Search This Blog

Monday, December 8, 2014

thumbs up, thumbs down

Because you all need to know my opinions on shiz, right? (And they're not all complaints this time.)

1.) SmartWool socks. Thumbs up.  I don't have much circulation in my feet, I don't think, and they get very cold.  Recently I saw someone somewhere praising SmartWool socks as indispensable for surviving winter and it reminded me that I do have an old pair that came from I-don't-know-where but that are, indeed, the bee's knees.  So I decided I should really get some more.  The price for them is, however, alarming.  So I started looking for them at Marshall's and TJ Maxx, etc, with marginal success.  The discounted price ain't cheap either. But they are worth it. Then yesterday I was at Nordstrom Rack with a friend (to whom I had to explain why these socks are the Holy Grail of hosiery) and they had one pair in my size for 50% off retail. Score. Took them to the (male) cashier who asked excitedly if they were men's or women's.  He was crestfallen that they were women's. "I kept waiting for us to get them in and we didn't and I had to go to REI and pay $20."  I felt vindicated, because I think my friend didn't believe me these socks were a Big Deal until that outside confirmation, lulz.

2.) Kneeling squats in the Smith machine.  Thumbs probably down.  I mentioned my new gym doesn't have a real power rack with adjustable safeties, right?  Just two squat stands with fixed safeties and a Smith.  It's been kinda bumming me out that I can't do some of my favorite exercises.  So the other morning I sucked it up and attempted my beloved kneeling squats in the Smith.  I dunno, kids. You know how when you try to squat in the Smith you have to put your feet way out in front of you, and that's why squatting in the Smith isn't generally recommended? Well, doing kneeling squats in the Smith meant putting my knees way out in front of me and even then I didn't feel like I was getting complete ROM.  Gonna give these another try this week and see whether I can tweak them, but so far I'm disappointed.

3.) Naked Juice Green Machine. Thumbs up with shame. So, my one co-worker who shares my interest in "health" and "fitness" got a case of mini bottles of these at like Costco or the like and kindly brought me one. I am now sadly addicted. I say sadly because I don't have access to a source of mini bottles, so I'm buying the big ones which are a.) two servings but of course I drink it all and b.) like 3 bucks a whack.  It's fucking ridiculously delicious though. Mainly because it's apple and mango juice with a teeny tiny miniscule bit of kale to make you think it's good for you.  I keep telling myself it's obviously like 4 servings of fruit and vegetables so TOTALLY worth the 270 calories and three dollars. But even I don't believe myself and I want to be deluded about this.

4.) The Slutcracker. Thumbs mostly up.  Went to see this the other night with some** work friends and while the night had a damper on it for other reasons (weather was sucky, a couple of people who were planning on coming had last minute emergencies, and the host of our pre-show dinner party is going through a breakup), the show itself was on the whole fun and well-performed. What makes it germane to the blog is that it's burlesque and burlesque means there were a variety of mostly-unclothed body types.  I had to put away some of my preconceived prejudices about how skilled a dancer a 250 pound woman is going to be. I mean, I know saying that out loud (well, typing it publicly) makes me an asshole. But while I know fat people can be good athletes (see: many many powerlifters and Pablo Sandoval), I have to admit I don't visualize them as dancers. Which is obviously a stupid and wrong-headed prejudice and I now know that. So seeing a bunch of naked people perform a dirty ballet was good for my moral and ethical development.***


**Some. My more devoutly religious co-workers stayed home. And maybe prayed for our souls. Or bitched to their friends about having to work with a bunch of deviants. One of the two.

***See, religious co-workers? It was practically like going to church.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

pour some...

I hope you took some time out of your busy day of turkey-brining or suitcase-packing or office-clock-watching (or whatever you usually do the day before Thanksgiving) to actually watch a little of that video. Ah, the 80s. The mullets, the jeans, the men in "muscle" shirts totally devoid of muscles. It was a special time. Ahem.

But we're not here to discuss my misspent youth. We're here to discuss SUGAR.  Which is totally on topic at my house since I just made (and ate) poppin' fresh cinnamon buns at 5 am, plus put some non-sugar free pumpkin syrup in my coffee. It's almost a holiday. Shut up.  Also?  This post is illuminating to me as it has brought to my attention that I cannot spell cinnamon without help. I seriously tried three different wrong combinations of vowels before I gave up and let spellcheck do it.

So here is my question for you.  (No, it's NOT "why can I not spell simple words?" Pretty sure that's 'cause my mom smoked when she was pregnant. Or something. God.)  My question is, do YOU care how many grams of sugar a day you ingest?

Some of my friends and co-workers will scrutinize a nutrition label and accept or reject a food based on how many grams of sugar are in it.  It's totally foreign to me.  I read nutrition labels to see how much protein and/or how many calories are in something. I used to check out how many carbs, or carbs minus fiber, were in something, back when I used to care about that. But I have never counted my sugar grams. (Something I've never been crazy about??? Huh. Well, there had to be one thing.)  I don't even know what's good, bad, or mediocre when it comes to grams of sugar. How many grams of sugar are you supposed to eat if you're on the healthy eating train? Pretty sure the answer is NOT zero, because fruit.  But I see hyperventilating on the interwebs because some blogger or other dared call a recipe "healthy" when it contains xyz grams of sugar, so I know there are people who take this shit uber seriously.  I'm not sure why, but then again, I tend to reject out of hand any scientific research that suggests I should give up cookies.

Those are really good, btw.

Another thing that bewilders me is how there are people who will avoid sugar-sugar, but will substitute for it in recipes with maple syrup or agave or molasses in the name of "health."  I mean, you know I will substitute the evil splenda for sugar in recipes which I will then call "healthy" but what I really mean is low calorie and full of protein. Since I'm pretty aware that the probable cancer I'll get from the splenda twenty years from now negates any health claims.  But maple syrup/agave/molasses aren't even low calorie and I'm pretty sure they spike your blood sugar as much as sugar-sugar. So where's the healthifying?  Disclosure in the name of total transparency: I do have agave in my kitchen for making things for a couple friends who don't use artificial sweeteners but yet would feel psychologically better eating something "healthier" than sugar. I don't wanna rain on their parade even if I don't quite get the floats. (Humorous Thanksgiving analogy there? YOU be the judge.)

And to show you how hopped up on sugar I was this morning, here are some pictures of me from the mid 80s that I decided to share. Just to, y'know, illustrate the bad hair and clothes and makeup, in case you didn't watch that video I picked out just for you.  (Also probably because my mom smoked when she was pregnant) I couldn't figure out how to make my scanner work correctly. So after five tries, I gave up and took pictures of the pictures with my phone and emailed them to myself. Such a technical genius.

1.) That's my mom's navy blue pleather sofa and maroon carpet, not mine.  My taste may have been tragic, but not THAT tragic.

2.) I think these photos prove without any doubt that NO ONE in my family could ever shoot a decent picture.  Unless you consider the off-centeredness and the cutting off of half a person's head to be valid artistic choices. In which case...did you own a navy pleather sofa too?


Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 17, 2014

omg, i'm the worst blogger evah

Sorry, guys. Work and life in general have been kicking my butt***.  It's not even that I don't have time to write--I have weekends off (mostly) after all--it's that I don't have the mental energy to come up with either anything interesting to say or an entertaining way to present something that isn't actually interesting.  I keep thinking I'm going to have a fitness adventure and try something new, then come back to report on it, but then it's like, who am I kidding? go to gym, do same things, go to same yoga classes I know I like, rinse, repeat, blah.

I take that back.  I did go to a yoga workshop last month that was more meditation than yoga and it was very cool (though not, obviously, a "fitness adventure.")  The same weekend I did that, I also went to two other yoga classes, which is two more than I usually go to. I was kinda thinking that between the yoga, the meditation workshop, and the acupuncture--I've started back at acupuncture, have I mentioned that?--I could probably claim to be the most relaxed person in the history of relaxation. Stop laughing. Okay, if you know me, you can laugh. Briefly. But seriously, I think there's some truth in it. One of my co-workers, who is a basket case of work-related stress and anxiety, said to me (and our boss) the other night that working with me was good for her because I talk her off the ledge when she's stressing about shit that can't be controlled. I was like, oh honey, no. If I'm the least anxious person in the room, Houston, we got a problem.  But who knows? Maybe I AM the most relaxed person in the history of relaxation.

I have done one other new-ish thing over the past month. There have been several mornings where I've left work at 4:45 in the morning and it's been just so delightful outside, weather-wise, that I just couldn't bear to go to the gym and instead kept walking on by it.  And just kept walking the 3 1/2 to 4 miles to my ultimate destination where I'd get on the bus or commuter rail to my house.  There is something other-worldly and delightful about walking right through the city of Boston in that hour between 5 and 6 am and if I were not the worst blogger evah, I'd have done a whole post on it complete with pictures I took. But, y'know. And now that the polar fucking vortex is upon us, I'm not foreseeing very many more early morning walks/opportunities to take those as-yet nonexistent pictures, so that post will have to wait till spring. Or never. One of the two. I will say this, however.  If you ever have the opportunity to take a long walk or run through a city at that hour of the day, when it's still dark or just getting light and there are people around, but not too many, and traffic, but not too much, do it. It's like another world. A very pleasant, alien world.  (All the traffic lights at all the intersections on Boylston Street are flashing at that hour of the day. WHO KNEW?)

Okay, enough being positive n' shit.  On to the complaint department.  Because I would also like to update y'all on what's been pissing me off lately.

1.) Wasting food.  I threw out a whole pound of ground turkey this morning that I forgot was in my refrigerator. The sell-by date was 11/11. Oops. I am a moron. Luckily ground turkey is dirt cheap, but I am still pissed at myself.  I also threw out a tupperware full of canned pumpkin that had gone moldy the other day. I've been making that pumpkin cream cheese bake I shared the recipe for quite a bit and since it only calls for 82g of pumpkin at a whack, that means leftover canned pumpkin in a tupperware. The last time I bought canned pumpkin, the giant can of it was only like literally 20 cents more than the can that was half its size. But buying the giant can does NOT save you money when it molds before you can use half of it, Andrea you moron, you. That's my economy tip for today, kids.

2.) My own ignorance of basic knowledge. So, when I could not make the pumpkin oatmeal bake I wanted for breakfast the other day due to sad pumpkin tragedy, I was kinda stymied about what I could substitute. I gave up and just made proats. Sigh. But it made me realize I don't know enough about the chemistry of baking to just willy nilly alter recipes and I should DO something about that. Like, what is the difference between baking powder and baking soda? Don't they do the same thing? Why do you need both in the same recipe? How did someone figure out you need 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp baking soda in that recipe? What would happen if you used 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1/4 tsp baking powder instead?  Does anyone know of a good book (or website even) that would explain the science behind baking to me?  It might save me from eating proats. Which I am SO over.

3.) Aggressive sales people.  I was in the Nordstrom activewear department the other day, purportedly looking at North Face jackets. Purportedly, because I can't not also look at all the other workout clothes if I'm in a 20 foot radius of them. It's a sickness. So, I'm browsing the sale rack when Uber Perky 19 Year Old Salesgirl gloms onto me and helpfully explains that the rack I am looking at contains size extra small to medium, while that rack over there contains large to extra large. "Just so you know." Um, thanks? I think I could figure that out on my own?  I move onto other rack. She follows me, making a comment on everything I touch, most of them prefaced with "just so you know." Finally, I am at a rack of black winter jackets and she has to come over to point out that there are actually two different types of black down jacket on that rack.  "Yes! One has a hood and one doesn't, and one is puffier than the other!" I say totally deadpan.  She doesn't get my sarcasm.  I leave without buying anything. Un-fucking-believable.

And, now, to end on a positive note, here are a couple of things that are not pissing me off.

1.) My new sofa that I bought during tax free weekend and which was finally delivered just before Halloween. It's very very comfy.  Toby thinks so too.

2.) These pants which are half-price at Athleta. They're having free 2 day shipping on the website right now, which is handy if, like me, overly aggressive salespeople have made you appreciate online shopping all the more.  Seriously, though, those are my favorite new workout pants. Just so you know.

3.) I'm on vacation from 11/21 to 12/1, woohoo. Maybe there will be a fitness adventure!


***I also had Ebola. Or possibly a very bad cold. One of the two.

P.S. I saw a couple people online taking a fit at other people joking about their cold/flu/hangover being Ebola. Srsly? It's offensive to Ebola patients to poke fun at oneself by referring to one's admittedly minor ailment as a possibly deadly disease?  I guess I'm going to hell then.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

welcome to another edition of...

Do You Like How You Look?!?

[studio audience cheers]

Oh, god, not this shit again.  I was saying to my (virtual) weightlifting buddies the other day that I thought I'd lost some of the weight I'd put on over the summer just from being back to working out five or six days a week while tracking my food loosely on work days and mostly not tracking on weekends. And that if I lost a few more pounds that way, I wouldn't be complaining, but if I stayed where I am right now, I wouldn't be complaining either.  I really have no desire to be lean now and I certainly have no desire to go on a real diet.

And then I a.) actually weighed myself today and b.) tried to put on a pair of jeans I'd forgotten I had that I'd bought last spring when I made it down to 111 for that stoopid contest.  Oh hahahaha.  Ha.  It must be be self-delusion or something that I'd lost a few pounds because, no.

That made me feel temporarily all angsty, like maybe I should suck it up and commence weighing every morsel of food that goes in my mouth and start turning down free cookies.**  Luckily I came to my senses, which is why I'm semi-lying in my bed*** drinking a pumpkin beer**** while I type this.

Like that.

BUT I did make sure to be extra active today (yesterday, whatever). It was such a beautiful morning when I left work at 4:45 am that instead of heading to the gym, I took a four mile walk. Then later after I slept a (very) few hours, I did an errand, went to acupuncture, walked from there to the gym to lift, then walked back past a couple subway stops before getting on the train.  All that is to say that I had a total of 23540 steps on October 14. Which is 8.99 miles, apparently.  (What? I couldn't have walked another .01 mile? Goddamn.)  How do I know this? My new phablet told me. It's got some kind of free app that comes with it that counts my steps for me as long as the phone's, y'know, in my hand or in my pocket or in my bag.  I'm toying with getting a Fitbit since so many people I know have them now, but I'm not sure what it's gonna tell me that my phone doesn't. When I don't leave it sitting on a table, that is.

Anyway. I bet if I walked 9 miles everyday I'd fit into those jeans again. Without giving up beer. Though I'm not sure I wanna be 111 pounds.  All angsting aside, I'm pretty sure my middle aged face looks better with the extra poundage.  I dunno.  I wish I didn't care what my face or body looked like, considering it's all a downhill slide till death at this point, but vain people gon' vain.

Speaking of which, I was at the hairdresser last week, vainly getting my roots touched up, and another hairdresser and her 20-something client started discussing how women need to cut their hair short when they reach like 40. I felt like saying, "Oi! I'm sitting right here, bitches."  Instead I mildly said to my stylist, "I highly disagree with that."  She took my part. Which I'm sure is just good business practice, but whatever.  I was almost as offended at the conversation as I was at not being invited to go zip lining. Apparently I'm in some kind of easily-offended stage. Ahem. But maybe the hairdresser chick and her client *didn't think I was over 40* so that didn't know they were insulting me. Yeah. I'm sure that was it. (Oh, I kill myself.)

Finally, speaking of vanity and my new phone, I signed myself up for Instagram. But I haven't figured out how to use it.  I haven't actually figured out how to use the camera on my new phone yet either.  Shut up. I haven't really tried.  In any case, I am malevolent_andrea, just like on here. So if you use Instagram, follow me. Or what-the-fuck-ever it is, I don't know the lingo. (And get off my lawn.) Someday soon there will be pictures of my food and drinks and cat and hikes and the new clothes I buy and maybe douchey gym selfies.

You know you wanna see.


**Both the night nurses on my unit and the people in the sleep lab next door always have food. Like, always.  Last week I was eating ice cream cake at 2 am because it was someone's birthday.  Monday I had a giant chocolate-dipped shortbread cookie left over from a sleep conference.  [A 390 calorie muthafucking cookie. I looked it up.]

***I'm not working tonight because I swapped a shift with a co-worker who wanted to be able to go see her kid's cheerleading comp on Saturday. See, I'm not totally heartless.

****I had a case of Wachusett Pumpcan last year, but this shiz is even better.  Dogfish Head, you are the best.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

sad cat denouement and my new gym

Sad news first.

Remember me talking about my cat Eddie's awesome dieting success? Well. He kept losing weight despite my going back to feeding him all the treatz, then he stopped eating much of anything though still being sweet and cuddly as all get out (fooling me into thinking he was just fine), and then last weekend he started getting mopey, so I called the vet.  On first examination, it appeared he had some kind of liver problem--his gums were yellow (!) indicating jaundice.  Blood work, however, revealed his real problem was a severe anemia and the jaundice was due to his RBCs breaking down.  The working hypothesis was that he had a parasitic infection causing the anemia. This freaked me out because a.) it's basically what killed my old cat in 2010 (Evil Kitty, RIP) though hers was complicated by a preexisting heart condition and b.) Eddie's never gone outside a day in his life.

The vet talked me down off the ledge that there is NOT some kind of colony of killer ticks living in my basement, waiting to kill any animal I bring into this house, and that viruses are not gonna live free range on my surfaces for the two years in between cats. Etc. But they told me even if we started treating Eddie, he was very sick and had between a 30-50% chance of making it.  I chose to treat. I wasn't going to euthanize poor Eddie if he had a 50% chance of being fine. So they took him back to the vet hospital for IV fluids, IV antibiotics, steroids, and "hand feeding."  I think hand feeding is a code word for squirting food into his mouth with a syringe whether he liked it or not, but whatev.

This was on Wednesday. By Saturday morning, while he was peeing and pooping and keeping down what they fed him, he wasn't eating on his own and he was still very weak. They called for my permission to do more lab work.  Lab results were back this morning and his RBCs had fallen even lower and now his WBCs were affected as well. He wasn't responding to the antibiotics.  They gently suggested that it would be in Eddie's best interests to cease treatment.  They brought him back to my house so D and I could say goodbye and then put him to sleep.

I am very very sad. And no longer pimping out his miracle weight loss plan. Because the working hypothesis now is that it was due to blood cancer.  Or a parasite.  Lab test for that's still pending.

RIP, Eddie. You were an awesome cat and I'm glad we at least got to have you live with us for 2 1/2 years.

Now on to more blog-appropriate and more cheerful topics.

My new gym and my adventures there at 5 am!  I dunno if I mentioned it, but there are a metric fuckload of people working out at that ungodly hour. Which isn't ungodly for me, because that's like 6 pm in my world. But I think the majority of these people are just up, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, at 4 am, for which I should probably hate them.  Most of them are pretty polite, however. They put their plates away. They ask if you're using something before they barge in.  They even put the dumbbells back in numerical order.  The one huge lapse in manners I have observed occurred a couple Fridays ago.  My iPod was't charged and I wasn't wearing anything with pockets big enough to stick my humongous new phone (i.e. my "phablet") into, so I was without music.  I was thus treated to hearing two middle aged dudes discuss how women and teenagers shouldn't be lifting heavy weights because they're not, y'know, men.  But that's not the rude part. The rude part was when another gym buddy of theirs showed up and started inviting them and everyone else in the immediate area to go ziplining in western Mass this weekend. Except me.  I mean, I know I am the new kid on the block and not part of whatever 5 am clique they've got going on there, but this dude even went over to invite some woman on the elliptical that I've never seen him talk to before.  I felt like the only kid in second grade not to get a valentine. Or something.  I mean, don't *I* look like the kind of person who wants to go ziplining with a bunch of strangers??!???!??***  Hmmpphhh.

Other than this little episode, and the fact that this new gym only has squat racks with immovable safeties, not true power racks, plus no steps and risers, just fixed boxes, I have no complaints. I did originally think that they didn't have disinfectant for the benches/machines which kinda grossed me out. But then I figured out the little pop up boxes of what I thought were tissues scattered throughout the gym were in fact wet wipes. Duh. No wonder no one asks me to go ziplining.


***I absolutely do not

Friday, September 26, 2014

more citations from the food police

Saw some shade being cast towards a (female, of course) health and fitness blogger today for "eating 865 calories...before noon" and running so she can "eat 2500 calories of shit everyday" and "eat(ing) more than most men in a single day."  This was after she made her food diary public.  She was also roundly criticized for the amount of processed food, restaurant food, cheese, and other sins against clean eating she consumes. Meh. The criticism of her food choices annoyed me, but the OMG SHE EATS MORE THAN A DUDE just about gave me rage stroke.  Now I realize all this criticism is partially predicated on the fact that the woman is a big-time blogger who a bunch of people apparently find insufferable and I also realize that if you make your food diaries public you probably can expect this crap, but man. I am so frigging sick of women implying there's something wrong with other women if they eat anything other than tiny portions of salad and yogurt and egg whites.  I am so sick of the cultural bias that there's something wrong with a woman having a hearty appetite.

And for what it's worth, I don't think a 165-ish pound woman who's training for a half-marathon is overeating on 2500 calories a day. At all.

In the interest of fairness and solidarity with someone I don't know and have no real personal opinion on,  I thought I'd tell you all what I have had to eat today since I got up at 1pm.  (Everything I ate on 9/26 before I went to bed at 7:30am counts as yesterday's food. It's the only way tracking makes sense working nights.)

I had a mug of coffee with half-and-half and Splenda while getting dressed.  Then on my way to my acupuncture appointment I had a cheddar cheese bagel twist from Dunkin Donuts.  Then after my appointment while I was doing errands, I had a veggie melt sandwich from Cheeseboy. With about 2/3rds of a bottle of Coke Zero.  Before I hopped on the train to go home, I got one of those giant Reeses peanut butter cup cookies from Starbucks because I was a little peckish.  I'm gonna eat my actual dinner soon (rage stroke makes me hungry), but I think that's about 1500 calories right there.

Despite my massive indulgence*** in cheese, restaurant food, and artificial sweeteners and my man-like appetite, I am neither obese nor unhealthy.  (My cholesterol count is documented in this very blog. LOOK IT UP.)  So, in conclusion, stfu, anonymous chicks on the interwebs, and stop policing other people's food intake.


***so, okay, no, I don't eat those Starbucks cookies on the regular, and I'm not usually buying lunch at Cheeseboy, but cheddar cheese bagel twists ARE a diet staple. Sadly, they only sell them at Dunkin Donuts locations that have ovens which is definitely not all of them.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

my life as a vampire, week 3

Oh hai. Long time no write.

My last two weeks of day shift in August were literally crying-in-the-bathroom-at-work stressful and the month of September has been all about adjusting to being awake when everyone else is sleeping.  Plus, most of my internet time recently has been on the mobile device and I'm not good enough with the thumb typing to write actual blog posts that way. Blah blah blah excuse cakes.

But here I am now, dropping in with an update. Night shift=so far, so good.  Several people have said to me "you sound so much happier" and it's true.  I sound happier because I am happier.  I am, believe it or not, getting more sleep than when I was working days. I go to bed between 7:30 and 8 am and my alarm wakes me at 2:30. Compare that to going to bed at 10:30 or 11 pm and having to drag my sleep-deprived ass out of bed at 4:30 in the fucking morning and you will see that I'm getting at least an extra hour of sleep per day. And I am exercising almost every day. When I'm working my usual new schedule of Monday through Thursday nights, 6 pm to 4:30 am, I go to my new gym near the hospital after work, arriving just after they open at 5 and leaving just after 6.  Usually on Mondays I've been going to the gym in the afternoon before heading over to work. Most Fridays I go to 6 pm yoga. On Saturday and Sunday I've been going to the gym or to yoga or hiking/walking with friends.  This in itself all makes me much happier.

One of my new co-workers asked me the other night whether I was still going to the gym after work. When I said yes, she said (somewhat sarcastically, I think) "oh, you're so good."  "It makes me feel so much better," I answered, and she looked at me like I'd just sprouted a new arm. Or boob.  Some extraneous body part anyway. This is the same woman who refused to walk up two flights of stairs with me the other night after we'd gone to check on a patient's equipment, so, y'know, I realize she's not down with the whole exercise concept.  But I remain bemused that some people can only frame working out as "being good", as some kind of penance for eating cookies or some act of daunting willpower.

No.  It feels GOOD.

But I'm preaching to the choir here.

To reward you for your patience with my lack of blog content, I'd like to offer up a couple of recipes involving pumpkin that I've tried lately.

The first one is a pumpkin oatmeal cream cheese bake.  I got it from a friend who got it originally from a Facebook page called Kia's Fit Fare.

1/2 cup oats
2 egg whites (62g)
81g, 1/3 cup puree (canned) Pumpkin
1/4 cup Silk Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk or the Coconut Almond Breeze
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ginger
1/16 - 1/8 tsp salt (Just a light dash, not much needed)
½ to 1tbs Stevia (Not much, you can top with Maple or Sugar Free Syrup of Choice)

Cream Cheese Center:
2tbs, 28g of Fat Free Cream Cheese
1 tsp Stevia
1/2 tbs Silk Almond Milk

What you need:
2 Bowls
Measuring Spoons
Whisk or Large Fork
Large Ramekin
Cooking Spray/Oil


1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray Large Ramekin with cooking spray.
2. Combine all ingredients in bowl, pour in Ramekin.
3. For the cream cheese center, combine all ingredients listed. Lightly place in center of Bake without pushing down through mixture.
4. Topped with 3g (1/2 tbs) of pumpkin seeds.
5. Bake 30 mins at 350.
6. Allow to set for a few mins to cool and firm up slightly
7. Enjoy!! (Remember this is a Bake, so it will be slightly moist in center)

Nutrition /Macros for Pumpkin Cream Cheese Oatmeal Bake:
Calories: 252
Fat: 5g
Carbohydrate: 36g
Protein: 18g

The only change I make to the recipe is to use reduced fat (rather than fat-free) cream cheese and Splenda instead of stevia, because a.) fat-free cheese is a non sequitor and b.) I'm scarily not worried about getting cancer, and stevia tastes like ass to me.

The second recipe is for pumpkin turkey chili, and the recipe is on the Whole Foods website:

The changes I made to this were: using black beans instead of kidney beans, using 1.25 lbs of ground turkey instead of a pound (b/c that's how big my package was, plus PROTEINZ), omitting the garlic (b/c mine had dried up [sad face]), and adding a half teaspoon of cinnamon.  Plus mine's in plastic freezer containers, not a nice ceramic bowl, and there's not going to be any fancee sour cream garnish because work lunch.

I will say, if you intend to use that chili for dinner, NOT a work lunch, six servings is kinda overly optimistic in my view, even though I added extra meat to mine.  I'd say it makes three to four normal dinner-sized helpings. But maybe I'm just a glutton.

I hope to tell you all about my new gym in a separate post, but until then, just let me say this--the convenience store across the street from it sells individual Quest bars. For 3 bucks a pop.  Despite this highway robbery, I've been taking the opportunity to try out flavors I haven't had before and wouldn't buy a whole box of.  I had to buy two white chocolate raspberries ones in order to make a decision whether they were weird or tasted good. Conclusion: they're weird. But they also taste kinda good.

Oh, shut up. I just gave you a recipe for chili that has pumpkin in it. Do you trust my taste buds anyway?