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Posts Tagged ‘food’

I’ve successfully made reservations for our anniversary dinner. It’s going to require a trip over to Vail, but 40 minutes isn’t a bad drive for good food. Not only that, but we’re in the off-season so we’ll be able to take advantage of some pretty sweet deals.

I’m waiting for Spouse’s new phone to arrive and then running some errands before he’s done wth work.

Have pretty much finalized house painting colors and a decorating plan for the basement. We’ll need an area rug for the kitchen but all in all we’re in good shape. The new sliding door arrives this weekend and I’ve just got to contact my guy to put it in. We’re inordinately excited about it for reasons I’ll elaborate later.

Our anniversary gifts are working out fantatsically and I’m going to update with some more Santa Fe details later.

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Apparently I’m not the only one

Someone else out there is missing pączkis today! I bet I could make a mint shipping to former Michiganders all over the country! When I was talking about paczkis yesterday at work, people looked at me like I was nuts. Clearly Hamtramck has stamped its influence on even the grocery stores in Michigan, but in a way that hasn’t bled south. Too bad. Maybe if we got news coverage about it out here…

I should note that I’m not a TRUE fan because I don’t like the ones with fruit/jelly in them. I’m all cream/custard, all the way. It’s entirely possible that I should have taken Carly up on her offer to mail me some. ;)

Paczkis are clearly not part of the Colorado tradition and there’s not really anything that’s going to QUITE satisfy my craving this morning. Probably I’ll let Doc’s take a shot at it with french toast anyhow.

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Today’s plan

Much simpler than yesterday’s:

Drive to Frisco/Silverthorne and pick up Spouse’s truck accessories.

One quick stop at WalMart (WalMart! How I have missed thee!) for a couple of mats (and possibly frames).

Home to hang pictures, straighten kitchen, and generally clean house.

Excitement, right?

I think Friday’s menu is going to include Chicken Souvlaki and yogurt sauce, Bacon and Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms, and potentially (depending how ambitious I am) Bite Sized Samosas with Mint Chutney. And Sweet Potato Tarts! I almost forgot…

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I was going to get up, drive to Avon, pick up scotch, go to Edwards, mail the Dish Network receiver, get my hair cut, and do a little grocery shopping. The thing that did not get done was mailing the DN receiver. Whoops. It was the foot of snow on my car that threw everything off – that and Spouse leaving his phone at home so I ended up detouring to deliver it.

That said, I conquered Battle Mountain! It’s a stunning (and sometimes stomach-churning, if you’re afraid of heights) drive as a passenger. As a driver, I was so worried about the road I didn’t pay very much attention to the scenery. The scenery IS amazing but I was focused on hairpin turns.

I got my hair done at Salon Axis which was fantastic. The closest salon to my house in Michigan was also an Aveda salon (ask for Amanda or Markesa) and that’s how I developed a bias. I started going to the salon when I decided I wanted a hairstyle and not a haircut, and let me tell you it made all the difference. Why do you care?

First, I am an internet snob. I googled to exhaustion attempting to find a place here in town (or close) and didn’t find a single website. Not even a FrontPage website. That’s disappointing for me, especially in a city with free wireless. As silly as it may sound, I find the internet to be more reliable than the phone book. Online I can find photos, pricing, or at least get a sense of how a business sees itself (or doesn’t). A good website will bring me to your business.

[example: great website vs. not my thing. Guess where I bought my scotch?]

Second, Aveda. I like Aveda products. I don’t find the scents to be overwhelming and – to a one – I have always found their salon stylists/designers to not only be talented, but HELPFUL. As in “Backcombing, let me show you it!” It can be pricy, but they do an excellent job with their client consults and I have never been disappointed when leaving. Today was no exception.

Third, I am challenging. I am lazy. I am not going to use much product. My hair is fine but there is a lot of it. Curling is out of the question but I’m willing to flat iron as needed. On top of that, I’ve been coloring my hair for the last six years – everything from all shades of red and brown, to a brief flirtation back to blonde, and then red and brown again THIS SUMMER. On my last stop at Shapers, Markesa knocked down the red and colored me a tone similar to my natural shade, but darker.

Salon Axis is located in the Riverwalk area in Edwards, which is a charming faux-town shopping area. Lots of restaurants and stores, but in the best possible imagination of a strip mall. It’s small, only five or six stations (if I recall correctly) but nicely appointed and with lovely wood floors. The waiting area is a bit narrow, but I always bring a book- today’s was Neil Gaiman’s Graveyard Book – or an mp3 player and pretty quickly don’t notice where I’m at regardless.

Kelly (my hair designer) was fantastic. Another midwest transplant, we had nice conversation about points of interest and places to visit. Most importantlyt, Kelly managed to lighten me up to practically my natural color and freshen up my style. I’m pretty fearless about my hair (which comes from having shaved my head) and was open to all-over color, corrective color, whatever needed to be done. She did the job skillfully with highlights and I love it. I also got a complimentary paraffin hand treatment which was OMG fantastic after three days of working a bar with no hand lotion.

 

Salon Axis in Edwards, CO

Salon Axis in Edwards, CO

At any rate, I highly recommend the salon.

Before my appointment (I was a bit early) I had a raspberry croissant and hot chocolate at the French bakery a couple of doors down. Really, really good. I also stopped at the Village Market (in the same shopping area) before I drove home to pick up some extras for entertaining. They didn’t have Greek yogurt but they had Bulgarian yogurt and I was intrigued enough to buy it anyhow.

 

Main Street at Edwards, CO Riverwalk

Main Street at Edwards, CO Riverwalk

 

I’m not sure if it’s a Wild West thing, but I have seen a LOT of these shopping areas in Colorado. They’re spectacular because they engender the feeling of being ‘in town’ in a really clever and attractive package. There is parking on the ‘street’ but also in underground parking garages. They’re structured in such a way that they can be expanded without losing that ‘hometown’ feeling (brick sidewalks, streets, et cetera) and don’t have the traffic of actually being ‘in town.’ They also mean a HUGE variety within a short walking distance, whereas ‘in town’ you’d probably have to drive a little ways for the same options.

I also took some Before photos of the living room today which will not be revealed until all (or a reasonable approximation) of the photos are hung.

Time to stop my rambling and get ready for bed.

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Changes in altitude

One of the great things about moving to Colorado is the scenery. One of the challenging things about Colorado is the altitude. Once you get past the physical adjustments – and there are physical adjustments – you have the food adjustments.

Most high-altitude cookbooks I’ve come across are written by folk in Denver. Which is great. 5,300 feet up is definitely high altitude. I, on the other hand, am an additional 5,000 feet up. Right.

I found a baking book yesterday which I’m looking forward to trying out in the next couple of days. It’s got adjustments for folk over 8,500 ft as well as a recipe for All-Purpose Baking Mix and I’m thrilled. With a little luck, I’ll be back to baking bread and cakes like crazy!

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I get asked this question on a pretty regular basis. It’s a weird question because almost everybody has food and/or body issues and it’s kind of uncomfortable for me to talk about – in part because I’m a thin person. There are also no simple answers to that question.

1. I am a small-boned person. If you don’t believe in big bones, the next time I’m with my sister I’ll get a picture of both of our hands side by side. Frame size is not an illusion. This is not a determining factor to weight, but I believe it plays a role.

2. Yoga. I am a yoga instructor. You might imagine I do a lot of yoga. You would be right. I also jog from time to time, to mix it up. If you don’t mix it up, you get bored, you stop doing what you’re doing. Play basketball, go snowshoeing, try something outside of your comfort zone. Someone asked me today about running vs. walking. Running is harder on your joints. Check your heart rate – if you’re working aerobically in your target range, you don’t need to run. Want to get there without running but have maxed out your speed? Increase your incline.

3. Food. I’ve got a weird relationship with food – as does almost everyone I know. My relationship with food is definitely a determinant of my body shape/size.

  • I’m really lucky that I’m not a stress eater. This is even more important if you had any idea what the last six years were like. I lost weight during my stressful situations. Most people (Spouse included) don’t do that. As far as I know you can’t teach it or change it. It is what it is, you just have to determine what you’re eating at that point.
  • I don’t snack. I generally don’t eat unless I’m eating a meal. Sometimes the meal is small, sometimes it is large, but you don’t generally see me sitting around with a bag of pretzels on the couch and grazing. I say generally because yes, that totally does happen, it happened two weeks ago when I had a terrible pretzel yen and you can even ask Carly.
  • I have an aversion to some pretty popular snack foods (potato chips, popcorn, candy) and am kind of a picky sweets eater. I only really like one kind of ice cream. I’ll eat other kinds, but I only really love one (mint chocolate chip) and you can only eat so much of one thing. This also applies to cookies.
  • I eat in hella weird cycles. For example, when Spouse and I were dating he once (famously) said that he could eat pizza every single day and never get tired of it. About a year later, I got a pizza jones and we literally ate pizza every day for about a month right up until Spouse (who was not yet Spouse) said “I CAN’T EAT ANY MORE PIZZA!” The day lives in infamy. But then, once the cycle is over, I don’t eat whatever that thing is for like six months. It’s not always like that, but it’s frequently like that, and that’s part of the reason I stay physically active.
  • One of my favorite books with regard to food and food relationships is The Yoga of Eating. I highly recommend it. It does not tell you what to eat, it tells you how to eat it. You might be surprised about the difference between the two. And if you’re looking to avoid fast food for a while (at least one year, in my case) pick up Fast Food Nation (the book, not the film). It will absolutely change how you think about food.

4. Genetics. More and more studies show that genetics plays a huge role in how we gain weight (and where). It’s not the only determining factor (e.g. my mother is always talking about how she needs to lose x pounds) but it definitely makes a difference. That’s not to say you don’t have any control (see previously given example) but you can be aware of your family history. You can take action.

 

The bottom line is that there’s no magic answer to weight loss. More than anything else, it requires lifestyle changes. Lifestyle changes are hard and people don’t want to make them. I don’t generally enjoy working out. Crazy, right?

I played sports when I was in school but when I went to college I got out of the habit. I was active, but not really active. And no one had ever talked to me about weight training. One of the things that started me with strength training was when Spouse-who-was-not-yet-Spouse was talking about triceps and I was all “Wtf?” He had me flex it, then pushed his finger RIGHT THROUGH MY MUSCLE to the bone. Lack of muscle would be more accurate. It grossed me out and I started lifting free weights. I did not love it and I didn’t do it on my own. Having a partner was key for me.

So then I got a job away from my workout partner and promptly went back to not working out. This continued into the first couple of years of marriage while I worked really high stress jobs. I bought a yoga book on the bargain rack at Barnes and Noble and started doing some stretches on my own. Eventually I went to an actual class and I got completely hooked. That’s all she wrote.

The more muscle you build, the more calories you burn, the more efficiently your body runs.

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This fall, to celebrate moving to Colorado, I decided to live like I was in Colorado. That is to say, I didn’t do a damn bit of yard work. I barely mowed. I did not rake.

I loathe raking. Fresh fall air notwithstanding, it’s my least favorite thing to do outside. This would be so bad, but our neighbor’s really leafy tree hangs over half of our back yard. 

I’m not a fan of redundant tasks. Making the bed is pointless, because I’m getting back into it (unless you have a dog, natch). Raking the leaves before every single leaf is off the trees makes no sense because you’re just going to have to do it again before it snows. Spouse insists that the raking and re-raking is the only way to do it. This year I proved him wrong!

To start with, I had to mow today. I never got my last mow in at the end of October and it’s been very cold with heavy morning frost. I’m leaving in less than 3 weeks (yay!) and it’s supposed to snow most of the days this week, so it was now or have the house look abandoned. It was supposed to be warmer today than yesterday but of course was not. So I mowed in 34 degree weather.

I did not rake. I started on one side of the yard and gradually mowed/mulched my way to the other, shifting the leaves with each strip of grass revealed. It took longer than normal to mow (2 hrs vs. 40 minutes), but when I think about all the time I didn’t spend raking I’m entirely proud of myself. Laziness prevails again!

Alas, it means I mowed right through yoga and I’m considering heading to bed. I rewarded myself with a dinner of potato skins and Chef Boyardee Beef Ravioli. Dinner of Champions.

Now I’m watching The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, snugged up on the couch, and looking foward to an early night.

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