I am currently living in what's designated as Zone B (which means, roughly, that flooding is expected but will probably not be too bad, so no evacuation). I have to say, I was really unimpressed and kind of dismayed at all these PREEMPTIVE subway/bus closures. Come on, New York, it's rain and wind! Anyway, here's my little hurricane story, coming at you right in the middle of it all.
My original hurricane plan was a pretty social one. But that fell through when hurricane buddy #1 got stuck in another state. Hurricane plan #2 was the most unfortunate. This involved me going into work (I am currently working in the BRONX!) and getting stuck there overnight. They had big plans to shuttle us all in but no big plans to shuttle us out! Luckily this plan also fell through as they evacuated me before noon and I got home safely just in time to decide that I wasn't about to leave my apartment, so hurricane buddy #2 was out too (she wasn't about to leave hers either). But, as it turns out, the hurricane got a little more impressive and with 4 feet of water east of 2nd avenue, hurricane buddy #3 has no power and I am hoping will canoe/raft/kayak his way over to my place 2 blocks away.
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Interestingly, as much as I thought everyone was CRAZY for going to the supermarkets and getting crates of water and stocking up on giant boxes of cereal and other non-perishables, I unwittingly stocked up myself. But that's because I walked by a grocery store in the Bronx with prices I simply couldn't turn down. All that up above for $15! This includes that giant kabocha squash (love!), bok choy, carrots, TOMATOES, zucchini, eggplant, okra and brussel sprouts. This would have definitely been at least $30-35 in the city!!
I will be feasting a la vegetarian for ever!
These are coming in handy quite a bit for the hurricane though!
Today's "dinner at home alone, sadface" meal was sauteed eggplant and zucchini. But kids, this wasn't pretty. Tasty though!
So simple....cut up some zuc, some e-plant and put on some salt, pepper, garlic and top it all off with a really nice balsamic vinegar. I also sprinkled some nutritional yeast on there, which I think made a big difference. I'm stuffed but I don't think there were too many calories? I wonder what the scale will think tomorrow.
By the way, the new apartment doesn't lend itself well to photography :-(
But there are a lot of things I wanted to cover in this post, all sort of related to being stuck at home while the wind rages outside.
First, my gym is closed. And honestly, at this point, I need to work out every day =( So I downloaded the much talked about p90x video. I decided to attempt an at-home workout and tired out their CardioX video (45 minutes) and also did the Ab Ripper (17 minutes).
The cardio made me break a tiny bit of a sweat but nothing to write home about...less than elliptical, definitely less than running. And I don't know how much of it to attribute to being in my apt and wearing a long sleeved shirt....
The Ab Ripper workout was just TOO DAMN HARD! That or maybe my hiatus from regular hot yoga has resulted in a really bad loss of core abdominal power! Likely the second. But now that I have the tapes, I'm going to keep doing a workout at home every now and then. I am guessing that my favorites will wind up being Plyometrics, Core/Synerystics, Yoga and Kenpro. Don't ask me what some of these actually are yet, I have no idea. It'll be like a surprise.
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Also, as promised, here's a little post on the home-sweet-home situation. Very appropriate since I am stuck here for at least a good 24 hours!
As you can see, my kitchen is QUITE small. One counter top, a MINI FRIDGE!! and not a huge amount of cabinet space (these are all pretty shallow). But the bonuses are the really nice microwave and the rather modern oven that preheats like a dream (the last two places I lived in had ovens from the middle ages). But I make do, and I did buy a small cube freezer that holds all my frozen stuff. Annoyingly, the freezer portion of the mini fridge is tiny and ineffectual while the fridge portion sometimes freezes my vegetables. But only sometimes, and I can never figure out why. Grrr! To the right is my brown leather couch, which used to be my only couch when I was first starting residency, and became an axillary couch in my 1 bedroom apartment. Thankfully I never got rid of it, since it's now my primary place of sitting once again. Note the painting: this is my mom's work! She made me a Renoir! She's amazing, no?
The "bedroom area" is enough to fit a bed, couch, bookshelf and dresser. The "kitchen" area does fit a small dining room table, and that's been pretty great. The loft storage up top (see upper right!) is really nifty though. I have two large-ish closets but nothing beats being able to just toss things up into the loft. The ladder gives it a fun touch too...I think (also it's useful for hanging scarves). Another thing to note (aside from my mom's other painting, my absolute favorite) is the exposed brick walls. Man did I think those were cool. But it turns out in the summer, it's like living in a brick-oven! You know, the kind they cook pizzas in? And in the cold weather...well those bricks just turn into ice cubes! The bills are kinda high!
But arguably, one of the coolest features is the breakfast bar! Yup, I have a little breakfast bar and these two bar stools were a holdover from the 1 bedroom apartment, where they stood, unused for a year and a half. They were never sold, even during the craigslist phase and now I am loving them. As you can see I have my laptop there and it makes it easy to watch TV while I eat and also blog!
On the right you can see that I did not decide to part from my wine bar =)
So that's it for today's blog post! PS, I also ate an apple and a little yogurt/berry snack. I think probably this wasn't a hugely successful day, although my lunch was pretty darned light (roasted okra and brussel sprouts, also on the menu tomorrow) and my breakfast was small in anticipation of a low-cardio/low calorie burn day.
I guess now it's just going to be me, some studying and a LOT more TV. Hopefully hurricane buddy #3 will manage to make it over here.
Folks, as much as I love yogurt (and if you look back on the archives, you'll see just how much yogurt I eat!), I have never ever ever found anything in the US that compared to my yogurt experiences abroad. Pasteurization? Complete disregard for nutritional status? Whatever the case, breakfasting during my travels was something I looked back on with supreme fondness. The highlight of all was the passion fruit yogurt+Meusli breakfast combo I used to indulge in while I backpacked through Australia. I'm sure there were about 900 calories in every bowl I ate but I definitely didn't care! Anyway, what brought these memories flooding back was a sighting of Muller yogurt at my neighborhood Fairway market. Muller is a European staple and pretty much dominates the dairy shelf at any respectable european market. It's thick, creamy and delicious. The American version is....well....pretty darned good! Well done Quaker! Probably if I could bring myself to get the full fat version, I'd be transported back to my days as a poor student backpacking through France/Switzerland/Germany, breakfasting on thick yogurt, lunching on doner kebabs and dinnering on breads and cheeses (read: cheap cheap cheap eats!).
On a more traditional note, I'm certainly trying so so so hard to move away from the single-girl eating habits I've accidentally acquired over the past few months to combat the few single-girl pounds I've gained too!
Not sure how successful I'm being, but this month, as I spend 4 weeks working (marooned in!) a hospital in the Bronx, I will at least be avoiding the post-lunch snack as often as I can. This was a great bit of economy (monetary and dietary!) that I put together for lunch. This was 1/4 of a small rotisserie chicken (white meat) chopped up super fine after de-boning and deskinning (lets call this 6 minutes) and a heaping tbsp 0% Fage Plain Greek Yogurt. I also added another heaping tbsp of black bean and corn salsa, because I was too lazy to defrost some veggies! Served with spinach.
The full lunch (I added a lot of spinach to this in the end!), along with a delicious green apple and agua.
My breakfast was neither photogenic nor particularly nutritious. Will work on this...
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And, as promised, snipets from life...the new his and hers! Thai food =)
Left is the shared appetizer of a sunny roll (this is a summer roll with tofu instead of shrimp) and left is my mango salad (skimpy!) and his gigantico fried snapper! It was delicious. I sorely regretted not getting the green papya salad that is my favorite.
That's all for now. I really hope to do better with the posting soon, but I figure this is a start! =)
I guess I should begin by stating the obvious-I haven't written anything on the blog in a LONG time. But things have been pretty tough and you'll notice some pretty big changes around here.
On the personal front, Boyfriend will no longer be in the picture. I've moved apartments (and will now be working in a smaller kitchen) and I will also be generally cooking only for one. Unfortunately, these past 6 months have also been fraught with poor eating habits and worse, poor drinking habits. My renewed blogging enthusiasm (hopefully!) partly stems from the fact that I really would like to be a little more responsible towards my body again.
Hopefully the new focus of eating healthfully and mindfully while being a single girl in the city will interest some of my readers! In the next post or two, I will put up some photos of my new digs with some pretty explicit views on just how little space I am working with (think mini fridge!). I'll also try and post some general thoughts and musings on living on my own again and will attempt to share, without oversharing, the social experience that necessarily accompanies that.
Through all this, it's important to note that my parents and friends have been extremely supportive. From things like helping me move, keeping me company, helping me with stuff that I'm hopeless with (hello, technology!), people in my life have stepped up and really showed me a lot of kindness. For those of you that do read this, even though it's been on hiatus for so long, thank you very much, you know who you are!
Down to business!
My mom, who has just been amazing with making sure I'm well stocked with food (and advice!), has come up with this very simple, very healthy, very LIGHT recipe for soup. I have now made two pots of this stuff and I think it's a great success. The ingredients and technique are simple
Ingredients (chop all veggies into bite sized pieces and pile in on top of each other)
**You can vary these ingredients depending on how much you like each thing**
3/4 package of prechopped cole slaw mix (see picture on left)
1 bunch celery
3 medium tomatoes (or 4 vine ripened or 2 giant beefsteaks)
2-3 peppers (red/green or combo of both)
Bay leaves (3)
2 lemons (juice and zest)
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin
Water or vegetable stock
**I think maybe adding some onion to this would be great**
**For a heartier soup, consider adding beans or potatoes**
Toss cole slaw into the bottom of the pot
Chop all veggies into bite sized pieces (time consuming)
Shred/chop/cut dill and cilantro
Zest and juice of lemons
Toss in at least a teaspoon of salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Dash of cumin
1tbsp of light-colored vinegar (whatever you have on hand)
Throw all chopped ingredients into a LARGE soup pot.
Cover all your vegetables with water and make sure there's about another inch of water to work with.
Turn on heat, boil then let simmer. Taste the soup every now and then and cook until the vegetables are to your liking.
This is not a short process. It takes about 30-40 minutes to prep and simmers for about an hour. Remember to keep tasting in order to get the seasonings to your liking. But it does generate at least 8 big servings of soup.
Here's another shot of the soup as it simmers (left). Unfortunately, it doesn't stay quite so bright (right). Still bringing it to work is like having a warm lunchtime salad. So healthy and light but sooooooo nice on a cold day!
I have no idea what the nutritional value of this soup is, but since it's pretty much all vegetable, no oil and no beans/potatoes/meat/rice, I can assume it's likely to be rather light.
But, of course, now that I'm no longer coming home and making dinner for two, I'm occupying myself with other pursuits! This summer was really heavy on outdoor activities and having food/drinks with friends. And now that the warmer months are coming to a close, I'm excited to begin to dust off my ski gear and hit the slopes for what I hope will be a very snow-heavy winter! Here's a short recap of my summer:
Up for this weekend is my good college guy-friend's wedding. I will be sitting at the table with all the groomsmen because I've known all these guys since my freshman year of college! We still get together and I consider them pretty close friends! The goals will be to a) enjoy myself fully b) attempt to avoid eating anything for filler** and c) to try out Spanx for the first time ever!
**Explanation of b): On previous occasions I've thought "well if I fill up on zucchini, eggplant and other veggies, I'll avoid the cheesy lobster mac n' cheese goodness and the fried rice balls". This turns out to be completely worthless, as in the end, I wind up filling up on "healthy foods" and then eating all the treats anyway! So this time, I will try to keep myself to small portions of "treats" but avoid anything for the sole purpose of "filling up on healthy stuff".
Wish me luck, and I'll let you know how both me, my dress and the Spanx handle the evening =)
Back with a vengeance,