Food, Weightloss

Vacation’s over

It seems like it always takes until frickin’ June to fully shed the Holiday weight. Just me? Okay.

Well in my experience, there always seems to be an excuse to keep on those last few pounds between the months of January and April: “It’s Christmas.” “Screw it, it’s Spring Break.” “To hell with it; I’m on vacation!” Well, I’ve got news for you: vacation’s over.

I recently got back from a weekend family trip to San Francisco and, as it turns out, that city is fully awesome. Also, sea lions are silly creatures.

The last time I was there I was fifteen (fifteen!), and I don’t remember the city being nearly that phenomenal. The people. The architecture. The food. It’s all great. There are good vibes flying all over that place.

After spending some much needed time there with a couple friends of mine, I have determined that I must live there someday. Hopefully, when I reside there I won’t eat in the same excess that I did last weekend. There’s just so many good  restaurants! It’s foodie heaven. (I highly suggest a place on Columbus street called Colosseo…get the Penne in pink sauce with crab meat and asparagus). In just three days, I managed to cover all the no-no’s of eating options, including a cheeseburger from a place called Sally’s and a sourdough pizza from the Boudin Bakery.

I don’t regret these choices at all, for they are just a necessary element in my annual weight loss slash gain cycle. You know how it goes:

JANUARY: Self loathing and resentment due to holiday poundage. Vacation?

FEBRUARY: Acceptance of holiday weight + Valentines chocolates.

MARCH: Pretty much fed up with residual Holiday weight. Vacation?

APRIL: Realization that Holiday weight must soon vanish.

MAY: Panic and chaos reigns in this month as Summer hints at its existence.

JUNE: Comfort foods are no longer sought after since it’s too hot to be comfortable and we must now minimize layers.

JULY: Eat watermelon only. Play outside.

AUGUST: Eat watermelon only. Play outside.

SEPTEMBER: Feel good about self because you are thin from the summer.

OCTOBER: Same as September, but add leftover Halloween candy.

NOVEMBER: Same as October, but add Thanksgiving. Pounds start to add on.

DECEMBER: Fat and happy.

My goal this year is to be beach ready by the time summer starts. Last year I spent the whole summer getting in shape for summer. As you might guess, that’s not actually all that satisfying since the summer was over by the time I was in proper shape. But not this year! This means that in a couple weeks it will be high time to start kicking my own ass into shape. I’m actually quite excited and motivated for this next part of the weight loss cycle.

Another exciting thing that’s coming up is a career-related opportunity that has presented itself. I was selected to be a blogging intern for Cliché Magazine. I even have my own email! It’s I’ll be blogging about fashion, music and entertainment for the Cliché website! So it seems that I have not only been on vacation from being in shape, but also from my school/career life. But in a week or two, vacation’s over and Spring is looking up.

I hope that the same goes for everyone else’s season. Until next time…

Health, Mind and Body, Weightloss

Because it feels good

Greetings from the swamp. Sorry, I’m bitter about this Oregon weather. I took this photo on a rare and relatively nice day.

Yeah, yeah. I know; it’ll all be worth it when the trees start blooming and the flowers begin to blossom. But for right now, I am quite sick of this soggy and damp bubble that encompasses my life. I know I don’t really have the right to complain about an excess of water with the Tsunami in Japan and all, so I’ll stop now.

What I’m really bitter about is that there’s nothing motivational about these weather conditions. I would love it if some occasional traces of sunshine would part through the clouds and say, “Behold, Jenni: My violent rays will soon smolder the earth’s atmosphere and thus force you to take more clothes off. GET IN SHAPE NOW.”

But unfortunately, I still have about two months until those sun teasers will really show up to the party. If I’m going to have my summer body by June, I should probably start working on it by at least mid-April. Until then, I really have ZERO motivation to try and achieve my “best body.” As many of you may already know, I have had very little motivation for the last couple months. A lot of this has to do with my unfortunate feelings that my “best body” has either 1) already been achieved and this is as good as it gets, or 2) is unattainable because I will never be satisfied no matter how much progress I make. Regardless of whether there’s any truth to those theories, one thing is for sure: I definitely feel best when I’m eating a lot of fruit and being active daily. And when I say “feel”, I mean physically feel. Like, in my body.

So my little lesson for the rainy season is this: when there’s no other reason to eat well and exercise, do it because it feels good. That’s the only thing that’s going to keep us from eating ourselves and sitting ourselves into oblivion this time of year.

So. Eat oranges, drink water and move your body. Soon enough we’ll work our way out of the woods and into the sun.

Food, Recipes

Adultish things from February

Well then! A lot of monumental things happened in February. It was a stressful and exciting month to say the least. On February 8th, Philip made good on his promise to provide me with 1 kitten as a late Christmas present.

Photo By Ryan Mowery

Her name is Zoey–after Zoe Saldana–and she has drastically improved the condition of my life. She is sweet, silly, and makes me laugh. Isn’t she cute!?

It’s amazing how having another creature depend on you can really make you feel much more like an adult. It’s a really nice feeling knowing that someone wants me home, and it evokes in me a feeling of belonging somewhere. Animals are great that way. They make home feel like home.

Two days after adopting Zoey from the Oregon Humane Society, the dawn of February 10th came upon us: mine and Philip’s Three Year Anniversary. Epic, right? So epic that we actually got each other gifts (we don’t usually do this). From Philip I received the ever-appropriate spa certificate. Here’s a hint to any man who will ever buy a gift for a woman: Flowers. Jewelry. Spa certificate. I guarantee you that those are your best bets, (I spoke with my council and we concur). For Philip I got us each a ticket to see the Ducks play the Beavers in the Civil War game at the new Matthew Knight Arena. We both gave each other the gift of a desired experience, which was nice.

On the night of our three-year the festivities included a homemade–and might I add delicious–dinner that we made together, the movie Easy A (pretty funny), and an all-night-cuddle session with Zoey.

Adulthood story number three is the tale of me selling my car. If you were following on Facebook, you will have already seen the photo of me hugging the Plymouth Neon that I’ve had for the past five years…you know, this one:

Her name is Debbie. Well, her name was Debbie. May she rest in peace.

Her new owner now holds the power to re-name my tenacious little car however she sees fit. Despite my initial sadness over the fact, I have found immense joy in what I am about to announce: I am now the owner of a shiny, girly and white 2001 Honda CR-V. She doesn’t have a name yet, but it will come to me when the time is right. Oh wait, it just came to me.

Harriet. Her name is Harriet. Harriet the Honda.

In addition to the aforementioned happenings, I have also been re-experiencing the challenges of living alone and eating healthy. Without the convenience of having my mother around to promptly stock the fridge, I haven’t been cooking nearly as often as usual. The last time I had an adult meal was on mine and Philip’s anniversary.

We made salmon, broiled asparagus, and hot red potato salad. I call it an “adult meal” because the potato side dish alone had several steps and ingredients that took a great amount of my attention, effort and focus.

So this is the recipe that I will share with you today.

Hot Red Potato Salad

Adapted from The Jacob Family Recipes

As is usually the case with great recipes, this one was passed on to me. My former roommate Rachel shared this gem with me a couple years ago. I think it was a family recipe because she made it at her little sister’s graduation party and that’s when I fell in love with it. Although I’m not sure if I’m still doing it right, I have found that I am quite pleased making it my way, however much adapted. It’s great for serving lots of people at summer barbecues and picnics. The ingredient measurements are based more off my own preference than anything, so don’t take them too seriously. For instance, I usually make about 2-3 potatoes per person (believe me, you will want seconds). Here’s what I did for just me and Philip:

  • 7 small red potatoes
  • 12 ounces Tillamook Light Sour Cream (about 2/3 of tub)
  • 1 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing Seasoning Mix
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan
  • 1/4 cup sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chives, chopped
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Wash the potatoes and cut off the bad spots. You can peel them if you’d like but I like to leave the skins on.  Chop the potatoes into quarters or a little smaller. Boil the potatoes for about 15 minutes or until just tender enough to bite. The skins should still be on the potatoes. Do not overcook because they will continue to cook in the skillet.

Heat garlic, olive oil and onions in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot and the garlic starts to brown, add the potatoes to the pan. Continue to cook over medium until the sides of the potatoes are brown.

Meanwhile, combine and stir together sour cream and ranch seasoning mix in a small bowl. When mixture is thoroughly blended, pour it into the skillet with the potatoes and stir. Then stir in chives, salt and pepper, and parmesan. Let the potato salad simmer over low heat for 3-5 minutes.

Serve with parmesan. Yield 3-4 servings.