Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hunting and Gathering

I just spent the weekend stalking wildlife in its native habitat.

And by wildlife, I mean a really skinny, gorgeous friend of mine. And by habitat, I mean a sophisticated, cosmopolitan city--in this case, San Francisco.

What did I learn? Lots, Dear Readers. I had quite the education. Tip-toeing after her in my pith helmet, I discovered:

1. Exercise. I'm talkin' the real stuff, with the hotel gym, and the running shoes. Not just strolling around with a gelato in your hand. And did she slack off because she was on vacation? Not a chance. She was up at dawn, gettin' it done. I, on the other hand, was blissfully snoozing.

2. No snacking between meals. The key to this is having a large cup in your hand at all times, filled either with coffee or tea. Both of them are satisfying and suppress the appetite. As I discovered.

3. Gluten is verboten. Why? Because all the really fattening stuff is basically gluten with food coloring and decorations. When you avoid bread and pasta, you have calories left over for lots of other stuff.

4. No meat. Meat often comes in the form of fried things, and fat-covered things. Fish, however, is fine. As is cheese, but not in gooey piles. More like arranged in delicate morsels between some fruit and nuts, or shaved gorgeously over salads. (Note: I don't like fish. So I had chicken.)

5. Life is only worth living with chocolate, so eat chocolate. But make sure it's quality high-cacao dark. Then go for it.

6. Same with wine. A glass or two on vacation enhances that vacation-y feeling. No mixed drinks, though, which are basically bread squeezed into a glass full of high-fructose corn syrup.

7. Enjoy fancy restaurants, but avoid those wallet-busting, waist-boosting entrees like steak and pork belly. You can have THREE beautiful veggie or fruit-based appetizers for fewer calories AND less money.

8. When in doubt, on the side.

Because it was Passover (which is basically the Jewish version of gluten-free) I followed a lot of these tenets on my trip. And the most shocking things happened.

1. I didn't feel hungry.
2. I didn't feel sleepy.
3. I didn't crave stuff.

Since these three states are basically the triad of my existence, this was surprising indeed.

Now, I like to think that when I'm at my best, I know something about nutrition. But maybe I have some pondering to do.


Sunday, April 08, 2012

Hippety Hoppety

Good lord, this silence has got to be some sort of record. Maybe I was just so relieved to be speaking again that I had to use up all my words orally. Something sounds wrong about that.

Yeah, my voice is mostly back. After three weeks--sheesh. I still sound a tiny bit froggy on those high notes. But I will return to my voice lesson this week, oh yes. I will.

Just returned from a Passover/Easter weekend in the OC. It's fast becoming a tradition to stay in the Residence Inn near my parents' house, which has room for us to spread out, and a kitchen for making snacks. Jarrah is bonkers for the pool, and David can loll on a shaded lounge chair with his Xoom while I sweat it out to my iPhone tunes in the tiny but sufficient gym. That way all three of us are happy.

Lots of niceness this weekend. Baby Lilah is now about 13 months, the age Jarrah was when I met her (though about half the size) and hilarious, outgoing and easy. I got to see my family for the first time in like three months. Breakfast with my dear old pal, Bryan, from high school. A stunning walk around Balboa Island, a breezy ferry trip, and some Skeeball (in place of the Area 51 which turned out to be broken--drat, I was really in the mood to blow the heads off some aliens.) It was all niceness except for the part where I had a great big ol' baby tantrum, as I often do when I'm around my family. I just stew and simmer about things until I blow over one seemingly tiny and inconsequential thing. And everyone just goes about their business or talks about me like I'm not even there. It's like I'm in one of those time-space continuum bubbles that you see in movies, or I'm the Ghost of Christmas Past or something, totally invisible to the naked eye. It's disconcerting, so I just keep yelling and feeling like a crazy person, trying to get noticed. Yep, good times. You'd think I'd grow out of it, but no, because it's in no way fun, and then I feel super-ashamed on top of being mad. Luckily, it had blown over by dinnertime. Everyone just pretends like it never happened. Family tradition, I guess.

Today we had Easter lunch with Mary and Paul and Joy, complete with yummy treats (so yummy it was less hard to turn down the rolls and the cornbread--we've just completed Day 2 of eight days of carb-free living) and an egg hunt. We also had several sequels of an original play, "The Easter Bunny's Mistake," written and performed by J and J with impressive amounts of hopping.

Next week I'm off on a girls' weekend to San Francisco to see Spamalot and indulge in some gluten-free frolicking with two friends from my University of London days. Really pretty stoked about that prospect (though not about the gluten-free part.)

Oh, and are you on Instagram? That's my new slightly obsessive hobby, taking pictures of random stuff, bathing it in filters and posting it to Instagram. Come join me, won't you?