Remember when I used to take crappy pictures of my food and post them here?
That's a rule I just made up, because I didn't technically "diet" yesterday and then I forgot to post. Instead, I spent most of the day on my couch in agony. Lately every time I eat eggs (which I did for breakfast yesterday) I get extreme nausea. I ate nothing between 9am and 8pm, when I went out and got a chicken sandwich from Wendy's because it was the only food on the entire Earth that sounded appetizing. Because of this nausea I missed a barbeque at a friend's house, so screw you, eggs.
Today was much better, stomach-wise, and I actually got a little exercise in by going on a walk with a few friends. We went at 8:30am and it was already a billion degrees, so this summer is sure to be fun. Somehow they talked me into training for a 5k, which if you know me is hilarious. I'm sure it will be an epic disaster, but I'm down to humiliate myself in the name of fitness if they are.
Today's eats. Breakfast was yogurt (140 calories), but I forgot to take a picture. Instead, please enjoy this picture of Penn Badgley in jorts, drinking out of a coconut.
He is ridiculous.
I decided to go see a movie (Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, which was surprisingly touching) and grabbed a salad from Qdoba. This is basically the best thing on their menu.
Mango and chicken salad, ~350 calories
I also ate about a million saltines before leaving the house. Or 12. At some point I also had an ice cream cone from McDonald's. 170 calories of pure deliciousness.
Dinner was another salad, because this heat is making my brain fry. I didn't even want to turn on the stove so I bought a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store. Best decision ever.
Greek chicken salad, with a side of aliens.
Now I'm watching The Newsroom and kind of hating it. Shrug.
I was so tired earlier that I fell asleep writing my True Blood review for Sunday's episode. It's easy to fall asleep while watching TV, but I think it takes a special talent to fall asleep while writing about it. Mid-sentence, no less. I'm pretty special.
So I abandoned True Blood and now I'm watching a bunch of Lost Girl episodes. It's a wild night in Casa Carrie.
Day two of iPhone pictures. I was too tired to get all fancy and Instagram them. And...go.
Breakfast. Not pictured: a large Diet Coke from McDonald's. What, the Starbucks drive-thru line was really long.
~250 calories (Can you tell I really don't like to eat a lot in the morning?)
Lunch. I'm getting good at this picture thing, I think, right? My office was having a going away party for someone. I attempted to make the taco feast healthy by adding delicious taco meat to lettuce and veggies I brought from home. Those poor lonely taco shells I left behind.
~400 calores. Maybe? I dunno.
Aren't you glad I'm here to provide you pictures of food that looks like vomit lovingly splattered on a styrofoam plate? It's a skill. This is actually what I brought to the party: a Strawberry Icebox Cake. It was freaking awesome.
~250 calories (It's small)
Man, that looks gross. It was good. Chicken, veggies, and rice, topped with a random packet of honey mustard sauce I found in my fridge. Hooray for food hoarding.
Day two down. I guess tomorrow I should exercise? Ugh.
I started this blog because I lost a lot of weight and wanted to show off. Then I got bored, got an actual writing job, stopped writing here, and gained most of it back. I'm pretty stupid.
So I'm going to blog my attempt to lose the weight again. I say attempt because there's no way I think I'm going to be as successful as I was last time. (There used to be proof of this success but I took it down because just seeing the link to the page was depressing, and depressing things make me want cupcakes, and that's kind of the opposite of the point here, right?)
Anyway. I'm going to take pictures of everything I eat, until I get bored with that and stop. I'm at least going to use this as a pseudo-public food journal. If you follow me on instagram (carrieraisler), I'm sorry about the onslaught of food photos.
So here we go. Ugly pictures of boring food. I'm going to make a million dollars.
Breakfast. Pretty exciting.
Lunch. Leftover grilled chicken and vegetables. Shoveled into my face in the 10 minute break between a meeting and a conference call, like the glamourous working girl I am.
Snack. I ate half.
Laziest dinner ever. Tuna salad, crackers, veggies.
That was horrifically boring. One day down, one billion to go. I'm probably going to eat more later, but hell if I'm going to take a picture of it, so you'll have to guess what I eat.
It will be pineapple and cottage cheese. Oops, spoilers.
Can we talk about something for a second?
It's just...something's been bugging me. Something SUPER SERIOUS. Something that's been keeping me up at night.
Why don't refried beans get any respect?
Chickpeas are the little miracle children of the blog world. Black beans, revered. White and kidney beans? Embraced. But refried beans feel like the bastard child (Jon Snow, what uuuuup?) of the healthy living blog community. Perhaps it's because the refried beans we've always eaten at Mexican restaurants are (deliciously) loaded with lard and cheese, making them creamy calorie bombs. Also, there's the whole "fried" thing in the name to contend with.
I'm here, however, to advocate for the refried bean. Because you know what? If prepared correctly, they're not only absolutely delicious but nutritious and versatile as well.
By now, you're probably expecting a detailed recipe on how to make amazing homemade refried beans. Yeah, not so much. As much as I would love to make the beans from scratch, I have this issue with Planning Ahead. In that I am terrible at it. And homemade beans are definitely something that require a good amount of lead time.
Just ask the bag of dried chickpeas that's been in my cupboard for three months.
So, here's my easy recipe for refried beans. Are you ready?
Step one: Buy refried beans. Fret for a moment about the BPA in the can, and then realize the BPA is just like a lazy tax. (A lazy tax that can potentially give you cancer if you're lazy enough for the rest of your life.) Vow to be less lazy.
There are two criteria I look for when buying refried beans: what's cheapest, and what has the fewest number of ingredients. This can was like 80 cents and has three ingredients: beans, canola oil and salt. Score.
Step two: Open can. Make delicious things like:
Roasted vegetable and refried bean burrito/tortilla/wrap thingies.
Roasted vegetable and refried bean taco salads.
And roasted vegetable and refried bean dip. (You might sense a theme here.)
Step three: When you run out of refried beans, go to the store and buy more.
(Oh, while I was out replenishing my refried bean stash? I also bought these.)
My freezer has been on the fritz lately. It turned ice cream to soup (still delicious), frozen bananas for smoothies into brown, mushy blobs (not so delicious). Luckily my landlord is awesome, and he took one look inside and declared I needed an entirely new refrigerator.
I adore my apartment, but the appliances are the pits. My stove has only one decent sized burner, and it's permanently tilted. My pancakes are really special.
My fridge...well, just look at it.
The shelves are so weird. Right? I mean, look at that awkward shelf in the middle right under the meat drawer. The only thing you can put on that is, like, tortillas. Or the newspaper.
So needless to say, I was pretty psyched to get a new fridge. You know what they say about expectations? I don't, come to think of it, but I know my expectations were NOT what I came home to tonight.
OH MY GOD IT IS SO SMALL. This is the same amount of food as the picture above. Hell, it's the EXACT SAME FOOD.
(Also, it's not new. Just slightly less old.)
You see those two clear drawers in the middle, there? Those are from my old fridge, which they just kind of slapped in there because I have so much crap. I took one of them out, but I'm leaving the other one just sitting on a shelf because otherwise, where do I put all of my cheeeeese without a cheese drawer?
I'm sort of in a tizzy.
I'll get over it.
My (still awesome, despite poor taste in appliances) landlord sent me a text telling me to test out the new freezer when I got home to make sure it worked. So I bought some ice cream on the way home.
Two things: 1) If you like peanut butter, buy this ice cream, as it is fantastic; 2) I took this picture at eye level. I can see the top of my fridge. I am only 5'7".
This fridge is a baby fridge. I hope one day it matures into an adult fridge so I can continue to grow my condiment and nut butter collections.
I also came home and found this was left out on the counter.
I didn't really want that butter anyway.
Today, my trainer kicked my ass.
(Maybe if I don't mention how I haven't posted in 11 months, no one will notice.)
It was the kind of ass kicking that makes you feel powerful, because despite how hard it was, despite how much I wanted to quit...I didn't. I finished every last burpee, even if I cursed the whole time.
(If I mention it, I'm going to have to explain why I was gone for so long, and I'm not sure I know how to do that.)
Right after I did my last exercise of the day, struggling and shaking, I stood up. I was proud of myself. I am STRONG. Then it happened. I looked in the mirror. I didn't like what I saw. And, immediately, I started beating myself up mentally.
"You're so fat."
"Why can't you stop eating? You're working out so hard and ruining it with your diet."
"You are a failure."
(Hmm. These inner voices might have something to do with why I've been gone so long. I should note this for later.)
At first, I indulged these inner voices. I mentally wallowed in them. Despite all I had just accomplished, I believed them. On my drive home, it hit me.
Fuck those voices. No, really. FUCK THEM. Did those voices just work out their arms so hard they aren't going to be able to wash their hair tomorrow? No. Those voices are chilling in my brain, sipping martinis and watching season four of Breaking Bad five days early because those voices have it easy. All they have to do is hang out in my brain, festering until they see their opportunity to take me down, like Heisenberg tried to take down Tuco.
(Hey, at least I was gone for so long I could use Breaking Bad references in this post. Bright side!)
I'm done with those voices. Just as Heisenberg ultimately wasn't the one who took down Tuco, those voices aren't going to defeat me. Those voices are the things that caused me to gain this weight in the first place. Those voices aren't welcome here anymore.
(Maybe I took the Breaking Bad thing too far. JESSE PINKMAN, CALL ME. Ahem. Anyway.)
I have a broken relationship with food and my body. And I need to fix it, because this broken relationship is affecting everything else in my life. I'm not quite sure how to do it in the long run. Tonight it involved making banana bread. Not just banana bread, but the best damn banana bread I've ever made.
It seems counterintuitive, I know. Making food to solve your issues with food? But creating recipes is fun. Way more fun than assault and battery on your own emotions. So, if you're having a bad day, make this bread. Eat a piece. Don't feel guilty about it.
Tropical Banana Nut Bread
3/4 c. flour
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
3-4 ripe bananas
1 8oz. can crushed pineapple
1/3 c. unsweetened coconut
1/3 c. walnuts
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. coconut oil
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a bowl, whisk together flours, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
In mixer, combine bananas, pineapple, coconut oil and sugar until incorporated. Add egg and vanilla. Slowly stir in flour mixture until just combined - don't overmix! Stir in walnuts and coconut.
Pour mixture into greased loaf pan and sprinkle additional nuts on top of loaf, because it's pretty and we like things that are pretty. Bake 45 minutes to an hour, until a tester comes out clean. (Optional: pull loaf out halfway through cooking time and top with shredded coconut for more pretty, pretty garnish.)
Cool in pan on a wire rack. Then EAT IT.
Side note: does anyone else's kitchen look like this when they bake?
If it isn't completely obvious from my lack of posts here, I haven't been cooking much the last few weeks. I've been eating just fine, but the cooking part has gone a bit by the wayside. Unfortunately this isn't going to change in the next week and a half or so, as I am going on vacation (!!!) to Los Angeles for a week. I'm hoping to do a little bit of "off-brand" blogging about my trip, and specifically about what I am eating on my trip. I actually went on a little mini-vacation this past weekend to Memphis to visit friends, so seeing as I have a lack of content I thought I'd write about it a bit. Sound good? It will, once you see the food. Trust me.
After a bit of a mishap on Saturday morning where I went 20 minutes in the wrong direction on the highway (DON'T JUDGE ME, I FIGURED IT OUT EVENTUALLY) I got to Memphis with very little trouble. Here's the thing about Memphis last weekend. It was hot. Like, killer hot. Despite the heat, we wanted to get out and sightsee a little bit. First stop: the mighty Mississippi. (I apologize in advance for the quality of some of these pics. I forgot my camera and had to use my phone.)
After seeing the river, we went to watch the ducks walk at the Peabody Hotel. The ducks were cute. The 30 minute barely audible explanation of the ducks was less so. I also asked to do a quick swing by Beale Street just to check it out.
On the way back to the house (for dinner!) we did a quick drive-by of Sun Studio to snap a quick pic. I am only including it because apparently we went back in time and I managed to take a picture in 1955, and I wanted to share my awesome time traveling powers.
OK, now to the good stuff: food. My only request while in Memphis was to get some barbecue. And get barbecue we did, indeed.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present pulled pork barbecue nachos from Central BBQ, served alongside a delicious Ghost River Brown Ale. Aiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeee.
I was pretty excited about the nachos. I think you can tell from my strangely arched eyebrow.
Yep, pretty much killed it. These were so freaking delicious. I got them without the liquid cheese and I can't imagine they would be better with it, because they were perfect. For real. I ate that entire basket in like 3 minutes. Sooooo good.
Just when I thought our food day couldn't get any better, my lovely host Jessi suggested we get sno cones. Um, yes please!
This place is (was?) Jerry Lee Lewis' favorite place and he went there so much they named it after him. Or something. It was pretty hot out, and therefore hard to absorb the story. Apparently it is a lot of people's favorite place because we waited for 45 minutes in 100 degree heat to get a damn sno cone. The thing is...it was totally worth it.
Wow. Best. Sno cone. EVER. I got a pineapple coconut and it was truly delicious. It was so fluffy and the flavoring didn't taste artificial at all. They even had the option to add soft serve to your sno cone, which all of my friends enjoyed. I abstained, but I tasted theirs and it was heavenly. Stupid lactose.
I believe as I was eating this I said "I want to eat barbecue nachos and sno cones every weekend for the rest of my life." And you know what? I do. It was that tasty.
Later that night there were some furious games of Mad Libs and Apples to Apples. Oh, and these. (Why yes, that is a panther.)
I don't know if you've heard, but it's kind of hot outside. Not quaint hot, like "oh, maybe I should rethink my hair choice," but crazy hot, like "gather up your elderly lest they die of heat stroke." While I am a professed fan of warm climes, I have to admit. It is stupid hot in Nashville right now.
I came home from work starving and sweaty and immediately buried my face in this.
Refreshing. If not necessarily ladylike.
I have an overwhelmingly full fridge because of my abundant CSA share this week, so fresh produce was on the menu for dinner tonight, and a lot of it. I also wanted to include some protein and the first thing that came to mind was hummus, so I whipped up a batch and it turned out to be my best hummus ever. Simple - but blog-worthy - for sure.
Creamy Lemony Hummus
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
Juice of 1.5 large lemons (or 2 smaller ones)
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1 heaping tablespoon tahini
1-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt & pepper to taste
Put all ingredients except olive oil in a food processor and blend until combined. While machine is on, stream in oil until you get your desired smooth and creamy consistency (mine took about 2 tablespoons, but I eyeballed it and didn't measure). Taste a few times along the way to adjust salt & pepper levels. Enjoy!
This hummus is great because the extra lemon juice really gives it a bright kick, and the cayenne gives a bit of background warmth and depth of flavor. If you like it as hot as the ridiculous weather outside, feel free to add more cayenne.
I basically made this hummus as a vehicle for the jaw-droppingly good tomatoes I got from my CSA this week, because just eating slices of tomato for dinner while standing over the sink would be sad. Not that I did that, or anything. All I will say is that there was more to this tomato than is pictured below. And now there isn't.
This tomato masterpiece was a piece of toast topped with hummus, tomatoes, salt, pepper and basil. Served with a quick cucumber salad (similar to this one) and corn on the mother-freaking cob.
Out of this world good. Let's see it all close-like.
See that gritty stuff? It's SALT. And the shiny stuff? BUTTER. Man, I am going to have happy dreams tonight.
Later on after wiping the drool off my face I watched the newest episode of Covert Affairs. I wish that show was better. I love spy stuff, I love girls who kick ass, and I love Christopher Gorham most of all (Jake 2.0!!!) but it is just not doing it for me. Oh, well, it's summer. I'll watch anything in the summer.
Other things I do in the summer? Eat my weight in watermelon. This was dessert.
Goodnight! I'm off to dream about butter. And air conditioning.