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Archive for November, 2009

Morning, all!¬†Sadly, it’s back to reality today. The work week has begun!

It was sad to say goodbye to my whole family and to the holiday weekend which I love and look forward to all year. BUT, I am seeing everyone very soon (in 3 weeks) for an amazing trip that my parents are taking us on over Christmas break. I am so excited! (More details to come…)

We ended our weekend yesterday in family style- with food, of course! We all ordered breakfast and ate together in my parents’ hotel. I went to the gym before breakfast, knowing we were eating a big meal. I did 30 minutes on the elliptical and 20 minutes of weights and abs. It was tough!

It was really nice to be together around a big table one last time. ūüôā I ordered Eggs Benedict, without the Hollandaise sauce, without the ham. So really, it was poached eggs on an English Muffin. And I stole two pieces of bacon to go with!

The hotel poached the eggs perfectly: nice and runny on the inside, well-cooked on the outside. Love that gooey yoke on toast!

We all took one final walk around Central Park and then it was time to say our goodbyes. My little sister, Margaret, actually came back to Brooklyn with us for the afternoon to see our apartment and our neighborhood for the first time. We dropped off our bags at the apartment and strolled around for a while, trying to take in all the daylight we could before about 4:30 when it gets dark! We stopped for a snack/ small lunch at one of my favorite cafes, Ted & Honey.

I split a vegetable and goat cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread with Loren. It was filled with portabellos and roasted red peppers.

Hot and toasty. Yum!
After our snack, Marg and I headed to Trader Joe’s. I bought a ton of groceries- we were out of everything! Its been weeks since we have shopped. And she picked up some goodies to take back to school- very important since she can’t get organic, good food close by. Since she was heading back to college last night, I wanted to make her a nice homemade dinner… OK, I also really wanted a homemade, veggie-filled meal! No more dining out for a while, please!

Dinner was centered around the Garlic Naan we bought at TJ’s. Margaret loves it and was raving about it in the store, so I wanted to give it a try.¬†In keeping with the Indian theme, I wanted to make a kind of curry- bean dish, similar to the flavors in dahl.

I first cooked a chopped half onion and 3 chopped tomatoes in a pan, until the tomatoes were pretty mushy. Then I added about 1/2 cup (I don’t measure) of almond milk to give it a creamy texture. (After learning from many of you that Almond Milk Curdles because it can’t hit very hot liquid when it is cold, I heated it up in the microwave for 30 seconds before adding it to the mix. It did the trick! Thanks!) Then, I added a large can of drained kidney beans to the pan. I put a lot of curry powder, some dark chili powder, red chili flakes, salt, pepper, 3 bay leaves, and some nutmeg in the mix. I leg the whole mix cook together on medium-low for about 15 minutes to get nice and thick. The almond milk bubbled up nicely.

I also roasted some brussel sprouts to go along with the beans. I flavored them with 2 cloves of garlic, salt, pepper, and EVOO. I sautéed the mix in a pan until the brussel sprouts were golden brown, then put them in the over for about 20 minutes at 350.

I have to say, the whole meal turned out pretty well- considering I was just playing with flavors! My eaters were happy…

We had some really good $10 Spanish wine with the meal that Loren picked up a few days ago. It was perfect!

(Yes, Buzz likes to sit in my seat and show me who’s boss.) The beans turned out so well. I will definitely be making this again very soon!

And the naan was amazing- not too garlicy, but flavorful. I just heated it in the oven for about 5 minutes and it was perfect- chewy and doughy. I split a piece with Marg.

Dessert was two lovely clementines.

And after another short walk (I love walks, what can I say?), a hot bubble bath, and starting a new book (The Hours– can’t believe I haven’t read it yet) I felt a bit better about the holiday weekend coming to an end. I had trouble getting to sleep, but that always happens when I’m a bit sad. Today is a new day and I am feeling much better, thanks to a great morning swim!

Hope you all have a wonderful Monday!

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Good morning! So nice that it’s still the weekend… I feel like its lasting forever- and I like that! I am definitely not ready to go back to work tomorrow…

Yesterday was another fun day with the fam. We woke up and had breakfast together. I had a scooped out whole wheat bagel with smoked salmon.

I just use a bit of cream cheese and lots of capers, onions, and smoked salmon.

After breakfast, Loren and I took a long walk (a little break from the fam) in the sun. He bought a nice winter jacket, too! I restrained myself from shopping, somehow! (OK, I didn’t see anything I liked ūüėČ ).

At 2 pm, we all went to see Superior Donuts, a play now on Broadway. It was fantastic- I highly recommend it to anyone visiting NYC (or living here). Very well acted, very well written. At the play, I had¬†a handful of mixed M & M’s….

And a granola bar.

(Loren was my hand model).  When we got back to my parents hotel, I munched on some fruit that was in their fridge.

I ate a bunch of melon and pineapple.

Then we all headed out to Academia DeVino, a restaurant on the Upper East Side, for dinner. It was good- not great. But it was nice to have a big table for all of us to eat at in a kind of private space.

I ordered a Ceasar¬†Salad, which was just OK. I didn’t eat any of the croutons, and munched on some of Loren’s vegetables- portabello mushrooms and beets.

For my entre, I ordered a grilled flat bread pizza with Soppressata (a kind of Italian sausage), red pepper sauce, and cheese.

It was good- the crust was nice and thin- but it wasn’t the best I’ve ever had. I had 3 slices and passed it on to the fam. I also had one slice of my sister’s plain pizza.

All in all, it was a pretty good day of eating. I was happy that I practiced portion control and was able to eat¬†some of the things that I love. ūüôā It’s not what you eat… it’s how much!

I woke up this morning and headed straight to the gym and felt great breaking a sweat. Now, off to one final brunch with the family! See you later!

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Good morning!

Yesterday was a day full of family, food, and exploring NYC. My family first sat down for a big breakfast, but I wasn’t in the mood for a lot of food, so I just had a croissant off of a big bread plate.

I love croissants! I rarely have them (high fat, low staying power) but today was an exception to the rule. I also had a clementine- for some vitamins, of course. ūüôā

We then headed down to the Lower East Side to see my half-sister’s new gallery space that is currently under construction. It was very exciting!

It is going to be really nice when it is finished! After we saw the space, we walked around the neighborhood. The Lower East Side is a really interesting mix of old tenements and factories (industrial spaces), Chinatown, gentrification (cool, hip young people), and old Jewish establishments.

It was a cooooold, windy day out, but obviously I had my camera out and was snapping photos as we walked.

Then, we headed to Katz’s Deli! Katz’s has been around since my parents were little, serving up everything you would want to find in a Jewish Deli. I actually have never been to Katz’s (gasp) but I have walked by a million times and wanted to try it. Yesterday was the day!

It was a bit of a madhouse inside and impossible, at first, to figure out how to find a table. When we finally got settled in, the waiter brought lots of pickles to our table. I was happy!

I wasn’t in the mood for a super meaty sandwich (my sisters got Pastrami and Corn Beef) so I went for a nice, juicy hot dog topped with sauerkraut and a side of cole¬†slaw.

I also had a hot chocolate to drink (weird combo- I know- but it was cold outside!). The hot dog was amaaaazing- really flavorful and juicy. The cole slaw I could have done without- it was way too mayonnaisey and too sweet for me. I had a couple of bites and shared it.

I love lots of condiments on my hot dog- but not too much that they overpower the dog. It’s a science, really.

My family wanted to show off their food, as well, on the blog. My nephew ordered some beef chili which he said was really gross. My brother-in-law (pictured) tried it as well and concurred!

My sister ordered a Reuben with Corn Beef. We tried bites but agreed it was too fatty without enough flavor.

My dad and brother-in-law ordered knishes (mashed potato wrapped in a thin dough)- a very typical Jewish food. I had never had one but my dad has always talked about how he ate them constantly throughout his childhood. I had a bite and liked it! I took a picture but it got totally messed up! :(. I think I need a new memory card- funky things are happening.

We took the subway back uptown…

And I had a green apple before heading to the gym.

I did 45 minutes of cardio- the elliptical and the bike- because I needed to move!

We ordered in dinner and I tried to keep it very light. I really wasn’t in the mood for much. I had a salad with carrots, hears of palm, and corn.

And one slice of thin-crust veggie pizza. It was just veggies and tomato sauce- no cheese. And it was actually just fine without it!

I also had a little bit of spinach on the side.

I was very proud of myself for just sticking to what I had ordered. When my family orders takeout, they order WAY too much food and everyone tends to overeat. While I had 2 bites of someone else’s chicken dish, I promised myself to just eat what I had ordered and nothing more. So I didn’t feel ill or too full after the meal. I actually had room for dessert- fruit!

I love pineapple! Had a bunch of it.

Now off to enjoy a sunny day! It’s cold out but beautiful. I will be back later with a recap. Hope you all are enjoying the weekend!

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Happy Thanksgiving! I wanted to post last night but my computer is giving me a huge headache when I try to upload photos… Safari and Firefox both just shut down completely when I press “upload”. I think that after the big crash and now this, it might be time for a new computer…

Anyhow, on to more important matters like FOOD and all that we ate last night. It was deeeelish, per usual! My half-sister does an amazing job every year and makes the majority of the food. A few family members always bring a couple of extra dishes, and we have one cousin who makes ALL the desserts. But Lesley, my sister, does the brunt of the work AND hosts about 25 people every year. This year was no exception.

We always get to her house a bit early, around 4, to help her prepare for the mad rush at 6. My parents have specific roles every year that they play, according to tradition:

My dad makes the gravy (using turkey stock and red wine). It makes the whole house smell sooo good!

He takes his job very seriously. ūüôā My nephew, Russell, helped out this year. They were very cute working together.

And my mom carves the turkey every year. She, too, takes her job very seriously! She is a doctor and, we think, always secretly wanted to be a surgeon. She likes carving waaay too much. But she is really good at it- gets all the meat out!

We also always go for a short walk around the neighborhood, if the weather permits it- and it was a gorgeous day yesterday. Then, we all gather in the kitchen and hover over the food for an hour!

The fam… or part of it!

What can I say? We all love food!

Here is a cute shot of me with my 2 sisters… don’t think they have made it onto the blog yet… weird!

After a lot of chatting and some wine drinking, the rest of the family showed up and it was time to eat. Look at our spread!

From the other side of the table…

Lesley makes THE BEST sweet potato dish (front and center above) using pineapple and prunes. I don’t know how she does it, but it is seriously amazing. It requires no added sugars because all of the natural sweetness of the fruit combines so perfectly with the sweet potato. I’ve decided I must have this more than once a year and am going to get her recipe!

My plate was a bit of everything…

It was all amazing! My plate was filled with: coleslaw made with my grandma’s coleslaw recipe (it is incredible; I’m so happy she passed it on), stuffing, turkey and gravy, green beans, brussel sprouts, the sweet potato dish, and 2 types of bread–made by my cousin: cornbread and pumpkin apple bread. The Pumpkin Apple bread was AMAZING. Moist. Full of flavor. She had never made it before and I was really impressed!

I ate most of my plate, but couldn’t finish. I don’t think I got to the cornbread, or some of the turkey. I prefered the light meat to the dark. This was my first Thanksgiving in a LONG time eating turkey and it was AWESOME! My sister always gets organic, free-range, healthy turkeys so I feel good eating it.

 

I spent a lot of post-dinner time playing with all the babies who joined us this year. Love babies, but certainly not ready to have any of my own anytime soon! That’s what a couple hours of playing will do to you!

By the time dessert came around, I wasn’t able to eat much. My “before” picture of my plate actually didn’t come out, but my “after” pic did. You can see- I didn’t eat much of it!

I ate a small piece of pumpkin cheese cake (homemade by my cousin Sara) that was incredible and lots of homemade whipped cream, but couldn’t bring myself to eat much more. It was the perfect amount!

I actually left Thanksgiving feeling full, but not too full- perfectly satisfied. I was happy that I tried a bit of everything but listened to my stomach and practiced intuitive eating.

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! (and for those of you outside of the US, that you enjoyed some quality time with your families this week.) I think Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of all, because it brings my whole extended family together around FOOD and gives us so much to be grateful for.

Enjoy the weekend! Now that I can blog on my mom’s computer, I will be back soon with a recap!

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Morning!

Yesterday’s eats were almost back to normal- no big meals out, so that was good! We have nooo food in the fridge because we won’t be spending much time at home for 4 days, so I had to scrounge a bit to find healthy, filling meals.

After doing Level 2 of the 30 Day Shred (killer!), I threw together a bowl of fridge-finds: the last of my cottage cheese, a chopped apple, some pumpkin granola, and some apricot preserve. It was pretty tasty if I do say so myself, and a great post-workout dish.With a Chai Black Tea (Yogi-tea brand).

Why does my almond milk always curdle in my tea?! The bizarre mysteries of the universe that I cannot unfold….

I had nothing to bring to work for lunch because we are  fresh out of all veggies and fruits. But, I got lucky!

I work in an adult education program, and the students were having a pre-Thanksgiving party in class. They all brought in the most amazing dishes from home. We have a lot of Mexican and Latin American students and they made the most delicious food!

As much as I would have loved to eat a bunch of rice and beans and tacos, I tried to make myself a healthy version of Mexican food. I plopped a lot of salad and guacamole onto my plate and a sprinkle of Oaxacan cheese. On the side, I had a few homemade blue corn chips (amazing!), some pureed black beans, and a little bit of potato salad.

It was soooo good! And I got my veggie-fix. ūüôā

I also had a vegetarian flauta¬†(a small rolled up tortilla, filled with potato -I think- and lightly fried) earlier in the morning. They were eating Mexican food at 9 am! I don’t know why that is always so surprising to me… I remember when I went to India thinking how weird it was that people at Indian food for breakfast. OBVIOUSLY, genius!

I was very snacky yesterday- wanted to much all day. My snacks included:

A bowl of popcorn at work (so easy to make in the microwave- pretty healthy!).

A smoothie when I got home (with frozen fruit, water, and almond milk- got my fruits in!):

And a string cheese:

I was so snacky, that even though I made this for dinner…

(Chicken sausage, spinach, garbanzos, and brown rice)

….All I wanted was this:

A PB and jelly on Exekial bread with a glass of almond milk.

Don’t worry, Loren ate up the good, healthy, real food!

Buzz was hamming it up during dinner, and wanted to be photographed, so I obliged.

And later, after a really hot bath, I was feeling faint/ exhausted, so I had some Tasti-Delight (from my freezer). Dulce de Leche with some chocolate chips. Miracle cure! I felt much better. ūüôā

Now off to work. Today is all about getting out of work early, cleaning my apartment, and going to see my parents/ family for dinner. I might or might not exercise. My body (read: knees) kind of feels like it needs a day off! Maybe something light, like a long walk…

See you guys later!

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Good morning, guys! How can we not be in good spirits this week? Can’t believe my week is over at 3 pm tomorrow (my office closes early)! My family comes to NYC for Thanksgiving and we all go to my sister’s house in Westchester (close suburbs) and then we all hang out with my parents at their hotel over the weekend and do “New York things”. It’s kind of like a staycation! What are your plans??

So, onto food…

Yesterday was a strange day of eating. I wasn’t hungry for anything all morning, but around 11, I had a banana because I had worked out for 45 minutes at the gym and felt I needed something. Around 1, my hunger finally woke up! I had a salad with tuna topped with balsamic and EVOO. I went to take a picture and realized I hadn’t put my memory card into my camera! I hate when that happens. Luckily, I had my trusty blackberry, which takes pretty good pictures…

Such a lovely ambience in the background, no?

I went back for some more veggies a little later. For snack, I had a bowl of popcorn at work and a string cheese when I got home.

I love this string cheese!

Last night I had to go out AGAIN for dinner. My parents wanted my sister and I to go out with some of their friends who we had never met. Thus, I didn’t feel comfortable taking pictures of my food. I had a beet and goat cheese salad and a piece of cod for dinner. During dinner, I mentioned my blog and they seemed really interested. So, by the time dessert came, they wanted to see how I would photograph it… Of course, I was happy to oblige!

I had a really light dessert of sliced pineapple with some passion fruit sorbet, topped with a dried pineapple kind of flower. It was lovely looking! There wasn’t great light in the restaurant,¬†but I did my best to document it…

The sorbet was awesome- sour and tart, without much sweetness. I loved it.

It was a really nice dinner, but I was happiest to get home and get into bed. I am a true homebody and heart, and just love being with my boyfriend and kitties in our cozy apartment. All this eating/ going out makes me really appreciate home!

I got about 8 hours of sleep last night and woke up feeling ready for a new day. ūüôā Hope you all have a great one!

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Hi guys!

This weekend was super busy and filled with lots of eats! Sorry I haven’t blogged in a couple of days…

My nephew (yes, I have a nephew- 2 nephews and 2 nieces to be exact!) had his Bar Mitzvah this weekend, so it was full of a lot of family and lot of food. I took some pictures here and there, but it was really hard to capture it all because I was chatting with relatives, friends, partying it up :), etc… it was basically a lot of bagels and lox¬†(not to be totally stereotypical, but oh well there I go…) and some great party food on Saturday night. There was¬† a yummy buffet and I chose Mexican food- chicken, veggie, and guacamole¬†fajita. Yum!

I stayed active all weekend by taking long walks with my parents, dancing¬† a lot at the party, and getting to the gym on Sunday for a great workout. I definitely don’t like eating so many big meals because I am so used to my way of eating: smaller meals, more frequently throughout the day. I end up feeling really hungry and then really bloated post-food.¬†¬†But exercise¬†helps me stay sane and feel better about eating in this way. Around the holidays, my goal isnt to lose weight, but just to maintain. Whoever can lose weight at this time of year gets kudos from me!

I ended the weekend last night with a really fun event/ dinner party. My friend Charlotte had the brilliant idea of having a pre-Thanksgiving dinner for friends since we were all going to be in different places for actual Turkey-day. Everyone made and brought Thanksgiving-esque dishes, but unlike most Turkey-Day dinners, these dishes were mostly vegetarian and healthy.

It was quite the spread! It included (from left to right) 2 kinds of grilled salmon, roasted veggies, a whole grain stuffing with walnuts and apples, a sweet potato casserole topped with oats, and a cornmeal dish topped with caramelized onions.

I loaded my plate up with a little bit of everything and it was ALL fantastic! My favorite dishes were definitely the cornmeal (made just with cornmeal and water) and the whole grain stuffing, and the girl who made them was nice enough to pass along the recipes post-dinner. I would love to recreate these sometime soon.

I was stuffed by the time we got to desserts, so I skipped out on a very delicious looking Spice Cake, and just had a small bowl of apple crisp, with mostly apples. There was vanilla ice-cream, but I knew I didn’t need it and it would have just put me waaaay over the edge!

This was soooo good! The girl who made it used lost of ginger and cinnamon. It was bursting with flavor, and I definitely snuck some more gooey, tasty apple into my bowl.

It was a great night, and so fun for me to meet lots of new people (thanks, Char!). When I got home last night, I hit the hay pretty early and woke up ready to hit the gym this¬†morning.¬†I did 45 minutes on the elliptical and felt so much better sweating out that bloated feeling. I really haven’t been hungry all morning (understandably) so I am just listening to my body.¬†I had half a banana around noon,¬†but I am still waiting for my hunger to kick in!

This week will be very weird in terms of my schedule, but I will do my best to get back to normal posting.

Happy almost Thanksgiving! Hope you guys have a great start to the (short) week!

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