Thursday, April 26, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* sitting with some nice people at lunch during I-Day. One guy was from Springfield and we talked Flyers the whole time.
* going out with Emily tonight. We didn't know each other real well but I asked her the other night if she wanted to get together. We went to a Thai place in her town, had a bottle of wine and a few apps. We talked and talked. I love this girl--we have a lot in common and just had great conversation. So happy she's dating Dave and I look forward to hanging out again this summer when we all go to DMB together in Pittsburgh.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* beautiful weather in Pittsburgh.
* meeting some great people from two different offices I'm focusing on up here.
* a great workout on the elliptical. I really didn't feel like doing it and wanted to take a nap but I made myself do it and it felt great!
* dinner at the Olive Garden. I had salad, breadsticks and a flatbread pizza. Everything was really good!
* American Idol tonight. This season is one of my favorites. I absolutely love Phillip and hope to see him play sometime. He did The Stone and it was fun to see him do a Dave song. I even voted tonight!

Dear Olive Garden,

I owe you an apology. When I drive by one of your locations or see your commercials I shrug my shoulders and think to myself "who goes there?" I've always thought "Why would anyone go to Olive Garden when you can find authentic, family owned, really good Italian restaurants in every town on the East Coast?"

I forced myself to go to the fitness center in my hotel this evening. I spent an hour looking at menus for all of the restaurants in this part of Pittsburgh. It was already 8:00pm and I wanted something close, quick and was kind of craving a flatbread pizza. I'm not eating meat right now so that has made finding places to eat challenging in this city.

I looked at your menu online and the caprese flatbread caught my attention. I know your breadsticks and salad (really, your dressing) are your staple items and they are damn good. I remember from many trips to your Lawrenceville location during my high school days. So, as much as it killed me to break my "try local restaurants when you're in a new city" rule, I headed out to your location in Greentree.

I ordered a salad and the flatbread pizza with basil, tomatoes, cheese and garlic. I was pleasantly surprised when I was given a couple breadsticks to go along with my salad. I ate the entire thing. Everything was delicious.

My server was very sweet and friendly; sometimes I'm not treated that way when dining alone because no server likes serving a table for one. They automatically think "smaller tip". She called me honey and sweetheart which was kind of weird because I'd bet my life I'm 10 years older than her. It makes me feel weird when people use those terms unless you're my aunt or grandma---and when I'm much older than you it makes me feel even weirder. It's ok though, because at least she was being nice.

On my way out of the restaurant I even stopped to tell the manager how lovely my server was. Since starting a new job in November I dine out several times a week. I can tell you the amount of times I leave 100% satisfied are few and far between.

So, Olive Garden---I'm sorry for judging you and for cracking jokes about people that go to Olive Garden. Because tonight, I was one of those people, and everything was great!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* a nice time at lunch with the Nationwide gang. We went to Cracker Barrel, I wasn't too thrilled about that but it was nice to see everyone. I just got a side salad because there was NOTHING on the menu besides a plain salad that didn't have meat or a ton of butter. They couldn't even give me green beans without butter because they are cooked in butter. Gross. I thought Friendly's was bad, at least they had rice and veggies. I don't care if I never see the inside of a Cracker Barrel again.
* listening to Seriously...I'm Kidding by Ellen during my drive to Pittsburgh. It was narrated by Ellen herself, who I could listen to forever. I just love her. It was funny and sincere and I really enjoyed it. It made 3 hours of my looooong drive go by quickly today.
* Auntie Anne's pretzels. They are seriously one of the favorite snacks. I had one during my drive since I was starving from barely eating lunch.
* starting Katie Couric's book The Best Advice I Ever Got after I finished listening to Ellen's book. I'm so glad I thought to check out a few books on tape (or CD, rather) from the library for my drive to and from Pittsburgh this week.
* Emily Gross sending me a recipe for roasted veggies lasagna. I thought it was nice of her to think of me.
* the text I got from Megan telling me she and Jeff haven't had meat for 5 days! I think that's awesome and I feel like I may have influenced them to try it.
* dinner at Scoglios Restaurant. I am becoming more comfortable with making up my own entrees when it's hard to find a choice without meat. The potato soup I had as an appetizer was awesome too!
* talking with Kerry tonight about her new job. I'm happy I called because seemed like she needed someone to talk to.

Monday, April 23, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* setting some more visits for next month and getting lots of emails out today for work.
* going to yoga tonight. It's been over a week since I last went and I could feel it. I need to start making sure I'm exercising when I'm traveling. Sometimes it's hard after long drives but I can't fall back into my old ways after doing so well for this long.
* dinner at The Great American Pub with Andy. Deig was our server (I forgot she works there) so it was fun to see her. She was able to talk to us almost the whole time we were there.
* getting things organized for my trip to Pittsburgh this week.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* getting to the sports complex with plenty of time to spare, since we drove from Avalon.
* being able to see James as he walked into the arena and saw all of the people and how big it is! It must seem enormous to him since he's so little. We had so much fun at the game! He was excited to have treats like pizza, soda and Dippin Dots. His daddy bought him a hockey stick and even the escalators were fun!
* the Flyers WIN Game 6. It was a great game and the team played very well. The Flyers closed out the series and we're excited for the next round! I'm happy I don't have to be in Pittsburgh for Game 7.

* getting things organized at home after the game and a relaxing evening watching the other hockey games.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* it turning out to be a pretty nice day in Avalon. I spent some time reading magazines and organizing our calendar out on the deck this morning.
* our trip to the Wildwood boardwalk. We went to Mack's for lunch and walked up and down the boardwalk. We also picked up a 1/4lb of fudge at Laura's Fudge as a special treat.
* getting Rich & Lee's house cleaned tonight. We decided to do it tonight since the weather was so nice today.
* yum mixed veggies and rice from the Chinese place on Dune Dr. for dinner since we didn't finish cleaning until late.
* keeping Megan and her sisters in my thoughts today. It's unbelievable today was 5 years since they lost their beautiful mommy. :-(

Friday, April 20, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* catching up on a lot of this stuff this morning.
* Susan helping me with ordering Bruce tickets this morning. It took forever to get through and I eventually gave up. She messaged me an hour later saying GA tickets went on sale and I was able to get them for September.  
* going to the zoo with Megan and the kids after work. We only went for about 2 hours but it was fun to see the animals with them. I think Jeffrey & James liked the snakes the most, yuck! Aunt Teen treated everyone to ice cream and then the kids did the zoo train. It was a lot of fun!
* meeting up with Andy in Essington and driving to the shore together. It was nice to have company, I usually do that drive by myself.
* a fun time watching Game 5 in Avalon. It stinks the Flyers lost again but we're going to Game 6 Sunday and we're hoping for a big WIN!
* remembering Melissa today, on the 1 year anniversary of her lost battle to cancer. :-( Everyone should try to live their lives the way she lived hers.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* Cathy introducing me to 2 new offices. I was able to present our services and hope to be able to grow those offices.
* lunch at Wegman's with Cathy and the other presenter David. They have an incredible selection! I had the white cheddar broccoli soup and a small mixed greens with lots of veggies.
* catching up on my shows from this week. It was so nice to just sit down on the couch!
* finding $25 off $50 coupon codes for The Limited. I ordered a couple of suits, a sweater, a shell and a belt for $125! Very excited because I discovered this week none of my suits fit me anymore. Love that I've lost a few pounds, I don't love that I need to buy all new clothes!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* the email from Aunt Kathy saying one of my girlfriends (Beth T.) sent a package for the auction. I'm so happy some people are participating!
* getting through the last day of the show. It was a great experience and I talked with some good prospects. I will need to invest in comfortable shoes for the next one though---my feet are done.
* a late lunch/early dinner at Maggiano's with Ian, John and Brian.
* being home to watch the Flyers game with Andy. We were bummed they lost :-(

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* breakfast with Sarah & Sam at the old fashioned Amish diner in Reading Terminal Market.
* the cupcakes and whoopie pies Sarah & I picked up from Flying Monkey Bakery before we went to the diner this morning. They guy was super nice and we picked out a whole bunch of things to bring back to the booth. $27 for a dozen cupcakes & whoopie pies was kind of crazy, but they were really good! They even had vegan ones!
* the Chinese food I had for lunch today. I love sesame chicken so I asked for mixed veggies in sesame sauce over rice. It was so good, I didn't even miss the chicken!
*I guess food was a big part of my day today, according to the previous 3 comments, haha. My love for eating has not diminished just because I'm not eating meat. :-)
* an awesome night out in the city. We went to parties at R2L (at the top of Liberty Two), The National Constitution Center, Hard Rock Cafe and Lucky Strike. My feet were killing me by the end of the night but we had a great time.
* being able to take a cab home so I didn't have to deal with the train late at night. It was nice to know I'd be sleeping in my own bed.

Monday, April 16, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* catching the train on time this morning. I walked to the train station with a suitcase and 2 bags of stuff for our booth and it felt like 80 degrees even at 8:30am. I was "bag lady" for sure, but I managed. I found it interesting that no one offered to help me with all of my crap while I tried to climb onto the train. Oh well...
* making some good contacts at the conference.
* lunch at Reading Terminal Market. I've only been there once before; there is definitely something for everyone there! I had vegetable soup and Caesar salad from one of the delis.
* the event at XIX going really well. I was so happy everyone liked the venue since I was the one that picked it out.
* Andy finishing our taxes and finding a way not to kill me in the process. I felt so bad for him.
* a fun time at World Cafe Live with Sam, Sarah & Ian at the Zurich party.
* Sarah letting me stay with her at the Sheraton so I didn't have to take the train home tonight.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* lunch at Baggataway's with Andy. We sat on the upstairs outside deck and the weather was perfect. I had veggie spring rolls with a sesame sauce and they were excellent!
* being able to watch about half of the Flyers game with Andy at home. I listened to the end of the 2nd period in the car and kept checking my phone while at the RIMS event tonight. They won 8-4!! I can't believe they're up 3-0, woo hoo!
* the RIMS event at The Please Touch Museum. It was so cool to see the museum set up for an event like this. Ian, Sarah, Casey and Same were there with me. We went to Ralph's in South Philly for dinner after. The food was fantastic---good old Italian classics. I had the eggplant parm and ate almost the whole thing!
* offering to drive Sam & Casey back to their hotels. Sam told me not to worry about getting to the conference early tomorrow and to take care of my taxes. I will still go in on time because I have a bunch of stuff Sarah needs but I thought that was so nice of him to offer.
* Andy being extremely patient with me when I didn't have everything ready for our taxes. I thought I did but there were a few things missing. I know he wasn't happy with me but he didn't freak out, and he had every right to.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* going to yoga this morning. The class was with Wania and it was very challenging. I pretty much couldn't wait for it to end but I know it was a good workout and I was glad I went.
* sitting outside on the back deck for a while after class. I read the newspaper, clipped coupons and had a salad and some bruschetta for lunch. I am loving this weather!
* walking around town with Mom, Dad and Andy. We stopped an ice cream/water ice place; the water ice was incredible. I think I found my favorite spot for this summer!
* a nice dinner with Andy, Mom & Dad, Kelly & Alex. I love being able to take my family to such great restaurants!
* deciding to come home for dessert. I made cinnimon buns and tea. We sat out on the back deck until after 8pm talking about everything under the sun. As always, there were some good laughs.
* this little note from mom...

Friday, April 13, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* Fall dates coming out for Bruce Springsteen in Philly and New York!
* talking with Kelly for a little bit today.
* finally getting to a yoga class tonight.
* catching up on some of my shows that I missed from being away.
* watching the Flyers game tonight with Andy. What a great game---another come from behind win!
* reading through one of the cookbooks Debbie sent me. It was the vegan one and there are a ton of recipes I want to try making!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
*being able to (surprisingly) find something decent at Friendly's for lunch. I took clients out to lunch today and that's where they asked to go. I got rice pilaf with mixed vegetables in an orange sweet & sour sauce. It was basically the only thing on the menu that wasn't fried or some kind of meat. (It came with shrimp but I just ordered it without.)
* getting home safely after a long drive from Long Island with lots of traffic. After driving 600+ miles I was thrilled to come home and plop myself on the couch.

Drove this many in two days...
* staying home from yoga to hang out with Andy. He had suggested we go out to dinner but we couldn't decide where to go and it was already after 8 so we made food at home and relaxed.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* good meetings in MD this morning.
* a safe drive to Long Island with little traffic. I was lucky because the brush fires were getting worse by the minute near the Meadowlands.
* talking with Megan and Missy during my drive.
* a nice dinner at Mim's in Syossett. I was starving by the time I got to NY!
* watching American Idol and the Flyers scoreboard on ESPN. Yay for the win; I'm excited to watch Game 2 on Friday!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* an easy drive to MD this morning with no traffic.
* going to the fitness center in the hotel this afternoon after my meetings. I made myself stay on the elliptical this afternoon when my headphones weren't working. It was torture but I did it anyway. It's the first time in I don't know how long workout clothes made it out of my bag at a hotel.
* going to Carrabba's for dinner. I did ok without getting my usual to-die-for chicken marsala. I got the fried mozzarella (I know, bad, but I've been craving them for over a week!), small side pasta with marsala sauce and sauteed spinach. It was more than enough food and I didn't really miss the chicken at all.
* walking around the Columbia Mall for a while after dinner. I had to walk off some of that food! I went to Bare Escentuals and learned some more about their makeup. I'm going to give it a shot---if I find something that truly helps with my redness I will forever be their customer! I also found a cute top and sweater at The Limited and a pair of pants that fit perfectly at Express!
* finally sending out a message to all of the women I know about Women for Women. Aunt Kathy is organizing a huge fundraiser for this charity and I hope I can help make it a success!
* finding out that I still have $2500 in bonds that I've never cashed in- woohoo!

Yes, still no meat---just way behind on my writing.

That's me, buzzing around the entire universe.
Today is Day 21, I can't believe it. This last week has been give you an idea I've been from home-->NYC-->While Plains, NY-->Long Island, NY-->home-->Easter Weekend with the Roth family-->home-->Hunt Valley, MD-->Columbia, MD and tomorrow I'll be heading back to Long Island.

In addition to the work craziness, I'm trying to help my Aunt Kathy with a wonderful fundraiser she's putting together for Women for Women. I'm also trying to find time to return emails and phone calls, and trying to spend quality time with Andy when I'm actually home.

So, how do all of these blog people do it? I've recently become addicted to reading blogs. Sadly blogs have replaced my reading of books. I kind of look at them as "non-fiction" memoirs??? Anyway, I don't know how these people find the time to write their blog posts. I have some catching up to do but I wanted to let you all know I'm still going strong with the no meat thing.

You won't be seeing the "what I ate today" and "my weight" since I can't remember and I'm not wasting the time trying to figure it out. I am going to work hard on catching up though because I really like having my journey documented. Once I hit Day 28 I think I'll be moving to a few times a week instead of daily because there is no way I can keep up with posts this lengthy and detailed on a daily basis.

Monday, April 9, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* getting all of the promotional items that Ian dropped off for work organized in the office.
* Chrissy coming to visit with Bella. I made a great veggie stir-fry meal and then we went to the King of Prussia mall.  I discovered l'occitane and I'm looking forward to trying their products once I finish the zillion lotions, shower gels and soaps that I already have at home.

 A gift from Debra Willoughby: "To help you on your journey!"

* the wonderful surprise I received today from Amazon. Two beautiful cookbooks; one vegetarian and one vegan. Debbie sent them to me and made my day!
* meeting with our financial planner tonight. I feel good about what I've saved for retirement so far and I'm excited about Andy & I setting goals together for our future.
* watching two more episodes of Nurse Jackie. I love that show!
* talking with Debbie for a bit tonight. The books meant so much to me and I had to call and say thank you. Talking to her made me excited for this summer!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* choosing to go to yoga this morning. I've been thinking a lot about my faith and the Catholic church. I've been reading a lot too about different ways to think about religion and Jesus. I think a lot of Catholics struggle with the church because it seems they refuse to "get with the times." What bothers me the most is how they try to say "everyone is welcome" but they don't really mean it. In trying to keep this short, my point is, I felt that going to yoga was the spiritual experience that was right for me today, on Easter. I find peace and quiet and inner strength when I go to yoga. I was really glad I went.
* making cute Rice Krispie treats with fun Easter colored sprinkles on top for the kids.

* a wonderful afternoon at Jeff & Megan's. We went to the playground, had Easter dinner and played out back with the kids. It was a beautiful day!

* a relaxing evening watching "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close." I liked it a lot but was fine with never seeing it in the theater. There are few movies these days that need to be viewed in the theater.
* talking with Mom & Dad when we got home for a bit.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* Andy & I both doing the elliptical this morning.
* our trip to the Please Touch Museum with all of the kids, Jeff & Megan, Aunt Diane and Mom Roth. It's the coolest place for kids! After we went to Smith Playground and the kids had a blast on the slide and swings. Uncle Andy pushed them to the moon and back. (My Uncle Johnny used to say that all the time.)
Please Touch Museum

Smith Playground
* Tony A's for dinner with everyone back at Jeff & Meg's house after our field trip.
* our PECO bill being much lower this month thanks to the mild weather. It was a nice change to our obscene bills!
* the response I received from Anna @ An Inch of Gray. Her blog is one of my favorites. Years after she started writing her blog, in Sept. 2011, she tragically lost her 12 year old son. Since then most of her writing has been about her loss. My heart breaks for her every time I read one of them. After reading this one titled "What You Can Do To Help A Greiving Family" I emailed her for permission to share what she wrote. I thought it was extremely helpful and well thought out. I know there have been many times when I wanted to do something, but I didn't know what to do. Thanks to her I can refer to her suggestions and always find something I can do to help.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Day 17

“While it is true that many people simply can't afford to pay more for food, either in money or time or both, many more of us can. After all, just in the last decade or two we've somehow found the time in the day to spend several hours on the internet and the money in the budget not only to pay for broadband service, but to cover a second phone bill and a new monthly bill for television, formerly free. For the majority of Americans, spending more for better food is less a matter of ability than priority." In Defense of Food
Do you want to start a great debate with me? Present the argument that eating healthy is too expensive. Now take inventory of what people spend their money on. Like Michael Pollan states above---people will spend the extra money for a data plan on their cell phone, a premium cable package, going out to eat and so on, but they balk at spending an extra couple dollars on healthier foods? I just don't get it.  
I believe change starts with educating people about food, healthy choices and they how can afford it. I think it's sad that parents consider a bucket of chicken and all the fixins' from KFC to be a "cheap" option. What do they cost, ten or twelve bucks? Give me $12 and I'll come up with several tasty, healthy meals.
If you take a look at poorer countries throughout the world, over time they've had less disease, cancer and obesity because they had to live off of rice, beans and vegetables versus the SAD (Standard American Diet) many of our poorer families live off of here. As these countries (China for example) became more industrialized, their people started eating more meat and fast food. Guess what? Their cancer and obesity rates have risen. One of my goals is to get involved with an organization that helps teach parents how to afford to feed their families with healthy foods while on a budget.
The real questions is what do you value? How are you willing to spend your money?

I have gratitude today for...
* the email I received from my boss saying I'm doing a good job. Those emails really help because I still feel like I have so much to learn.
* Andy's early dismissal from work. He was home by 3:30!
* a fun yoga class with Marissa. She had a playlist with 70's & 80's music and incorporated some dancing. It felt a little awkward but it was fun at the same time.
* going to King of Prussia to see Chris, Kem & the kids. They arrived this afternoon for Easter weekend.
* discovering how awesome Bridgeport's Brooklyn-Style pizza is!
* Kem showing me the iPad app Recipe Book. It's awesome and I'm excited to build my own recipe library!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Day 16

"A carnivore's intestines are only about 6 feet long, because meat isn't meant to hang out in the gut forever. Our intestines are 20 feet long; when we eat meat, it takes a full 72 hours to pass through us. That's 3 days, and your body, my friend, is 98.6 degrees inside! It's like having a steak sit out in the hot sun for 3 days straight. Eventually it will start to rot and putrefy. And that's what's happening inside of you. You may not feel that process now, but I challenge you to abstain from animal products for a month and then eat some meat. You will feel how heavy and dense it feels in your gut." The Kind Diet

Now this guy is made to eat meat
My thoughts on the above...ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww, that is so gross!!! As I was searching for the picture of the lion I found a number of sites that discuss the human body and the theory that our intestines aren't designed to handle meat. Yes, man has been eating meat for a long time, but that doesn't mean it's good for us. Although I haven't given up animal products completely for this 28 Day Challenge, I'm interested to see what I'll feel like the first time I have meat after this break. I can promise you I will think twice about eating steak more than once in a while after reading that quote, if at all.  
I had an interesting morning today. My company was supposed to sponsor a CE session for one of our clients but the presenter was in a bad car accident and the session had to be postponed. I still went into the office to introduce myself and to deliver the breakfast I had picked up for them.  
You wouldn't believe the amount of food that was in the breakroom. Cakes, cookies, bagels, name it, it was there. I can't imagine trying to make good choices in an environment like that. One thing I am learning as I go through the process of cutting meat out of my diet is that you really have to be firm in your choices. Making the right choice is often very hard. You have to go into situations like an office breakroom or a new restaurant with a plan, or making a good choice becomes even harder.
I left Long Island just before lunchtime and headed home. I stopped at a Panera in NJ and grabbed a french onion soup and 1/2 caesar salad.

I got home around 4pm and got myself to go to yoga even though I just wanted to sit on the couch. It's nice to be home!



I have gratitude today for...
* a safe drive home from Long Island. The session we were sponsoring today was cancelled because the presenter was in a bad car accident. With all the driving I do, I'm always thankful for a safe trip.
* a great yoga class with Jess tonight at Ryah.
* the article Debbie sent me about what's going on with chicken inspections. It's so gross. Everything that are government allows really gets to me--we have this vicious cycle of disease and obesity and obscene medical costs and then our politicians subsidize the companies that are filthy and make the foods causing all of this and take lobbyists $$. WTF?? The more I learn the more I want everyone I know, TO KNOW...but then people think you're the one being crazy, dramatic, preachy etc...Um, I think the people making the laws and decisions for us that are ok with all of this are the crazy ones.
* hanging out with Andy tonight watching the Flyers game and American Idol. It's hard to believe it's almost hockey playoff time!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* dinner with Beth tonight on Long Island. She was one of the interns that worked for me at Suburban Life and she's the biggest sweetheart. It was nice to see her.
* being tempted to go to the Bruce show but deciding not to push myself. I haven't been feeling that great (bad sore throat) and decided the 3+ of driving roundtrip wasn't something I wanted to deal with.
* driving by Grandma & Grandpa's house and seeing their old neighborhood.
23 1/2 Greenway Drive
* catching most of American Idol tonight.
* talking with Andy about bank accounts and changing my name. I'm starting to feel a little more ready about changing my name.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Day 15

“A serving size on ice cream is like a half a cup. Is that like a joke some guy put on there? "Hey, come here: look what I put for the serving size. Did you see? I just did it as a joke but they're going out like that." You ever know anybody to eat a half a cup of ice cream? "Hey, you wanna go grab something to eat?" "Ah, no. I had a half a cup of ice cream. Ya, a whole half a cup. I just kept eating and eating and eating. I must've had two spoonfuls.” Brian Regan
This quote couldn't be more fitting for me tonight. I decided to take the funny route for a sec and give you a break from the disturbing facts about meat and animal cruelty. But for real, serving sizes...let's talk about that for a minute. They're ridiculously huge, all the time. No one needs a pound of pasta, a triple cheese burger, a 96 oz Big Gulp or a 32oz rib-eye. There are lots of photos out there of what serving sizes looked like in the 50's, 60's, 70's and then now. Our servings today are 2x, sometimes 3x the amount of calories they were when our parents were growing up. We're made to feel that we're getting "more for our money" at restaurants. Sometimes meals from a restaurant feed me over and over to the point that I throw away the leftovers because I'm tired of eating them. We are all overdosing on food because it's so easily put in front of us, and let's face it, sometimes it's really hard to stop reaching for more.

Tonight I decided to indulge in some TCBY. You don't find actual TCBY stores in our area anymore so I took advantage during this lovely trip to New York. Maybe you are familiar with the DIY frozen yogurt places that are popping up all over the place---the first time I visited one was in Hermosa Beach in 2008. I remember telling my friend Debbie "these will be everywhere before we know it." Well, they're everywhere now, even TCBY has changed it's format.

One thing that has always bothered me about these places is they claim to be the "healthier" option, yet they give you a cup like this.

I don't even know how many ounces that is, my guess is at least 16. And that wasn't even the large cup, it was the small one. The did not have anything smaller. Now imagine walking into one of these places with a little kid. He's excited to experiment with this DIY thing. Do you think he's going to give himself 4-5 oz. (the standard kids size cup at Maggie Moo's)? Um, no. He's going to fill that baby up and then ask for M&Ms on top---and he's going to try to eat it all, because it's there. 

The lady behind me had her cup filled to the brim, and I thought to myself "I wouldn't even want to eat all of that. I'd lose interest." And that's the thing---The Law of Diminishing Returns applies to food. We think we need and want so much more than we really do, and we get to the point where we are mindlessly eating portions of this size because we don't want to waste the food, it's already there, it tastes good, and so on. Eventually, we're not even enjoying it anymore, but we're still eating it. They must laugh at me when I fill it just so the yogurt covers the bottom of the cup, and guess what---it's enough! 

I guess the point to all of this rambling is that we really need to start paying attention to not only what we're eating, but how much. If you eat meat, think about the recommended portion size (the USDA says 3 ounces). When is the last time you had a meal with just 3 ounces of chicken or beef? I'd bet my life there isn't a restaurant in America that serves a chicken dish with only 3 ounces of chicken. Same goes for almost everything else we eat. Too much of even the best foods can still be too much, and obviously too much of the crappy foods is even worse.

Serving Sizes-1950 vs. Today...and we wonder why we have obesity problems?
I have gratitude today for...
* an easy drive into NYC.
* a beautiful day to be driving ALL OVER New York
* driving through Syossett and the memories that came flooding back.
My mom worked at Aboff's. Christiano's used to have the best pizza, sadly not anymore. It's also the restaurant Billy Joel wrote about in Scenes From an Italian Restaurant
* stopping by Mom-Mom's house; meeting the family that lives there and taking a few pictures. I loved how the new owners have tried to keep some of the originality while remodeling.
19 Baylis Place
* trusting my inner voice and switching hotels when I felt uncomfortable at the first one I checked into.  
* TCBY's White Chocolate Mousse. There is nothing like it!
* reading Momastery. I've been reading it from the very beginning and I just love it so much. I'm sad I'm almost caught up to present day.
* talking with Mom tonight and telling her about my visit to Syossett. She sent me this beautiful email afterwards (after I tried out a cool new iPad app she told me about-Pen Ultimate

Yay!  I knew you would love it.  You can add pictures to your notes too!  I can't stop thinking about baylis place and the door opening - my heart is singing because my mom is right where she wants to be.  Thanks so much for going there what an unexpected gift.  I love you Chris!  Good night - I'm also very happy that you're in a nice hotel and not a crappy one :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Day 14

"Unfortunately, your doctor is not tossing and turning at night, debating the benefits of pushing drugs or food. He doesn't have enough information to be conflicted; although medical schools are supposed to provide students with approximately 25 hours of nutritional education, it's believed that as many as 60% don't comply." The Kind Diet
We grow up thinking our doctors know everything, that they know best. And some do, some doctors are miracle workers. I don't want this to come off as an anti-doctor rant. But when I reflect on the above quote, I can't help but think "So most doctors receive little or no training on nutrition? Are you kidding me?" How can they give advice and prescribe prescription after prescription after prescription if they're not learning about the foods we eat, how they are processed. They aren't educated on foods can be natural healing remedies for those that don't want to take pills for every little thing.

We trust our doctors to be leaders and healers. We trust them to take care of us and tell us what's best. Unfortunately, this isn't happening as much as we think, expect and deserve.

Become your own advocate. Educate yourself and make your own decisions on how you can live a healthier, longer and fuller life.
Become your own advocate!

I have gratitude today for...
* yet another acupuncture appointment. I haven't seen a whole lot of change but I'm trying to be patient!
* yoga class with Jen. She is one of my favorite!
* talking with Kerry tonight about her new job!
* getting organized for my trip to NY tomorrow-Thurs. so I don't have to rush around in the morning.
* yum veggie stir-fry and basmati rice for dinner.
* watching the CMA's on DVR. I really like DVR'ing the music awards; then I can just watch the performances I'd like to watch and fast forward through the rest.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

I have gratitude today for...
* Andy's April Fool's joke- telling me DMB tour is cancelled. I wouldn't say I'm really "grateful" for it but he did make me laugh.
* taking a walk around Avalon. We hung up some cleaning signs and bought beach badges for this season.
* spending some time updating my TS facebook page.
* getting a message from Uncle Gary with Danny's contact info in Afganistan. It included a "wish list" for us to send him packages.
* taking a drive along the island and walking around 96th street this afternoon.
* watching Love & Other Drugs. It was a really cute movie.

Day 13

"Other victims of the egg industry are male chicks; because egg operations need many more hens than roosters, baby male chicks are routinely disposed of in one of two ways: Either they are thrown into dumpsters full of other baby chicks, left to suffocate, or they are put, live, through meat grinders to be fed to other livestock. Female chicks have their beaks ground off with a hot blade at 1 or 2 days old. God help us all." The Kind Diet
Ok, so this quote isn't exactly about meat. It's about eggs. It doesn't matter. This is one of the quotes that made me sick to my stomach, made me wince, made a tear fall down my cheek. I was screaming inside, "HOW CAN THIS BE HAPPENING???  NO ONE KNOWS THIS IS HAPPENING!!!"

I don't have much more to say about this. I am in utter disbelief that this is happening every day to millions of male baby chicks and most people don't have any knowledge of it. Can you believe they throw babies in a meat grinder alive??? I don't care if you're the ugliest rat running around in a sewer; no living animal deserves to experience something like that. (Well, maybe rapists and child molesters but that's a discussion for another day, trying to keep the depression levels to a minimum here.)

Fortunately for me, eggs are about .00000001% of my diet. I never eat eggs and hardly cook with them. I am learning about egg substitutes (like ground flax seeds) for baking. I won't be dying Easter eggs in my house. I am just one person, and I'm a person that buys eggs no more than one or two times per year. If you eat a lot of eggs I beg of you to think about this stuff; the only certifications that pertain to animal treatment are "Certified Humane Raised & Handled."
Yup, this picture makes me sick too. God Help Us All. What has this world come to?