Saturday, March 31, 2012

Week One of Real Food

Eric and I have gone primal...sounds fun, right?  We are only eating "real" foods - no hormones, no antibiotics, no pesticides, no chemicals...just food.  I would ask for accountability for this shift in our lifestyle, but I don't think I'm going to need it because so far it's been really easy.  And as it turns out, I'm a MUCH better at "real food' cooking than at standard American cooking.

Here's what we had to do to prepare ourselves for this change:
 - Clean out the pantry.  Stuff like popcorn, pancake mix, canned veggies, crackers, chips, etc...all had to go.  All our pantry had left when we got done was canned tomatoes (which are ok), tomato sauce, and a couple of Sadie's fruit cups, but once she finishes those, we'll go natural for those products too.

 - Go to the natural foods store.  For us, it was Whole Foods.  We have a freaking beautiful Whole Foods that we barely knew about because we've been shopping at a regular grocery store.  Although even the name of the store sounds expensive, our bottom line was exactly the same as what we pay at the regular grocery store because we're not buying crackers, chips, and other typical pantry foods...those apparently cost a lot of money.  Product for product, the bill at Whole Foods is definitely higher, but we're not comparing product for product because we're eating differently, right?

 - Purchase glass Pyrex storage containers with know, so we can stop microwaving leftovers in plastic storage containers.  Not good for ya.

 - Purchase a serious food processor. We got the mother of all food processors.  I've already gotten to play with it twice, and I can definitely see myself planning meals around the opportunity to use that bad boy.

 - COOK.  At first I was all like, "UGH," but now I'm all like, "WOOT!" (was that fun for you to read?  because it was fun for me to type).   It's fun to cook with this stuff...there's so much variety in vegetables!!!  I can use spices (woohoo!), and I can use my fancy schmancy steamer baskets.  Also, skillets are indispensable.

 - Wash dishes.  More cooking = more dishes.  Our least favorite chore.  It's actually been ok because we are tending to use the same dishes over and over again.

We started on Sunday, and although my body still hasn't quite recovered from the lack of glucose, I find myself excited each day about what I'm going to experiment with in the's my week in real food:

 - skillet tilapia (tilapia, EVOO, spices)
 - steamed carrots (butter, sliced steamed carrots)
 - steamed broccoli (broccoli only)

 - scrambled eggs and bacon (local eggs)
 - Salad with veggies, grilled chicken, and balsamic vinaigrette
 - Paleo chili (grass fed ground beef, peppers, onions, chili powder, tomato sauce)

 - sunny side up eggs
 - mixed greens salad
 - lettuce wrap cheeseburgers (grass fed ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes, whole cheese, onions)

 - hard boiled eggs
 - fajitas (no tortillas)
 - slow cooker roast with veggies (roast, beef broth, red wine, carrots, oregano, onions, garlic)

 - scrambled eggs
 - salad with veggies and chicken
 - leftover roast
 - mashed cauliflower (cauliflower, grass fed whole milk, butter)
 - steamed asparagus (asparagus only)

 - hard boiled egg
 - salad with veggies and chicken
 - skillet chicken (chicken, spices, EVOO)
 - steamed broccoli (broccoli only)
 - zucchini chips (sliced zucchini, EVOO, garlic, sea salt)

 - scrambled eggs (eggs, grass feed whole milk, butter)
 - bacon
 - Chipotle!  (bowl of grilled steak/chicken, grilled peppers and onions, pico de gallo, salsa, guacamole, lettuce)
 - leftover chicken and broccoli

 - blueberries
 - whole sharp cheddar cheese
 - cucumber and tomato puree (an unfortunate user error with the new food processor created an unintended puree)
 - cashews
 - hard boiled eggs
 - dark chocolate
 - strawberries
 - honeydew
 - kiwi

 - water (sometimes with a splash of lime or lemon)
 - organic green tea (so bitter...not sure if I'll ever get used to it)
 - grass fed whole milk
 - red wine


So here are my major takeaways:
1) I'm not hungry
2) The food we're eating is uh-freaking-mazing.
3) The hardest part of my week was turning down a Brown Betty cupcake
4) I have eaten more eggs in one week than I ate during the entirety of 2011.
5) Salads can be interesting.

We're trying this for 21 days.  If we like it, we'll keep it up.  If we don't, we'll stop, but I guarantee that we'll make healthier food choices from now on just from what we've learned about food during the last week.  I'll keep you posted on the menus from week to week just in case you're nervous we're starving.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Shawmont Adventure

Remember when I promised you we'd go back and take pictures of Shawmont Station?  Well here they are...


A little more we learned about Shawmont Station:

  • There is a bike/walking trail right beside the station - we saw a dozen people walk right by the abandoned station without ogling at it like we were.  Psht.
  • According to one passerby, Shawmont was, until the 90's, a "flagstop" station.  In other words, it was never a regular stop on the line (at least not in its later years).  If you wanted to catch a train at Shawmont, you had to wave it down as it came around the, huh?
  • There was cobblestone because Shawmont is freaking old.  

My little assistant and I had so much fun on our adventure!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

This Post Has TWO Will Smith References. No Joke.

We moved to the 46th floor of my building downtown this week...

Last June, I had to go to the top of our building (55 stories, mom and dad!) to test our cellular signal.  I went with the building manager who has clearly never dealt with a fear of heights.  I was trembling like a leaf and I kept trying to back out of going to do the test as we were climbing up the rickety ladders, but he kept saying, "No.  You're going, and you'll be thankful you did it once you get up there."  Well, I lived to tell about it, and I made him take a picture of me from the top of the tower to prove that I had actually done it because I'm not sure I would have believed it myself without photo evidence.  Here's proof positive that I am INSANE:
 My left hand is white knuckled on the railing you see behind me.  I'm pretty sure it went numb, but I smiled because, "Hey!  A photo op!" So now that you know I'm scared of heights...

Before the big move this week, we were on the 43rd floor.  Moving from 43 to 46 shouldn't be that much of a change, right?  Well...the thing about the 43rd floor is that I had ZERO view.  I didn't have to think about how high up I was because I had an ugly little balcony outside my window protecting me from the plummet that I inevitably imagine myself taking every time I look out of a high window.  Despite my mild fear of heights, I am now very thankful for my lovely view from the top of the City of Brotherly Love.

Since I project managed our office move, I have officially seen the view from my new office every hour between 6:30am and 11:30pm.  I took some pictures which I will obviously force you to look at below.

City Hall is on the right with the little statue on top...looks kind of like a clock tower.  The guy on top is William Penn.  The river in the background is the Schulykill.  See the bridge way off  in the back?  That's the Ben Franklin.  It's massive and scary to drive on...anyone else scared of long bridges?  anyone?  It's kind of beautiful for a big least I think it is.
This is the east side of the city...if it were the west side, I could bust out my fabulous rendition of the intro to "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air."  I totally do it every time I look out the other side at West Philly.  Philadelphians find no humor in that (ask me how I know), but I bet YOU would.

And here's the city at night...I don't know what anything in this photo is...a bunch of lights...some buildings.  I can't really tell at night, but it's very twinkly and sparkly.  The glowing orb to the right is City Hall again.  That's all I've got...sorry.

OH - and lest we forget.  From the hours of 8:00am-10:00am, we have this glamorous sight:
 Yes...that's right.  Vast nothingness.  We're above a lot of stuff on the 46th floor, but we are certainly not above the clouds...we are right inside of them.  At least until 10ish.

And while I don't have the luxury of thinking of Will Smith every time I look out my window, the east side of the city is good for something...
Sunrise over the Ben Franklin...pretty frickin' sweet.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Locks of Love

Guess who made a donation?? :)

Here was her beautiful hair was getting scraggly on the ends, so we went for a trim:

She told me to stop taking pictures so she could do her "pretty face."  Again with the pretty face?  Really?  Just in case you're wondering, here's the "pretty face."  
By the day I'll do a post on the implications of print and television advertising on young girls.  Brace yourself, mama, it'll be a doozy.

She's been begging for a short hair cut for months (because she hates getting her hair detangled).  Once she sat in the chair, the stylist told her that her hair was long enough to donate, so obviously, that sealed the deal.  No tangles AND I get to help another little girl?  Yes, please!  I don't know if I was *quite* ready, but life's about living in the moment, right? :)

Cutting the pony tail: 

 SO excited to give her pony tail away to a little girl who needs it...

These were taken with my batteries died:

She LOVES it!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Front Page News! ( E4, but still...)

Sadie's Great Grandma Betty sent this photo in to their local newspaper in Eric's hometown. The caption said, "Sadie, 4, is seen after her first dancing recital" and then lists all of her family.  AWWWW!

Sadie's famous in Frewsburg, yo. :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Errant Thought Roundup 57 - Guest Post!

Many thanks to my sweet friend Tatiana for this week's ETR!  I haven't written an ETR in 2 months...I'm so spoiled :)

I love, I love, I hate, I hate,
I like, I wish, for goodness sake...
I hope, I hope, I pray, I pray,
I will, I won't, and for today...

I love my mother.  Oh do I love that woman with all my heart.  She is a rock, and I can only hope I will grow up to be half the person she is. 
I love the diversity of the world... I mean how boring would it be if we were all exactly alike?  
I hate mean people. I really really do.  They get under my skin. 
I hate politics.  I know that I should really be more aware, but I choose to be ignorant in this subject, and I'm perfectly ok with that for now. 
I like gummy vitamins. Don't judge me :)
I wish my bills would disappear. 
for goodness sake... will someone please pass a law, stating once you are over the age of 80, you must pass your driving test again. It's not safe out there for out grandparents.  Too many aggressive drivers driving your run granny off the road.  Plus I always seem to get stuck behind grammy when I'm in giant rush and she is going 25 in a 45. 
I hope real books never go away.  I know that these fancy electronic devices that have books on them are actaully cheaper, but I love holding a real book, I love the way it smells, I love that they come in different sizes, and that they only cost a few dollars to replace if lost/stolen/broken. And I love having a giant bookcase at my house... books just look good!
I hope I will one day be able to help a lot of people. I don't think I do enough right now and I would love to do more one day. 
I pray that I never have to go to another funeral (how about that for unrealistic)
I pray my brother will be ok.
I will not lose faith...I am not religous, but I have faith...and sometimes, that faith is tested beyond it's limits.  I hope I never let it go. It's important to me. 
I won't judge so much.  I have made a solid effort not to judge people and I am doing better, but I have a ways to go. 
and for today, I will remind myself that everything happens for a reason. I may never know that reason, but I must accept it. 


Thank you, my friend for the lovely ETR.  I like gummy vitamins too, sister.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Counting Sheep

Walked into my bedroom...this was laying in my spot on the bed:

She looked so peaceful, I almost didn't want to disturb her.

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