiches on hard rolls. Dealing with the stress of work and life without a glass of bourbon (or four) to come home to has been a challenge, one that i’m better off for attempting. I am astounded at how productive I can be in a weekend sans-hangover.
I made myself these avocado chocolate mousses to celebrate making it through my first week!
Recipe, here, except I used unsweetened chocolate.
I’m lucky to have a cohort in cleansing, Ms. Katie Hards, who has been great! Supportive without taking this ish too seriously!
BODY. I seriously feel awesome. I have a crazy awesome amount of energy. I’ve been moving more – from walking home from work to taking dance classes. Samba this Saturday was really a blast. It was fun, and a serious workout shaking it to live drummers for an hour and a half. My pants fit better, and it seems like I lost about 8 pounds in the first 10 days, which is crazy.Also, my skin looks fantastic.
WALLET: In Week One alone I saved $50 by bringing my lunch every day, and an estimated $120 on bar tabs. BUT there is a definite time cost incurred to prep all that delicious grub.(This is a huge problem I have with the USDA’s Thrifty Food Plan. Eating cheap AND healthy can be seriously time consumptive. Luckily, I really like doing it. Getting my mis-on is serious therapy for me after a long day behind a computer. I also spent more on groceries than usual, and got a mani/pedi on Saturday, because, duh, TREAT YO SELF.
CULTCHA: I’ve been trying to keep busy, but work is kind of starting to get a little crazy town, so I don’t have as much free-time as I thought I did. I saw Toro Y Moi with Wild Belle on Valentine’s Day with my favorite lady, who made me a great dinner. Going to a concert sober was pretty interesting. I was able to stand right up front because I wasn’t concerned with being near a bar! The dance classes count as culture, right?
The Grub. Ok, so my cookin’ has been on point! I ususally have a green juice or oatmeal for breakfast, a salad or leftovers for lunch, and then concentrate on making myself really nice dinners. Here are two especially good ones, with recipes! You’ll notice that they have a lot of the same ingredients, cause I made a huge pot of black beans and a big bowl of cashew cream last week!
Click through for recipes!
February 14, 2013
Everything you ever read on the internets about starting a cleanse revolves around getting prepared, about easing into it, about getting your guts and mind ready to start this elimination endeavor.
You prepare your way, Gwyneth Paltrow, i’ll prepare my way, ok?
How did I prepare to take three weeks off from booze, coffee, meat, and dairy? I ate and drank all those things, in the best combinations ever, with the best possible company. My pre-cleanse weekend was pretty fantastic.
Let me elaborate:
Friday: As Nemo threatened to blizzard all over everything, I was able to scoot out of work early and somehow throw together a last-minute dinner party. My friend Kate, who is mentioned here probably too frequently, says that if “Speed-Entertaining” were an Olympic sport, i’d be GOLDEN. She and her beau, Kevin, who happens to be an incredibly generous wine representative, trudged through the snow with a few other friends to eat homemade chicken pot pie and imbibe on Kevin’s AMAZING leftover wine from tastings that day. We ate, and drank, and laughed, and watched all of these amazing videos of Nina Simone. My favorites were from the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival.
Saturday: There must be something to the theory that good wine does not give one a hangover, because after the serious wine-o session mentioned above, I managed to peel myself from bed, grab a latte, and get to Central Park before 10 am – before the throngs of sledders and their parents. I walked around for a few hours, in sheer wonder of how beautiful and quiet the few inches of snow had made everything. It was glorious. People were smiling at one another. I SAW NUNS SLEDDDDDDDING. The sky got big and blue, and the sun got warm.
Ok, Saturday was the only day I actually did anything to prepare for the week-ahead. I dropped a hundo at Fairway on fruits, veggies, bagged beans, whole grains, and pantry staples like olive oil, cider vinegar, etc. I also cleaned the shit out of my fridge! AND reorganized my spices, and finally put them in their proper homes – these adorable little glass containers that have been in my pantry for six months!
Sunday: I ate tacos for breakfast. Smoked meat tacos. Two kinds. I met an old (great) friend at Briskettown for brisket and pork belly tacos, and what felt like endless cups of Blue Bottle coffee in great enamel mugs. Good food, good chat. Then I drank a million big beers in a big sunny room, with a big group of good looking people I adore. I tasted all of their sausages. Last hurrah, GO!
So, now that i’m three days in, caffeine headache in FULL EFFECT, would I have done anything differently to prepare?
Yeah. Getting home Monday night at 7:30, HANGRY, to a refrigerator and pantry full of whole foods that needed real prep to get turned into dinner stressed me out a little bit. My go-to move would be to eat a half a baguette while dinner was cooking. This was not an option! I ate a few almonds, drank a big glass of water and went to town prepping not only dinner for that night, but staples for the rest of the week, as to not put myself in that hanger-pickle again.
I’m going to post some recipe highlights from Week 1 this weekend, but quickly, let me just say that this huge pot of black beans has been the tastiest, saviest experiment this week. Don’t tell anyone this, but I buy canned beans, usually. I know – dried are cheaper, and more delicious, but they take forever. I rarely plan that far in advance, but I thought this would be my chance to experiment. SO I tried this no-soak recipe from The Kitchn. AMAZING. A bag of beans, covered with water, 1/2 an onion, some garlic, and some cumin cooked in a dutch oven for an hour and a half, and then BOOM- BEANS FOR DAYS. My whole house smelled amazing, might I add.
ALSO you can get nightly photos of my dinners over on my Instagram.
Or follow my tweets, which are the most positive after breakfast, and whiniest around 5 pm when the caffeine headaches are the worst!