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Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Corn Syrup Commercial

Posted by pjcloud9 on March 14, 2011

Saturday Night Live: Corn Syrup Commercial.  Need I say more?


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Conservative Pescatarian

Posted by pjcloud9 on March 10, 2011

It is the conservative way:  Make personal choices.  Live with those choices.  Adjust as necessary.  No need for others to accomidate the choice.  No complaints, no excuses.  Employ family and friends when help is needed. 

This is how I look at my personal choices.  It especially applies to my choice to be a pescatarian

I have no expectations that anyone accomidate my personal choice to not eat meat.  Clearly the majority of people in American society eat meat.  It is the norm, thus meat is readily available and the main course choice in most cases.  I am not offended in any way when others eat meat in front of me (even in the case of BBQ sauce slathered ribs) or if it is the main dish they have chosen to prepare with me as one of the guests.  Actually, I prepare meat regularily for my kids because it is something they want to eat.

I can navigate any menu or any food provided to me and find something that works for me, even if it is small.  When it is challenging and I find myself not fully satisfied in the end, it is really no big deal.  We are so fortunate to have safe food and water so readily available around here there is really no place for complaints when I have a little hint of hunger going on.  Seriously, I will live.  (And have!)  And, as those of you who have spent extended periods of time with me, you know I always have snacks on hand.

I am coming up on my two year anniversary of adopting pescatarianism.  (This all started back with Life Long Eating Dilemma.)  I have no plans to change.  It was a very easy transition for me to shift from eating chicken daily with some occasional beef and pork to eating primarily vegetables with some occasional fish or shellfish.  I feel great, it helps me easily manage my daily calorie consumption, and it has prompted me to become more creative and adventurous in what I eat. (Octopus, anyone?)  Shopping for groceries is more fun and navigating a menu at a new restaurant or a meal provided at an event a welcome challenge.  (Note: I have to laugh when at Republican events and I am the one looking for vegetarian box lunch I ordered and people look in shock that there is an actual-real-live-Republican-vegetarian in the house! Such a sight to see!)

Overall, this change in my life has been welcome.  It combats boredom in that every present major focus area – food!  (And if you have not figured out how much I love food, clearly you are new to this blog!)

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Posted by pjcloud9 on December 13, 2010

‘Tis the season for people at the office to show appreciation for one another in the form of food.  Every time I go to the printer to pick-up a paper, there is a new box of truffles or cookies or candies staring me in the face.  Every stop in the breakroom consists of leftover pizza or sandwiches from a team party.  And don’t doubt for a minute by later this week, the crockpots will be fired up challenging the circuitry of this facility with their slow-simmering little smokies and Swedish meatballs.  (The air quality will be challenged in multiple ways as well.)  Potlucks all around – ew!

Join me on Twitter as I hash it out with #HolidayFattening.  The intent is if I Tweet it, I won’t eat it.

Tips to stop the madness of #HolidayFattening in your life these next 2 grueling weeks:

  • Tweet it so you won’t eat it: #HolidayFattening (Or eat it and Tweet it and guilt ensues – FUN!)
  • Find a way to burn a few extra calories each day.  Park farther away, take the stairs, get up from your desk and walk around for 5 min, etc.
  • If you can find time to workout among the holiday chaos, add 10% time each day for the next couple weeks.  So, if you want to get 20 minutes in, add 2 more just for good measure
  • Shame those who bring in treats by making a list, passing it around to the department and then posting it for all to see on the intranet (oh, not that one – sorry!)
  • You can have a taste if you aren’t afraid to throw food away.  Take an enjoyable bite or two, then pitch it.  Half the calories!
  • Be the life of the party by bringing healthy food in for the potluck.  Veggie trays, pita chips & hummus, be creative not creamy.

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Will Run For (fill in the blank), Salty Edition

Posted by pjcloud9 on June 24, 2009

Again, apologies to those currently in some serious diet restrictions.  Just remember, there are days when you have worked hard, worked out hard, and you deserve a little treat or snack.  These are not normally on the list except for high activity weeks, and in serious moderation.

Super Pretzels are seriously super.  I love to slather them in Archer Farms Brewmasters Mustard – mmm, mmm.  I try to avoid this snack most of the time, but game on this week!

Plain, salted, or with mustard (my fav), a carby delight.

Plain, salted, or with mustard (my fav), a carby delight.

Chips, wonderful chips.  I don’t add dip to either of these.

First, the Dutch Crunch by Old Dutch.  Greasy, salty, kettle chips that satisfy with some major crunch – thus the name.

Cruchy Dutchy, Dutchy Crunchy

Crunchy Dutchy, Dutchy Crunchy

And an all-time favorite, the classic Pringles.  One of the most fun foods to eat ever.

You just have to pretend you are a duck, right?

You just have to pretend you are a duck, right?

Just discovered this combo, and it’s a keeper.  Mauna Loa Macadamia Nuts mixed with cashews in equal proportions.  Taking cashews to a whole new level.

If only one of the islands came with it.

If only one of the islands came with it.


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Will Run For (fill in the blank)

Posted by pjcloud9 on June 21, 2009

This is the week I live for.  This is what this comes down to.  The week before a race when I begin to taper off the number of miles and I add more carbs into my diet.

May I remind you I am an AMATEUR triathlete, this is likely not the approach the pros take.  But it makes me happy and it works.  (My apologies for those of you trying to lose weight right now, this may not be the blog entry for you.)

First, if you dial back to November, you can read about my love affair with Chipotle.  What changes with my Chipotle order this week is I add the limey, delicious cilantro rice to my salad – mmmmmmmm.

How can you resist the deliciousness of Chipotle?

How can you resist the deliciousness of Chipotle?

Then it is all about sugar.  A couple of new products first, then a couple of classics.

Have you seen these Cinnabon bars from Kellogg’s?  I was running through Cub Foods last Sunday night late to get laundry detergent, and these little suckers were oh-so-strategically placed on the aisle.  Pop on in the microwave for 15 seconds – delish!

Cinnabon-y goodness in a convenient, individually wrapped bar!

Cinnabon-y goodness in a convenient, individually wrapped bar!

When Blue Bunny started cranking out Birthday Cake flavored ice cream about 2 years ago, I was so thankful.  The Cold Stone Creamery near my house recently closed and seriously, what could be better than cake flavored ice cream other than cake itself?

We're gonna party like it's your birthday.

We're gonna party like it's your birthday.

Now on to the classics, layering in some chocolate.  Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls have been around forever.  They are cheap, probably loaded with saturated fat, and full of white, sugary cream.  I think I can eat a pair of these babies in less than 30 seconds.  They satisfy!

Hey Little Debbie, you have never lost your charm, girl!

Hey Little Debbie, you have never lost your charm, girl!

And finally – the Oreo.  No post of mine about packaged food products with sugar would be complete without a mention.  Oreos are childhood in a box to me.  They were my grandpa’s favorite, I remember exactly which drawer and the Tupperware container my grandma would put them into.  I love them in the morning.  I love them at night.  I love them with milk.  I will even eat these bad boys with a Diet Coke at times.

I cannot imagine my life without Oreos: regular, double stuff, mint, golden, golden with chocolate frosting, you name it!

I cannot imagine my life without Oreos: regular, double stuff, mint, golden, golden with chocolate frosting, you name it!

This is one of the only weeks of the year that I eat this stuff with no guilt.  These items will not make up entire meals for me, but believe me, they will sneak their way in.  Running for cake people, running for cake.

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Life Long Eating Dilemma

Posted by pjcloud9 on March 30, 2009

I am in a constant state of being in an eating dilemma. It is nearing the edge of obsession. OK, it is obsession. I just finished reading “In Defense of Food” by Michael Pollan, the second book of his I have read. (The first “The Omnivore’s Dilemma“, both recommended) I am now more convinced than ever that radical eating habit changes must occur. “The Western Diet” is killing me!

Did you know that in nearly ever packaged food you consume you are eating a form of corn? Next in line is soybeans? Did you know that nutrition information as we know it has been derived from thousands of scientifically weak conclusions and government decisions to incorporate this “science” into “nutrition” as we know it in America today? Our dinner tables are being legislated just as much as our checkbooks. We cannot escape politics!
Basically it goes like this, and it is going to sound completely conspiracy theory, I know, so bear with me: Farmers grow corn. Farmers subsidized by government to not grow corn. Food scientists challenged to do something with the vast amounts of corn. Voila – cold breakfast cereal fortified with nutrition! If you are interested in filling in the blanks a bit, I highly recommend Mr. Pollan’s books. Very enlightening.
Now where all of this gets complicated for me personally is that my whole upbringing, my entire babyhood through college graduation was funded by this system. The whole intellect and energy of both of my parents has been dedicated to this system. My dad is a PhD agronomist whose life has been researching and developing corn and soybeans that can withstand tornadoes and produce massive yields. Not only that, but my mom is a clinical dietician who has purported her entire career the value of nutritionism, helping thousands of patients find their way through the flurry of modern food (although I must say, my mom is very realistic is saying what is crap and what is not in terms of advise).
So now, not only am I living in a life long eating dilemma about the simple question, “What should I eat?”, I now have the additional burden of, “Oh my God, my parents dedicated their entire lives, their brains, their time to this way of eating which paid for my clothes to my CDs to my college education and if I reject it am I rejecting them?”. I love my parents dearly and I cannot bear to think that is what is happening here.
But I am going to do it. As I type (starving, by the way), I am finding ways to wean myself off of “The Western Diet”. As little processed and packaged food as possible on a daily basis. Whole foods, fresh foods, or packaged foods with 5 or fewer ingredients I can pronounce. The current exceptions will be (I am flexible to what I need to adjust): Diet Coke (see The Case of Diet Coke), all the Girl Scout Cookies in my cupboard, and, of course, cake in any of its delightful forms. Wish me luck!

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A Slight Complaint for Ms. Jen Lancaster

Posted by pjcloud9 on February 8, 2009

(Editor’s note: This letter was originally composed last summer yet was never sent to the intended recipient in fear of being a pain in the ass. After meeting Ms. Lancaster at Blissdom ’09 this weekend, I feel compelled to share it. Let’s just say she signed my copy of “Such a Pretty Fat” with the following quip: “Pamela – I will not run for cake. XO, Jen Lancaster”)

August 24, 2008

Dear Ms. Lancaster-

I wanted to write you a quick note to let you know how much I am enjoying your latest memoir, “Such a Pretty Fat”. It is engaging, entertaining, and has completely captured my attention.

In fact, on my return flight today from a week working in Boston, I picked up the paperback and voraciously took it in, just as I did a cream puff (or two) from Mike’s Pastry in the North End in the days prior. From reading to sleeping, sleeping to reading, it was a delightful sequence of activity to pass the afternoon. (Could anyone get me an éclair, please?)

So, allow me to cut to the chase, here is the issue at hand. I had done quite well in controlling my appetite during a long stress-filled week of work in a city of unfamiliar cuisine. As I mentioned, I did have a pastry here and there, however I happily ate salads and seafood throughout the week as I dined on New England fare (READ: small, reasonable portions). Upon my return to the Midwest plus reading Chapter Seven of your latest book, I suddenly was overcome (like a crack addict) with an incredible urge to devour ribs slathered in barbeque sauce – sweet and sassy – meaty and more meaty. By the time my flight landed nearly two hours late in the Twin Cities, I was indexing all of the establishments that I could coerce my exhausted husband and son into stopping at on the way home, as I knew there were no ribs for me there. I even started to add meat items to the list, such as brisket and wings.

Why such the loss of self-control? Perhaps the stress got the best of me. The exhaustion, maybe. But, honestly my slight complaint is regarding the manner in which you juxtaposed romaine to ribs that put me over the edge. I am sorry, but I must blame you for my personal gluttony of the day. And the ribs, the brisket, the cornbread (with butter), the baked beans, the fries, and the pecan pie. Not to mention the romaine lettuce salad I ordered out of pure logic (and hardly touched) that simply made everything look so much more delicious.

We arrived at Famous Dave’s less than 15 minutes after getting loaded into our vehicle in airport parking. Due to my inability to pull myself together in these critical 15 minutes, I now have at least 60 minutes of cardio staring me in the face tomorrow morning. No thanks to you.


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The Case of Diet Coke

Posted by pjcloud9 on February 1, 2009

Back in June, I made the decision to stop drinking any soda or consuming caffeine. Mostly, for me, this meant giving up Diet Coke. I had looked at some of the research, heard what benefits others had experienced, and decided – yeah, sure – that sounds good to me. I will detox my body and be a new person. Yippee! I drank my last can of Diet Coke on Sunday, June 22, 2008. Not that anyone is counting.

So here I am, about seven months and eleven days later, wondering how I can go on another day without a Diet Coke. And I am not a new person. Same old me.

It was actually not difficult for me to stop drinking Diet Coke. I just drank that last can and stopped. I think it was all about proving to myself that I could do it. So I did, and now I want to drink one. OK, I have wanted to drink one A LOT. What is better than a sparkly Diet Coke with a piece of pizza? How about a giant fountain Diet Coke with a straw – oh yeah – drink it down. Or that occasional morning Diet Coke with an omlette. Yummy!

But now I have built it up to a point where I feel guilty or think it is some sign of weakness that I am going to go back to it. Oh, did I say that out loud?

The alternatives I have found are cumbersome. They are expensive. They are often hard to find. They have calories. With that, let’s build this case of Diet Coke out:

Against Diet Coke:

For Diet Coke:
-No calories

Seriously, I am over it. Why torture myself? Off to the store, need to get myself a case.

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My Personal Relationship with Chipotle

Posted by pjcloud9 on November 11, 2008

Chipotle. You have always been there for me. Since we first met in 2000 via fax-in order, my life has never been the same. It was that day that I had carnitas soft tacos with corn salsa and sour cream. I will never forget the impression you made on me.

From that day forward, I had to have you (at least weekly). I had to go and find you, take it all in in-person. Fax simply would not do. I would gather as many of my friends as I could to take the stroll over the skyway and stand in line at 50 South Sixth. And the lines were long. Everyone wanted a piece of you.

We would stand outside the glass for several minutes before reaching the doors. Once we crossed the threshold the sounds, the smells of your goodness would overtake us. We would chatter in excitement. What would it be today?

The usual? Perhaps. It started as a chicken burrito with pinto beans, medium salsa, sour cream and cheese. This was consistent for some time. I would cut it in half and eat the gooey insides of the burrito, getting it down to a reasonable size for normal consumption. Until every last bite was gone.

But as I grew (and I mean GREW) and changed, my burrito had to change as well. I could no longer afford the calories that the flour burrito that could envelop my thigh brought to the table. I had to make a major life change. I had to go with the bowl.

It was a gradual change. At first I started filling the bowl the same as the burrito. But, life is too short, and the desire for more, for a unique, adventurous relationship began. I would try the steak, back to what originally attracted me – the carnitas, also the barbacoa. The experimentation was delightful. It made me love you even more.

And the chips, how could I forget the chips? With a bowl and a lime and sea salt encrusted chip for scooping, I could not have been more delighted. I could crunch through a bag with others quickly, talking about our busy days and our crazy lives. But also taking a moment for you, Chipotle.

During these times of change, as the love grew, I campaigned for you and your attention. I sent e-mails to your corporate offices and made it know there was new retail space for development just over a mile from my home. Imagine how much closer we could become if we could see each other on the evenings and weekends? We could share so much more together, our lives would see the benefit of the intersections that are now numerous. I cannot express how joyful I was, and am still, to see you every single day. I may not always stop, but I always smile.

And yet, through all of this change, I still needed to downsize my body. You listened again. A salad? For me? With Chipotle Honey Vinaigrette? You do love me, you do. During the hard times, the weight loss times you gave me even more reason to depend on you Chipotle, my dear Chipotle. I was able to shift my usual to the salad, with chicken, black beans, mild, medium and corn salsas – hold the cheese and sour cream, please. But honey – PLEASE give me that Chipotle Honey Vinaigrette. You really know how to spice things up.

And suddenly, once the weight came off during that year, and I was ready to break out and experiment again, you really did it. With such humility and respect. It had been right there before me for all of these years: guacamole. You never insisted, you never pushed. You just let the guacamole be guacamole and you let me be me. Until one day, I finally noticed. I noticed this amazing gift that had always been right there. I had been too busy. Maybe too young, too naïve to think that I could love anything else more than what you had already offered more. But now I do. I cannot even imagine life without a little guac on the side – how did I ever live without it?

They have tried to keep us apart. Construction in City Center. Eight months with no direct link to your 76th & Lyndale location. This did not stop us, it made our hearts grow fonder still.

Others have showed their love. You think I have not noticed the men and women in uniform always with you? The police officers, state troopers, paramedics, fire fighters, etc. I see them there. I trust you, and them.

But truly, it has been eight years. We have been through so much. It all started with a fax order and now we have the guac. My life is richer and more interesting because you are in it. You have been patient with me, giving. I only hope that I am giving enough back. (A minimum once per week frequency represents one of your best customers, right? Good margin on the salad, I trust?)

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Still sick, trying to determine course of action

Posted by pjcloud9 on November 11, 2008

It is technically day 7 of the sickness, day 5 for the full-scale version. This is really putting a cramp in my style. It does make fitness difficult. Especially when you have cold-like symptoms vs flu-like symptoms and all you can hear in your head is, “feed a cold, starve a fever”. Voila! This is the solution and my ticket to starting winter slothdom early. The thirty-one degrees and flurries outside does not help the cause.

I am teetering between just going all out, full on cardio work out or perhaps just giving in to temptation and eating a giant slice of poundcake from Starbucks. Per my own philosophy of balance, typically I would do both and be done with it.

Last night, I did receive a fair warning from a friend (thank you, SA), that I need to be cautious in my pursuit of activity when ill. She experienced a classmate’s death (yes, seriously serious) from a virus attacking his heart. She has done some research on this case and found that when ill, if you push your body too far, freak things such as this can happen. Don’t want anything like that going on.

So here I sit in Starbucks with my decaf Wild Orange Hot Tea, just yards away from that golden, moist, dense poundcake. And a reminder that it is nearly time for lunch and that would not be sensible at this time regardless of feeding the cold.

Shifting gears and dreaming of salsa instead. It might just have a shot at helping to clear this thing up!

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