Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Food is good!

Ok, I still have to work on being active again, I do move a lot, but not as much as I'd like to.

We're eating good though!

Last night we were tired from our Embarcadero expedition, so we decided to keep it simple. My husband grilled chicken thighs and summer squash.

He's really doing a good job at the grill and it was simple but delicious. We ate that with leftover couscous, and a quick tomato salad that I made with our new fresh tomatoes, and some fresh lettuce I had left over from last weekend. Here's what it looked like:

Neat huh? Simple, no fuss, mismatched dishes, welcome to my world! AH! ;op

After such an eventful day yesterday, I was feeling a little let down and lonely this morning. I felt like I needed to treat myself, but I didn't want to eat stuff I shouldn't. What to do?


Doesn't it look fuffy? I had more fun making it than I did eating it!

Left to right:

1- I have 1 hard boiled egg that I sliced with my super egg slicer (from Ichiban Kan). Between the egg slices I put a cucumber slice on which I have spread a LITTLE bit of homemade hummus.

2- I have leftover lettuce mixes with carrot sticks I made out of my yummy yellow carrots I got at the Embarcadero. On top of that, I put some fresh tomatoes on cutsy little skewer I have for my bento boxes.

3- I have a sliced plus, just one.

The whole thing was very filling, low calories, and fun to make!

I have a lot of time on my hands right now, and I find that to be very difficult. Rather than sitting around feeling depressed, I'm playing with food. And it's even healthy! How cool is that?

Things are changing for me and it's a good thing. I feel much more able to "deal with life" and face things than I did just a month ago and that brings me to share this:

This is an entire different topic, and I guess should be the topic of an entirely new post, but after being on Depo Provera for several years, I finally stopped using it and went for Mirena instead.

I'm not saying Mirena is for everybody, I'm saying if you're using Depo Provera and are finding yourself to be moody, anxious, depressed for no reason, look into a new birth control.

Since I was new to the country, I thought it was the "adaptation process" and that I was just going crazy as I got older.. wouldn't you know it? It was just my body not liking that stuff!!! I'm me again!

Just thought I would share, please don't let yourself down, react and "make things better" for yourself when needed!

Be good n stuff!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Our Embarcadero adventure today part 2

This morning we took off to the Embarcadero Farmer's market. We drove to Larkspur and from there took the ferry across, just for the fun of it. We had a great time! You can read and look at the first part of our adventure in the Part 1 of this post by clicking here.

Here's the second part of our adventure in pictures:

So as I said in the first part of this story, I was very careful not to buy stuff that I didn't need or that I could get cheaper back in Sonoma County. Here's what I got (obviously I took those pictures after getting home):

Those tomatoes were beautiful AND tasty. Not only that but they are tiny which makes them perfect for my bento lunches.

These French green beans are very thin, and tasty. I'm planning on serving them as a side dish with a little bit of olive oil, garlic, lemon and whatever herbs will fit.

These are great! Being so small, they are perfect for roasting and you could smell them from almost across the market! I'm not sure my husband will like them since they are a bit strong, but I sure will!

This is what that salesman was having me taste as I mentioned in the first part of this story. Those fruits are different "members" of the same family, peaches, plums, pluots (apricot-plum hybrid) and such. They are tasty! I had one of each sliced for dessert (for both of us) after lunch. Oh my!

All good things must come to an end, and we finally took the ferry back to Larkspur.

The Embarcadero building (Ferry Building I should say, sorry!) looks imposing from the bay doesn't it? Even with the Financial District buildings all around it.

Would you look at that handsome man? He has always looked good to me, but he's looking really really hot there isn't he? He's mine girls! Back off!

It was windy out there! Woaahhh!

So we made it home, and it was just past lunchtime! It feels like we've been out all day, but actually it was just a few hours. We were hungry after all that so we made ourselves sandwiches. I had with that left over couscous and made a little tomato salad with my new tiny tomatoes, a little bit of garlic olive oil, salt and pepper. It was delicious!

Tonight we're BBQing, but I'm not sure how hungry we'll be. We had lunch around 2pm...

So that's our Embarcadero adventure, we sure had a lot of fun, met a lot of extremely friendly people and tasted many good (if sometimes strange) fruits.

Our next adventure will be the San Rafael market I think. Haven't been to that street party in a long long time!

Be good n stuff!

Our Embarcadero adventure today part 1

This morning we took off to the Embarcadero Farmer's market. We drove to Larkspur and from there took the ferry across, just for the fun of it. We had a great time!

Here's our adventure in pictures:

First part is our Ferry trip from Larkspur to San Francisco. I grew up on boats and am much more at ease on the water than I am on land. I just love the feeling of the rocking ship, the smell of the sea, even the smell of the fuel burning brings me back to my childhood!

Larkspur's Ferry terminal! We're off!

"Huh Husband, is that Angel Island? Or Sausalito? Or what?"

You'll notice that there's nothing like sea wind to redo your hairdo!

"Ooooh would you look down there!"

After we got back on land, we stopped by Peet's for a coffee and a muffin before hitting the market.

Yes it's only coffee in there! I swear!

Finally, the market! It wasn't as big as the Saturday one, but it was also a lot less crowded. It was fun to talk to the vendors and taste so many fruits!

"Ooooh so many fruits!"

Would you look at my husband? You'd think he owns the place, too cute!

The hardest part is to decide what is worth buying, and what I can get cheaper (much cheaper) in Sonoma County. I was very careful because the prices are pretty high there. You do pay for quality, but still...

That guy could sell a fridge to Esquimos! He's super nice, had me tasting like 8 different fruits. I ended up buying some of each too! He even got my husband to taste stuff!

I was so focused on what to buy and not buy, and on having pictures for the blog, that when the guy working that booth offered to take our picture, my first answer was "No, I'm ok". My husband was like "Why?"

Cause I didn't think it through!! Sorry!!! We did get that picture, one of the very few we have!

Those are ALL peppers! Different shapes, different colors and it was huge!

In the Part two of "Our Embarcadero adventure today" There'll be pictures of our trip back and what I got! :o)
(To read the second part of this adventure click here)

Stay tuned!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Busy day, but successful

Today was a busy day, but a really good one! You know, one of those days that you get a lot accomplished that will help you get a lot accomplished in the coming days?

We had planned our day last night to clean up the house, catch up with the paperwork, the clutter and just do all the things we always say "Aww, next week!"

So we had planned to clean and declutter in the morning, take a break and go have lunch at Aram's Cafe in Petaluma. It's a little Mediterranean-Middle Eastern place that has great food, friendly service, and is right across the street from Copperfield's Bookstore! What else can you ask for?

So we did just that. Once there though, we realized we weren't really that hungry. Instead of each ordering a plate, we shared. We ordered one sandwich, the Lule Kebab pita, which is a whole pita cut in 2 and filled with a Lule Kebab, Hummus and Tabbouleh (I think). We also ordered only one side, the Roasted Red Potato Salad, which is YUMMY! It was plenty of food for both of us, it was very tasty, and we got lunch for both of us for about $11!

After lunch we stopped by Copperfield's, of course, and I didn't even buy a cookbook. I am beyond proud of myself!

We came back home, finished the declutter mission and moved the furniture around. The house is so calm and relaxing now. I've added candles, organized my things, thrown away a lot of stuff I didn't need. Ah! I just love doing this, I can breathe!

For dinner, my husband and I had planned to do a recipe for BBQ chicken we had done before. It's in the Weight Watchers Short Cut cookbook. The recipe calls for precooked chicken strips that you buy in packets, but instead we just cooked chicken breasts and used that. It's cheaper, and much healthier I think, since it cuts down on the "unknown chemicals" put in prepackaged food. It also ended up tasting better, so it's a win on all sides!

The recipe calls for a bun since it's a BBQ chicken sandwich, and that's what my husband did. For myself I took my serving of chicken and spread it over a salad. Here's what it looked like:

It was delicious! Spicy, but tasty also!

This time we doubled the recipe and I used my vacuum sealer to package the leftovers for the freezer.

So that's our day. I really think that a decluttered house helps having a decluttered mind. When things are chaotic around you, you can't focus and everything becomes more complicated.

The other thing is that if you want to do something that will take a lot of time and effort, planning something fun right in the middle of it makes it much easier.

As always, a little planning goes a long way!

Be good n stuff!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Dog Therapy

You know what is really a moodiness buster? Spending an hour or two with doggies!

Today we did just that! I was out on the road, running errands, looking for places to walk with my dog, Grace. We went to Sebastopol, but it was a lot hotter outside than I thought, so we cut our walk short.

I remembered that I was supposed to stop by my friend's house to pick up a few supplies for my meeting in Cotati. Once there, we saw to business and then my friend asked if I wanted to stick around to let our dogs play together. We had talked about it many times, but it just never happened before.

Grace is well socialized, she goes to doggie daycare and to the dog park regularly, she knows how to act with other dogs. I was working at the vet office when I got her and I knew I wanted to take her to work, so I made a lot of effort toward socializing her with humans AND dogs. I don't work there anymore, but my husband takes her regularly to work where she has to deal with people and dogs alike.

Bruno, my friend's dog, is totally well taken care of, but he's more of a "house dog". He's not so "well traveled". He is also much younger, 9 months old. Grace, at 4 years old, has lost the "puppiness" that makes them over react sometimes. I was keeping an eye on things for this reason.

He acted like a pro! Eager to play, but not at all obnoxious. They had fun together, and once Grace made it clear that she would not take shit from this pup, the two hit it off just fine!

Here's some pictures of the two out in my friend's backyard:

Grace is laying on my feet here, trying to look intimidating from a submissive position. Bruno is trying to look intimidating, but being very careful not to look at Grace in the eye.

Bruno says: "Please play with me!" And Grace is asking me "Am I supposed to play with him?"

And off they went, running around, peeing on each other's pee, and all around enjoying themselves!

After a little while of playing in the heat, Grace decided it was break time. She took ownership of a very comfy long chair (after I made sure it was ok with my friend, Grace is not permitted on furniture at home) leaving Bruno to beg for a spot.

Finally they made a compromise and that was that!

I think that Grace was tired when we came home. Doesn't she look tired?

While Grace was resting, Gaya got some attention. Yes, the picture is the right side up, the cat isn't though.

I think that playing with animals should be part of the Weight Watchers program, or any "healthy lifestyle" for that matter. It's relaxing, it's funny, and when you think you've seen it all, they find a new way to look goofy!

I was telling my friend, and this is true, that I had promised myself I would never get that close to a dog again.

Pets are pets, animals, they come into your life, and go, and that's just how it is. Their life is short, so getting attached to them is just asking for pain really.

Honestly though, I look at Grace, and at Gaya and I just can't help but melt a little inside. I love my furbabies, they are just the best there is! Yeah, they will go one day, until then, I'm gonna cuddle them until they turn blue!!

Be good n stuff!

Elegant Breakfast

I was hungry this morning, but nothing seemed good. Do you have those morning? Feeling a little mopey, whiny. Definitively a good day to treat myself.

Soooo, I decided to think up breakfast a little more than usual. It turned out very simple, but so good!

Here's what I had:

I had a little left over couscous from making the bentos this morning. It's pretty bland (the pork dish it goes with is very tasty) so it needed some spunk!

I cooked 1/2 cup of Better n egg with a lot of spices, hot chili, cumin, salt pepper and a little garam masala. I mixed the scrambled egg with the couscous.

With that I cut a carrot in sticks, and put a dish of eggplant hummus (from Trader Joes).

So, that's my breakfast, nothing earthshaking, but very tasty. As you can see in the picture though, I didn't go only for taste, but also for look.

I put the egg-couscous mixture in a white bowl, the hummus in a white dish (that's my soy sauce dipping dish for sushi!) and put the whole thing on a dark plate. It makes a fairly simple breakfast look all the more elegant.

I felt like I was eating a "fuffy breakfast" at a Mediterranean resort or something! It all in how you look at it, sometimes a tiny extra effort makes a huge difference!

Be good n stuff!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Adjustment of Focus

The Bento Blog took off and is going so strong that this one kind of fell on the wayside. I think it's mainly because I started this blog with a focus that didn't really work for me.

I started this as a "lifestyle blog", with the idea that I could help people change their life and find the right path toward healthy and well being. Not only it's pretentious of me, but my job is to "teach" people how to do this, I don't want to do that all over again in my spare time. Selfish, maybe, but also realistic.

I would rather just share my "adventures" with you my readers. Share with you the new foods I discover, my activity exploits, and the things I find that help me be a better happier me. From there, if you learn something then GREAT! I just don't want to be your "teacher", I'd rather be a friend who's sharing her discoveries and adventures.


My journey:

I needed to take myself in hand really, I was slipping and badly, so here's what I did:

I switched from the Core plan to the Flex plan.

I also emailed my boss at Weight Watchers and asked her if she would mind me "reporting" my weigh-in every week just to keep me accountable.

So now I'm all motivated! I'm moving, taking care of myself, really things are going well.

Discoveries & Adventures:

I'm also back in the groove of trying new things!

Today I went to Trader Joes and I came across a new fruit: Lychee

It's a Chinese fruit, here's what they look like (I peeled one of them to show the white flesh):

Here I have the peeled one in my hand to give you an idea of size:

The taste is very "fresh" and hard to describe. It's like a mix between honey dew melon, green grapes and oranges with a hint of strawberry. How's that for a description?

I think they are delicious, would go wonderfully in a fruit salad, or in a spinach salad.

I know you can find them canned, but they are generally in syrup, so get them fresh while you can! They also can be frozen whole with peel on. The skin will turn dark brown but the taste of the fruit will not be changed.


Last but not least, I went to the Cotati Farmer's Market today. I walked from home to there, about 45 minute to an hour to get there. I brought along my camera to share with you my readers, but I ended up taking no pictures.

I was there a whole 5 minutes, there were 3 or 4 veggies stands, a bunch of junk food, and honestly I was not impressed.

It should be noted that the County Fair started this week, so it might be a factor, but really I expected a little more "Farmer" than "Market".

The fish vendors are there though, that's something worth going for, but next time I'll drive. It's not worth walking so much for.

So that's today's adventures, I had a good day and enjoyed myself very much. Tomorrow will be pretty smooth, I have to stick around to wait for a package... fun!

My next major "adventure" should be this coming Tuesday, we're planning to visit the Farmer's Market at the Ferry Building in San Francisco (Embarcadero). I'm looking forward to discovering new things!

Be good n stuff!