Sunday, May 30, 2010

Food Glorious Food

      So, I realized that if I don't force myself to update, I probably won't. It's not that I don't want to, I just get easily distracted and well, lazy, which is why I got this thing in the first place. NO MORE LAZINESS.
     Okay, so, I know I had said that I was going to run yesterday, but I forgot that I work on the weekends. So, running didn't happen and I'm still a fat ass. We DID, however, get to go grocery shopping and get real food thanks to my grandparents, whom I love. We ended up spending way too much money on still makes me queasy thinking about it...but I'm all set on food for WEEKS so I guess the money would have been spent anyway. And now I get to eat yummy fruits and veggies, something my body has been craving for a while now.
     I also found some delicious baking mixes that are vegan friendly
:-) from Pillsbury & Duncan Hines(?)...maybe Betty. Last night I made some marbled cupcakes that were TO DIE FOR. According to Max, they more than make up for the weird spiced ones which is a success in my book. I topped them with more the of the same delicious buttercream frosting, this time colored purple. Why purple? I don't know...first color that came to Max's head I guess. Anyway, they're moist and fluffy and just too good. I also figured out that when using my Energy*G egg-replacer, soy milk gives it a more "egg" consistency than water, so I'll be using that from now on.
     Couldn't sleep last night...played the Sims, did dishes, and even visited the boy at work. Didn't end up going to sleep until 5:30AM. That being said, I did not get up to do my stair intervals this morning, so again, huge fitness fail. Max said he'd walk with me tonight though, so I don't have to feel completely defeated.
     I made an amazing salad for lunch today (segue of all segues...). Watermelon and strawberries were on sale, so I used those, half a cucumber, a veggie salad blend, a 100-calorie pack of almonds and some scallions with a raspberry vinaigrette. I highly recommend it. I think the best part of putting so much actual healthy stuff in salad rather than eggs or veggies drenched in oil or whatever, is that I can feel really full from something completely guiltless. Still have a piece of cantaloupe for later.
     In other news! As I mentioned above, I'm a huge Sims fan, Sims 3 to be exact. In fact, I plan to play as soon as I am done this post. There is a new expansion pack that I am DYING to get. It looks pretty fantastic...give it a looksie!

Until next time ;-)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Half Baked

So Max and I have been steadily running out of food for the past week or so. We're in between pay cycles, our rent is due on the 1st and we have little in the way of healthy options. Now, we're not starving, we have Ramen, and pasta, and as of last night we finally have SALAD.
To cope with the lack of variety in our diets I baked last week and yesterday. My first attempt was a low-fat vegan spice cupcake with buttercream frosting. Half of that worked really well. That buttercream frosting was the best frosting I've ever made. It took a 1/2c. of Earth Balance, a bag of powdered sugar, some milk and some vanilla and POOF! (no really, "poof"...I make a mess when mixing powdery things): DELICIOUS FROSTING. Now for the wasn't BAD per se...but it wasn't a cupcake. More like a sweet muffin. I mean, the frosting definitely helped...I had no trouble eating them. Max however, not a fan. I think the issue is, I bought some wheat flour a while back, but not the wheat PASTRY flour I had meant to buy. Everything is just coming out really dense and heavy. So hopefully I can get that problem solved.
Now yesterday, I had a craving for soft, NYC pretzels. You know, those 400 calorie twists the size of my face that are full of delicious simple carbohydrates? THOSE. So I whipped up a batch that was fairly easy from I used half wheat flour and half white so I could claim they were kind of healthy, and then some yeast, salt, oil, agave and maybe some milk? Well, some kneading, rolling, twisting and baking later I had some great pretzels on my hands. Salty, soft, warm...too good. I don't want to know the calorie count. I've already eaten half the batch. WHOOPS!
Oh well. On a bright note, I completed my first work-out challenge of the summer yesterday: 30 minutes of interval training on real stairs. This, to me, is a huge accomplishment for FL seeing as how even at 7:00 in the morning when I did it the humidity is still at around 80%. Now, I did feel like I was going to die...but I pushed through it so YAY ME. Tomorrow I think I'll run to Merrick Park from my apartment and look at dresses for my cousin's wedding, seeing as how that's the bulk of my weight-loss motivation for the summer. That's about 2 miles each way. You'll probably find my body on the side of Ponce. LET'S DO THIS!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

An Education

     There are about 20 states in the United States that publish textbooks. The rest of the states adopt one or more of these books into their curriculum. The more I read about this Texas Textbook debacle, the more infuriated I become. I find nothing wrong with teaching the “the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s," I mean, Ronald Reagan WAS president for the majority of the 80s. What I do have a problem with it people deciding they will redefine what the Constitution has already been ruled to lay out. “I reject the notion by the left of a constitutional separation of church and state,” said David Bradley, a conservative from Beaumont who works in real estate. “I have $1,000 for the charity of your choice if you can find it in the Constitution.” 
Oh really sir? Get your checkbook out. Let's ACEIT. The Constitution makes a clear division between federal regulations (that's state Mr. Beaumont) and any religion (church, just to clarify). "Amendment 1 - Freedom of Religion, Press, ExpressionRatified 12/15/1791. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Well, this means that Congress cannot make any ruling that favors or discriminates against any particular religion. That being said, there is a separation of church and state in regards to the Christian radicals who believe only creationism--I'm sorry Intelligent Design--should be taught in schools, which, quite frankly, Texas seems to be embracing the idea of. It is also interesting that many conservatives like to use the word "church" instead of "religion," seeing as how it is only pagans and Christians that refer to places of worship as a church. Not all Texans are bad. One man had enough balls to stand up against this. "Mavis B. Knight, a Democrat from Dallas, introduced an amendment requiring that students study the reasons “the founding fathers protected religious freedom in America by barring the government from promoting or disfavoring any particular religion above all others.” It was defeated on a party-line vote." Really? Defeated? So the Texas conservatives are now creating their own interpretation of the Constitutional amendments that have been accepted as law since the creation of this country? Interesting.

     They claim that they are only removing the left-minded skew from textbooks. However, I would assert that removing figures of importance from history books is an attempt to change history. "Cynthia Dunbar, a lawyer from Richmond who is a strict constitutionalist and thinks the nation was founded on Christian beliefs, managed to cut Thomas Jefferson from a list of figures whose writings inspired revolutions in the late 18th century and 19th century, replacing him with St. Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin and William Blackstone. (Jefferson is not well liked among conservatives on the board because he coined the term “separation between church and state.”)." Well Ms. Dunbar, I can see why you and Mr. Jefferson wouldn't get along. It is believed that he was most likely atheist, which would also attribute his desire to create a separation between church and state. I'd like to point out to young, Texas children though that THOMAS JEFFERSON EXISTED. You cannot simply make that untrue. In fact, he was the third president of the United States. Are you going to erase that too? Because if you don't, you will have to look at how he became president, and this revolutionary support for the Enlightenment will undoubtedly show up! That is, of course, taking into account that you would be teaching history as it actually happened.
     But what really infuriates me is changing the name "slave trade" to the "Atlantic triangular trade.” I'm sorry, what? Yes, please, let's downplay this atrocity where a countless number of men, women and children were kidnapped, savagely beaten, and if they were lucky enough to not make it to the brutal conditions in the United States, their corpses probably reside in the depths of that "triangle." That's disgusting. Considering they say in the same breath that they're removing liberal political correctness from schools, this is one of the biggest shifts to a bull euphemism I've ever heard.
     Read one of the articles for all the changes. Even Fox News includes most of them (I figured I should have some balance). If you're from Texas, I encourage you to write a letter to your representative if this bothers you as much as it bothers me. There is nothing wrong with being a Christian or a conservative, but brainwashing children to perpetuate your socio-political beliefs via textbooks is not okay. Keep them home and brainwash them via homeschooling instead.
     Luckily, California has already taken steps to ensure these textbooks will never enter the state. My decision to most likely raise my future children there feels really good right now. As far as ever stepping foot in Texas? Not a chance. Consider this my boycott.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Selling Out

Lately I've sold my soul to most other forms of social networking, so I figured: why not get a blog? I've been meaning to for a while really. Come up with all these ideas of what to post, tests to put myself through and blog about, but in the end, I figure why not just do everything? After all, I doubt many people will read this, and those that will probably won't care if there's an overarching theme. In fact, any overarching theme in my life would probably get old pretty darn fast. So, expect this to have everything from cooking efforts (vegan and otherwise), fitness trials and tribulations, film and tv reviews, environmental musings and more! Sounds like a late-night infomercial. Which, by the way, have you seen some of the stuff on there!? I want so much of it...
But I digress.

This is actually something I wrote while on the plane from Philly to Fort Lauderdale earlier this week with the plan of starting a blog. I realize that it sounds like I'm attempting to be deep or something, but I assure you, it's probably just the hunger and lack of sleep affecting my brain.

Cruising at 10,000ft. there is a cloud that looks like the flying dog from Neverending Story heading towards what appears to be the Old Man in the Mountain, with a Tuscan villa in his wake. Seriously. A chiseled Italian fortress shrouded in lush trees and hills. I'm sure it means something, but I couldn't possibly tell you what. But for some reason it's inspired me to write on the back of this receipt for an overpriced, eco-killing bottle of Dasani, and hopefully transcribe it to a blog at a later date. Inspiration struck me in much the same was about two weeks ago while I was walking by the lake, but apparently not deeply enough to motivate me to do anything about it. I feel it's time for a change--an awareness. It's more than getting the perfect body, having an outward drive for the environment...there's a constant, palpable energy in the air and I can feel it as I breathe in. The quality changes, but it's always there. It makes me want to better myself and my surroundings, to have self-confidence and a lasting impact on the world and others.

No time like the present, right?