Tag Archives: cooking

#WEverb12: CREATE

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16. replicate [CREATE]: What were you inspired to create/make this year based on something else? (i.e. a pin from pinterest, recipe from a friend, etc.)

Well, I am a hardcore Pinterest ADDICT!  I try to actually make a lot of the things I pin.  The one craft idea I tried so far didn’t work out so well (a DIY cut-away workout shirt) but a lot of the recipes I’ve made have been great.  I made this whole board called “It’s Good!  Make it Again!” based on my Pinterest successes.

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#WEverb12: LIVE

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6. cook [LIVE]: What was your best recipe/dish of the year? Share it!

Man, this is HARD!  I love cooking and baking and I try new recipes all the time.  I don’t know if I can pick only one…

pesto summer squash

Ok, maybe I can.  This Pesto-Topped Grilled Summer Squash was THE BOMB DOT COM and made several appearances in our menu this summer.  It was my first time making homemade pesto and OH MY GOODNESS it was amazing.  Like, I wanted to eat the whole bowl with a spoon.  I think the smell of basil is my favorite smell in the world; I could just inhale it all day!  The delicious, fresh, homemade pesto on top of some simple summer squash or zucchini sauteed in olive oil is TO. DIE. FOR.  (Click the picture for the recipe.)

Veggie Vendetta

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I’m about to tell you something you might find shocking.  But hold onto your hats, because our wedding is going to be a….

That’s right folks!  I am a longtime vegetarian and Zach rarely eats meat nowadays.  So we won’t be serving anything that used to breathe and have eyeballs at our wedding.  I think a lot of our non-vegetarian friends and family members are surprised we’re doing this.  But really, even if we were hiring a caterer, I wouldn’t want to pay for people to eat in a way I don’t believe in.  Because we’re cooking all the food ourselves, of course we’re not going to serve meat.  I don’t even know how to cook it!

We’re having a vegetarian taco bar!

I hope that people aren’t upset about not eating meat and I really hope they enjoy our food.  If it forces them to try something new, then good!  Maybe some will realize that it is possible to eat a satisfying and delicious meal without meat.  Maybe some will freak out and slam burgers before they come.  I don’t really care.  At least we’ll be showing off our values (and our mad cooking skills, hopefully) on our wedding day!

As a side note, I have been to several weddings at which vegetarian options were not even offered!  Maybe I have a slight vendetta, but after not being able to eat at weddings I’ve been invited to, I am super pumped to turn the tables on everyone and not serve any meat!  I promise that the food will be delicious and that there will still be lots of protein (beans, guacamole) and cheese (we’re not vegan).

Is it crazy to have a totally-veggie reception?  Do you think people will freak out or enjoy the food?  Have you ever been unable to eat at a wedding reception?

Physical Challenge Life List

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As our time here is winding down, I’m overwhelmed with mixed emotions.  Partly happiness about going home to friends, family, grocery stores and farmers markets, microbrews, and a kitchen!  But a big part of me is very very sad to be saying goodbye (for now) to all the adventures, the constantly-changing scenery, the daily challenges of travel, the cheap street food, and the gorgeous hiking.

Feeling victorious after climbing the highest peak in El Salvador!

I do feel like I’ve matured a lot on this journey, and one of the ways I’ve matured is in regards to my outlook on health.  I used to say that I wanted to die before I get old.  I don’t want that anymore, but I do want to be a super healthy, on-the-go old person.  I think it makes sense to say that accomplishing that goal depends a lot on the investments I make towards it now.  I’ve preached about the organic, vegetarian diet on here before, so I don’t need to go into that again.  And yes, I will always have a sweet tooth and a baking addiction, but moderation is the key.

I’ve kind of gotten over drinking on this trip.  I think an occasional, special-occasion, in-moderation drinker is what I would like to be.  I’m just getting too old for the college-type shenanigans!  The less I drink, the healthier, happier, and more alert I feel.  I’m sure this is a normal transition that most people go through, otherwise there would be a lot more 40-year-old running around doing kegstands.  But still I read what I’ve written and think, “Oh my gosh I’m becoming a lame old lady!”  C’est la vie.

Also, all the hiking, pack-carrying, and occasional surfing we’ve done here has gotten me into better shape than I’ve ever been in.  I’ve still got a spare tire but I am stronger than I’ve ever been in my life.  And it feels great!  What sucks is that with our return to Ohio looming, I’m already missing all the awesome hikes, mountains, beaches, and activities available here.  I really want to maintain, and hopefully improve, my fitness level once we get home.  It’s going to be hard in Ohio, because I’m not a big fan of running, and gym workouts are just so boring compared to mountain climbing!  Our time in Ohio will be brief, however, and I’m committed to finding ways to stay moving somehow.  Once we head west again, fitness can become a lot more fun.

Because I love lists so much, I came up with a new goal list of all the “physical challenge”-type activities I would like to accomplish in my life.  This will probably get added to a lot as I think of new things.  Not all of them are super-physical, some are just outdoorsy activities.  Hopefully I can check one or two within a year of getting home.  These are the things that get me excited and motivate me to work out hard (well, other than wearing a wedding dress next summer)!

Physical Challenge Life List
1. Master surfing

2. Master rock-climbing

3. Master snow-boarding

4. Climb Cotopaxi (Ecuador)

5. Climb Mt. Whitney (California)

6. Climb Kilimanjaro (Tanzania)

7. Hike the Grand Canyon, to the river and back

8. Bungee jump at Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe/Zambia)

9. Ride in a hot air balloon

10. Really give yoga a try

11. Learn to swing dance

What do you think of my list?  Way too ambitious or do-able?  Has anyone else ever made a list like this?

I’m just your server, and many things are not my fault…

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I’m posting this now as a filler while I’m on the road.  This happened back in July but I didn’t feel comfortable posting it while still an employee of that restaurant.  There are some nasty stories of servers posting too much online, managers finding it, and them getting fired.  Although I don’t think this post ever had potential to get me fired, I chose to be safe rather than sorry.  So here it is now, an old post from July 4th:

Disclaimer:  My restaurant almost always runs smoothly.  Today was just an exception.  So if you’re looking for a place to eat in Flagstaff, know that my restaurant is awesome and this was just one very rare, very messed-up day.

Let me tell you the story of my day, a day in the life of a restaurant server.  It’s the 4th of July, and I have to work.  That’s fine with me, actually, because we’re expecting it to be busy since the 4th of July parade goes right past the restaurant.

To be prepared for a busy holiday, we had three servers on instead of the usual one.  Myself and one other girl who’s very experienced, and the third server kind of new but usually really awesome.  The one front-of-house manager was also bartending, and we had a host.  The kitchen, however, for some reason did not seem to be prepared for the busy day.  They only had two cooks working!!!!  What????  Warning bells!!!  Before we even opened we had parade-goers popping in the door asking what time we opened and/or if they could use our bathroom.  We were all ready to go in the front of house, hoping for a big-money day.  Other girl was smart enough to take the patio for her section (an opportunity I would later regret passing up on), so guy and I were rotating tables inside.  As soon as we opened at 11am we got a big rush of tables.  After the initial hubbub of getting drinks and orders taken for my sudden five tables, I was fine.  Keeping up on refills and setting utensils and appetizer plates and everything.  Tables kept steadily coming in and I kept getting their orders taken and drinks out like a pro.  It didn’t take long, however, for us to realize that the two poor kitchen guys were going insane.  The restaurant was 3/4 full and there were only two of them.  Why didn’t they have more people scheduled?  I have no idea.  The manager back there kept saying “You have to slow ’em down guys, you have to slow ’em down…”  Well, I’m sorry dude, but I’m not going to purposely wait to take an order when it’s clear that a table is ready.  That just makes slow service my fault when clearly this quagmire we’re about to be in is entirely your fault.  I go back out to the floor, make sure drinks are full and no one seems too antsy yet at my tables.  I notice one table that belongs to other guy that still has menus and no drinks despite the fact they’ve been there for a few minutes.  (We’ll call them Old People Table.)  I check with him to make sure he’s got it and he says he does.  A few minutes later, they still have their menus and one of them clearly gives me a “Come help us!” look.  So I go over, apologize for their wait, and take their whole order.  Other guy comes up to me right after, asks if they’re mad, I say “No, I think they were just a little impatient,” and offer to tell him what they want.  He says “No, you can just take it.”  Great, so now he’s generously (sarcasm) giving me an extra table that’s already irritated because of his lack of attention.  A.k.a. some extra work with the chances of a good tip already ruined.

Meanwhile, two of my tables are getting pissed.  (We’ll call them Angry Table 1 and Angry Table 2.) They both have kids, so I understand.  I go back to the kitchen yet again to check on their food…still not coming.  I ask the kitchen guys to please make the kids’ quesadillas first so at least their kids can start eating.  I refill chips and salsa for the table that ordered it and go ahead and take it off their bill (paying for it myself).  I get free chips and salsa (on me) for the other table while they wait.  I make sure everyone’s drinks are always full, explain that the kitchen is backed up, thank them for their patience, and apologize profusely.  Thankfully, this whole time, most of my tables are pretty cool.  It’s just these two that are impatient.  At this point, I know that it’s just not going to turn out well, but I try to keep smiling and just control what I can.  Finally, the first quesadilla is ready and I immediately take it to the kid at Angry Table 1.  The rest of their food comes shortly (finally!) and in all they wait about 40 minutes.  I check on them after a few bites and ask if everything is good, and they nod/affirm.  Finally the first quesadilla is ready for Angry Table 2 (they had ordered 2 for 2 kids) and I run it immediately so the kids can have something to munch on.  As soon as I walk past them again they complain to me that the quesadilla is “way too greasy; it’s a GREASE-adilla.”*  (Hahaha, brilliant play on words guys!!!!)  I apologize again, and tell them I’ll have the kitchen remake it and make sure their second one is better also.  They say now they only want ONE quesadilla better cooked.  Ok, deep breath.  I’ll have it for you as soon as they make it.  Then, as luck would have it, Angry Table 1 HEARS Angry Table 2 complain about the Grease-adilla and decides to tell me as I walk past them (after checking on them earlier) that their quesadilla was “exactly the same, way too greasy and disgusting!!”  But the kid already ate it.  Lol.  Here’s a hint for all you readers:  If you’re going to complain about food, do it before the food is half or totally eaten!!!  That’s the only way your complaint will be taken seriously!!!  Of course I apologize profusely some more, offer to have a new one made, offer them free dessert, etc.  They refuse it all and ask for their bill.  Angry Table 2 gets their new quesadilla and the rest of their food.  (Again, 40 minutes.  Way longer than it should take.)  They also refuse my offer of free dessert.  They ask to speak to the manager and I send him over.   He discounts their food and they pay and leave.  Angry Table 1 pays but then asks to speak to the manager also.  (Copycats!!!!)  I ask him to go over there as soon as he gets a chance, but he’s also bartending so he’s busy too.  Not two minutes later, I walk out again and they’re leaving.  One lady says to me “Well, we would have loved to speak to the manager, but now we just want to get out of here!”  I politely as possible tell her, “That’s our manager right over there, I asked him to come speak with you when he had a chance but feel free to approach him on your way out.”  Which they never did.  AHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  So all in all, both Angry Tables got free chips and salsa, were offered free dessert but refused it, had the chance to speak to the manager, and I can honestly say I gave them the BEST SERVICE I COULD POSSIBLY GIVE.  It was the freakin’ kitchen, people!!!  I’m sorry!!!  Angry Table 2 still tipped me 10%.  Woohoo for mercy.  Angry Table 1 though?  Their bill came out to about $80 and they left me………..27 cents.  And that’s just because they wanted their credit card transaction to be an even dollar amount.  (So I didn’t even claim the tip to spite them….mwahahaha!!!)

Now let’s get back to the drama of Old People Table.  They finally get their food after about 40 minutes and only asking me one time if it was coming (overall good patience compared to everyone else).  They also refuse free dessert.  Then, to make a bad day even worse, I go to swipe their credit cards and our system is not accepting them.  It just totally pooped out.  That has never happened before but as luck would have it, it happened on an already crazy day!!!  We were about to have to comp everyone’s food and put a “Cash Only” sign on the door, lol.  So they waited another 15 minutes just to pay while the manager called the General Manager to get her to run down here on her day off and fix it.  So I’m bugging him incessantly asking what to do for my table that wants to leave while he’s bartending and calling her and trying to fix the computers.  Argh!  Eventually we just let them pay with a check and the GM came down and fixed the system.  Crisis averted.  By this time, the cooks had finally gotten another guy to come in early and help them.  He was working crazily helping them catch up for a good two hours before even having a chance to clock in or change into his work clothes, lol.

Oh man.  So all in all, a ****show of a day.  It’s no wonder every single server was found at the bar after the lunch shift ended.  (Other girl never had many problems though…people who sit on the patio are always more chill…I shoulda known…d’oh!)  Oh, and the people at Angry Table 1 ALREADY left a scathing yelp! review which rightfully criticizes the wait-time but flat-out lies about my service.

So the main purpose of this story is not to get you to feel sorry for me but just to get you to think about how much of it is actually your server’s fault when you have a bad experience at a restaurant.  We are the public face but there are so many things that are out of our control.  Overall today, my sales were over $500, but I only made $80.  With sales like that, and for how hard I worked, I should have made $100, so that’s pretty crappy.  (I jokingly asked the kitchen to tip me out, yeah right.)  Honestly people, what can we do to make you happy???  I bought you appetizers out of my own pocket and offered you free dessert!  My argument is this:  when you have a bad experience that is out of the server’s control, you have every right to complain to the manager, get a discount, write a bad review about the food, whatever.  But TIP YOUR FREAKIN’ SERVER if it’s not their fault.

What do you guys think?  Anyone have any restaurant horror stories, either from a server or customer point-of-view?  What should I have done differently?  Did this help you understand what goes on in a restaurant better?

*At least the other servers and I got a free GREASE-adilla.  It was delish.

How to Treat Your Server Like a Human

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After several years as a waitress, there are some things I just need to say!!!!  If you care about behaving like a decent person when you go out to a restaurant, here  is some advice from one who knows!!!  And for the sake of this post, the personal pronoun “I” really stands for ALL SERVERS you will ever meet in life.

1. Don’t act like I’M inconveniencing YOU when I come to the table!  You’d be amazed at how many times I’ve gotten rude facial expressions or even words, telling me to “Go away, we’re not ready yet”  or something after I’ve given a table plenty of time to decide on their order.  If you want to take your time and aren’t in a rush, just tell me that nicely in the first place.  Otherwise I’m going to assume you came in to actually EAT so don’t get fresh with me for trying to serve you promptly!

2. Realize what’s going on around you, and that I’m not the only one serving you.  I take your order, but the bartender makes the drinks, and the cooks make your food.  Hence, if your drink order is taking awhile, it’s not my fault!!!  Same goes for the food.  If you see me hovering at the bar pleading with the bartender to hurry it up, know that I am doing my best for you!

4. Order preemptively.  If I come by and ask if anyone wants another drink, and you are anywhere close to finishing yours and know you will want another, just order it!  There is nothing more annoying than a large table where one person asks for one more thing each time I bring something to the table.  Get in sync, people!  I should not have to make six consecutive trips just to get you one more round!

3. If you’re going to complain, have a solution in mind.  I hate it when people tell me something is wrong but then reject every offer I make to correct the problem!  First of all, if something is wrong with your dish, stop eating it and tell me ASAP!  “Problems” reported about things you’ve already practically finished will NOT be taken seriously.  Duh.  But, if you don’t want your food remade, don’t want to speak to the manager about a discount, or don’t want a free dessert, why are you even telling me???  You are a complainer for complaining’s sake and I’d rather just not hear about it if you’re not going to let me fix the problem.

4.  Something small but significant:  make it obvious when you’re ready to pay!  Stick the cash or credit card out of the top of the little black book, and stand it up or put it somewhere different on the table.  I HATE it when people just stick their card inside and leave it exactly where I placed it.  That makes me have to guess whether or not there is something in there, and believe it or not I am not psychic.  And there is nothing more awkward then having to go up to a table and ASK if I should take the check.  If you’re not ready, it just makes it seem like I am rushing you, when really I was afraid that I was keeping YOU waiting.  So stick your freakin’ credit card out the top, people!!!

5. Don’t think you can make up for a bad tip by being super nice to me.  This is known as the “verbal tip.”  Honestly, it’s just like an extra-hard slap in the face.  If you’re really nice and complimentary the whole time, then I’m going to expect a good tip.  Not getting one from such nice people makes me lose my faith in humanity.  I can’t take your compliments to the bank.

6. I make $4.35 per hour.  That’s NOTHING.  My checks are like a bonus.  I live on tips.  20% OF YOUR BILL IS THE NORMAL TIP FOR A GOOD SERVER!!!!  (I’m talking to you Euros, you’re in America now.)  So, you should always start with the idea of tipping 20%.  If the service is bad and it is clearly the server’s fault, you can deduct.  If the service is AWESOME, or you feel like being extra generous, feel free to tip over 20%!!!  But you should never tip less than 20% for good service in this day and age.  Also, guess what?  I don’t even get to keep all of those tips you give me.  At the end of the night, I give 10% of my total tips to the bartender, another 10% to the busser, and 5% to the host.  So I only even keep 75% of the tips I make!!!!  Also look at it this way: when you tip me, you’re also tipping everyone else who’s working to serve you!

I’m sure I will think of more of these later so perhaps I will add to this post.  But for now, keep this post in mind next time you go out to eat!  What do you think?  Have you done any of these things I just warned about?  Or are you always an awesome customer and appalled that others are not?

Childhood Myths

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…or, Lies My Mom and Grandma Told Me Which It Took Me Way Too Long to Realize ARE NOT TRUE

1. Bay leaves are poisonous.  OMG this is embarrassing.  But I just recently bought some bay leaves and was using one in some spaghetti sauce.  When I served it I told Zach to make sure to watch out for the bay leaf and not eat it.  He was like, “Why?”   “Because they’re poisonous,” I said.  He proceeded to laugh uproariously at me and ask, logically, “If they’re poisonous, why do you cook with them?????????”  Then he ate the bay leaf!!!  And HE DIDN’T DIE.

2. Hiccups mean you’re tired.  I don’t even know where this came from, but every time I got the hiccups as a child my mom would tell me I must be tired and should take a nap.  It wasn’t until a couple years ago, sitting at a bar with Bryan, Justine, and a cute hockey player I was supposed to get along with (this was before I met Zach) that I learned that this was not true.  How did I learn this?  By drinking a tall beer, getting the hiccups and then saying something incredibly dumb, like, “Oh, I guess I am kind of tired.”  Of course they were all like “What????” and laughed at me.

3. Bees can’t sting you if you’re swinging.  My sister and I were incredibly TERRIFIED of getting stung by bees when we were kids.  This, also, came from my mom, who passed her horrible fears along to us.  It was so bad that anytime we even saw a bee anywhere in the yard we would run inside, panicking.  Finally, one day, my grandma told us that if we saw a bee we should just “Stay still until it goes away, or go swing on your swing-set, because bees can’t sting you if you’re swinging.”  Oh Grandma, your distracting suggestion was taken as GOSPEL TRUTH and we believed for many, many years that there was some awesome bee-proof forcefield around our swing-set, and that as long as we were on it, THEY COULD NOT GET US.  From then on, anytime we saw a bee anywhere in the yard, we would CHARGE to the swings and start madly pumping as hard as we could.

Call me gullible, call me blonde, whatever.  The real question is this:  Why did you tell me these things Mom????  You don’t really believe them, do you???   (#3 I kind of understand.  It was a good distraction for us.  I don’t thing Grandma meant us to take it so seriously!)

What silly lies did your parents tell you when you were a kid?

Operation Bikini: Update 2

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Everyone falls off the wagon sometimes, right???

Right????

‘Cause I definitely did.  Gulp.

Despite my best intentions, I have kind of sucked at my eating recently.  Our trip to Mexico, having lots of couchurfers, and actually doing stuff with friends recently has led to me not following my rules and eating/drinking way too much bad stuff recently.

But, I’m back, because I am not a quitter!!!  However, it is time to seriously get my butt in gear.  I’m hoping that the time ticking down to our road-trip departure will serve as good motivation for me.  If I get serious now, I can still lose 14 pounds by the time we leave on August 22 and be almost done by then!!!  My goal is to lose 20-24 pounds total.  So, in drastic measures, I’ve decided to eliminate the flex days.  I knew I would abuse them, and I certainly did.  Achieving this goal is about sacrifice, and I just need to get my mind around that.  Of course if it’s a truly special occasion or something I will still let myself go a day without counting.  But by allowing myself 2 flex days a week I was just waiting for those days and then stuffing my face to the max.  Not good for learning moderation.

So this is it: 1000 calories per day, exercise every day.  I can totally be at my goal weight by the time we get back to Ohio!!!!!

Now let me celebrate some small victories:

-I have been doing consistently pretty well on my exercise.  Climbing, hiking, biking, gymming it up.  I finally bought new running shoes that actually provide support so I’m not hurting my feet anymore.  Now I’ll be able to keep running outside once we’re on our trip and I don’t have gym access.

-Last night I had a couple glasses of wine with girlfriends but kept within my 1000-cal limit!  I just had a light snack instead of a meal when I got home, then went to bed.

-Today I got a 6-mile bike ride and a bunch of crunches/push-ups in all despite the heat and before 11am.  Getting exercise done early is a great way for me to make sure I get it done!

-I baked something that DIDN’T INVOLVE CHOCOLATE!  Shocker, I know.  Tomato Rosemary Scones.  We’ll see what Zach thinks of them.  I am getting better at baking for him but not indulging myself.  Not having chocolate-filled goodies definitely helps though.

-I’m making these Chipotle Squash Fritters for dinner tonight.  I love trying new, inventive recipes; plus this sounds delicious and super-healthy!  I have been doing a good job making dishes that are heavy on the veggies and light on the cheese and dairy lately.

Must make myself update more on this un-fun topic.  I think I have to get back on the scale too.  That’ll happen sometime next week, after I continue my good habits for the rest of this one.  Then I’ll post another update.  I CAN do this.  Positive thinking, yeeehaw!!!

Yay for a productive day off!  Of course I wish I was working since we desperately need $$, but I’ve used today to bike, bake, blog, (hahaha alliteration!) and now I’ll be studying some Spanish and reading my awesome book about the Colombian drug trade.

Guest Post: How Zach Became an Almost-Vegetarian

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As a lot of our friends know, I have been vegetarian for 5 years now.  Zach is not vegetarian; so many people ask him how he deals with me and if he misses meat.  I asked him to write a guest post on the subject.  One thing I want to clarify is that I have never asked him to not eat meat; he can do whatever he wants!  My policy is just that I won’t buy it or cook it; so if he wants some it’s up to him.  And, honestly, Zach doesn’t really cook for himself much so he doesn’t really eat much meat.  And, as he says, over the past year he’s found that he likes it this way!  But there was never any pressure from me.  I encourage everyone to rent the documentary “Food, Inc.” for a vastly more in-depth explanation of this subject.  I also encourage questions on this post as this is a subject I am passionate about and would love to discuss more.  Without further ado, my lovely partner Zach:

When I met Carrie in 2009, one of the first things I heard about was her vegetarianism.  This plays a big part in her life and at first I thought “she must be crazy” and “what do you eat?”.  Of course she educated me.  After cooking together almost every day for the past year, meat has been almost completely eliminated from my diet.  How do I feel?  Better probably.  Every time I eat lots of meat nowadays, I feel disgusting when finished.  All the fats in my belly and greasy fingers.  Not that I won’t eat meat if someone is making it for me, but I haven’t gotten any from the store since Safeway gave me a free Turkey for spending $100 last Thanksgiving.  (Note from Carrie:  And that turkey is still in the freezer.  As I said, Zach doesn’t cook for himself.)  There are some very logical reasons I see to not eat meat.

Reason 1: Health.  Have you ever seen how the meat you buy at the grocery store is raised?  “On the farm” you might say.  However, that is unfortunately not true.  Most meat we eat is raised in a factory.  Unless you buy meat that says “local/organic” or “grass fed” your meat is probably made it a factory.  And I choose “made” over “raised” because most chickens we eat don’t even see the sun in their lifetime.  Some don’t even stand.  What does encompass the majority of a chicken’s life?  Lying on the ground in a pile of all the other chicken’s shit waiting to die a fat unhealthy bird.  All they eat is food fueled with growth hormones to make them unhealthily fat, and did I mention they live life in a house full of shit?

Reason 2: Morals.  Does it seem right to raise millions of beautiful creatures just to make them fat and eat them?  Some never get the right to stand.  They are born, grown at unnatural rates, then killed.  If they die before they are big enough, they are thrown into the mix that feeds the rest of the fat creatures about to die and be eaten.  People tell me that we should eat meat because we are at the top of the food chain.  How many animals have you actually killed and eaten because you are stronger?  I would be willing to bet that most americans have never killed an animal that they planed to eat.  That is not to say that there isn’t a large portion of the nation that does shoot their own food.  I did shoot a rabbit once, and ate it.  I shot it and it didn’t die, so I had to club it on the head with my rifle.  This wasn’t fun for me, since the rabbit was so cute.  Think of all the meat you eat in a given month.  If you had to personally decapitate every one of those chickens, you would at least appreciate your food a lot more.  I would even be willing to bet that you would choose to plant a garden instead.

Reason 3: Cost.  I don’t have hard facts on this, but I have noticed that we spend way less money that carnivores.  We can get a whole bag of veggies at the farmers market for under $20.  You know I’m right, enough said.

The reasons go on and on but the point I try to make remains the same.  I’m not trying to convert everyone to vegetarianism, but it would be nice if people at least thought about what they ate.  For that matter, I wish people thought about half the things they do in their lives.  Don’t do something just because it’s the only way you know how.  Educate yourselves.  Don’t be on of the millions and billions of ignorant people who do things because they are told it’s the only way.  Do things because you have decided that it is the best way.

The dreaded diet post

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Guys, I hate writing this.  But I feel I must.  Things have come to the point where unless I start making some changes and exercising some accountability I am never going to be happy with my body.  My bad habits and severe lack of self-control have been WINNING (Charlie Sheen, anyone?).  I really really want to turn things around and drop 20 pounds so I can cross #17 (Wear a bikini and look hot) off my Thirty by 30 list.  The thing is, I just SUCK so much at losing weight.  I try really hard for a few weeks, then have one bad day, feel bummed, and continue the badness for a whole week.  Hence the horribly unoriginal and boring blog post about “my new diet plan!”  Honestly though, I’m writing this for the accountability.  I just want to put my goal out there on the internet for all to see AND make myself post updates as my goals are accomplished.  And they will be!!!!!!!  (Woo, positive thinking.)

So here’s the deal.  After my junior year of college I did lose my freshman 15 (I’ve since gained it all back and more) and what worked for me then was calorie counting.  Ugh, I know.  But it’s the simplest and most logical method to me with the least restrictions on WHAT I can actually eat.  So that’s what I’m gonna do.

THE PLAN

1. Count calories and eat 1000 calories or less at least 5 days per week.

2. Exercise every day. (gym, hiking, biking, yoga, something!!!!)

3. 2 days a week can be a little bit more flexible.  If I want to have a treat, some drinks, or go out to eat I can.  This will help me stay sane and have things to look forward to.  BUT these days are also a tool to help myself learn moderation.  Just  because I’m not counting does not mean I can fully unleash the munchie monster.  If I stuff myself silly 2 days a week it will totally undo the benefits of the other 5 low-cal days, so I am going to really concentrate on being REASONABLE!

4. I’m not going to weigh myself obsessively.  I’m going to wait to weigh myself until I notice some changes.  I think this will help me focus on sticking with the plan just to be healthy, not to achieve specific numbers.  (Although theoretically if I do this right those numbers will come!)

5. All bets are off for my birthday week.  My best friend and her hubby will be visiting and there will probably be lots of treats.  But it’s my birthday and I will not care!!!!  But that is the ONLY week I am allowed to go off-plan until I meet my goal.

6. If I get to where I want to be before we move away from Flagstaff, I’m rewarding myself with a brand new outfit from this AWESOME but slightly expensive store in town, The Rainbow’s End.  (I haven’t bought any clothes not from Kohls or the thrift store in years.)

That’s it.  Seriously, I KNOW I can do this because I’ve done it before.  If I can just make myself buckle down it should only take around 3 months to get back to where I want to be.  That means I could get my bikini out by the end of this summer!  I would LOVE that!  I just really need encouragement.  So please, if you read this, send me some happy thoughts AND make sure to ask me how things are going once in awhile.  Hopefully I’ll have some positive changes to report soon!!!  Thanks for bearing with such a superficial post!