I mentioned in my last post that there was more to tell about what I ate on Wednesday. Indeed there was. I ate like cabbages and kings.
My breakfast and lunch consisted of Pulled BBQ Chicken and Asian Black Rice Salad. It was delish. I haven't got a whole lot to say, so I'm just going to share the recipes with you since this is the return of the FFFA and I can do what I please.
Uranium J's Black Rice Salad
2 cups Black Rice
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp Tamari
1 tbsp Sesame Oil
10 green onions
Fresh Cilantro to taste
1 cooked Sweet Potatoe
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cook the rice according to package directions. Allow to cook fully. Slice Peppers into small cubes. Chop onion and cilantro. Cube sweet potato. Mix wet ingredients in large bowl. Add Rice and Veggies. Toss to mix well. Add salt and pepper. Eat immediately or refrigerate.
Pulled BBQ Chicken
2-6 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
Favorite BBQ sauce
Chop onions. Put in bottom of slow cooker. Add Chicken Breasts. Cover in BBQ Sauce. Cook on low until Chicken is fully cooked and pulls apart with a fork. Shred chicken. Turn off heat. Eat with more BBQ Sauce.
*If you cook the chicken too long (like overnight) it will become very dry and grainy. Not so good. I imagine if you started it in the morning and turned it off after work that it would be fine.
If you can't find the black rice, I bet wild or brown rice and it would work. Black rice, so I am told is a really good whole grain and it is sticky and sweet and good. It has kind of a purple color when cooked which is said to stain cookware. I suggest using stainless or nonstick pots to avoid this. I have no idea if it will stain my clear plastic bowl that I mixed everything up in, but once I've devoured all of it I will let you know.
Friday, June 29, 2012
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
|It was this kind of a day. Source|
This was easier said than done.
Last night I increased my medication dosage for the final time, doubling the highest amount I had taken up to that point. The result was ZombieJ 2.0. It was a real feat for me to even get out of bed today. I am proud to say that I persevered and wound up going rollerblading.
I chose a very pretty and secluded spot for my skating adventures as the last thing I needed was for some out of school adolescent seeing me eat pavement or something. I happy to report that I did not add asphalt to my diet today. Thank goodness.
The above mentioned secluded spot is my former gym. It went out of business and is now an empty piece of property looking for a buyer. There's lots of space to skate on even pavement while still feeling like I am in the woods. The building sits far off the road, behind a small field and in front of a small forest. I really loved it when my gym was still there. I didn't go as often as I should have, but when I did it felt like going to the spa.
After two very wobbly trips around the building on my skates I decided to take a breather by sitting on the front porch. While sitting there, I decided that this was going to be my special place and I would try to come as often as I can to run, skate, meditate, write, and do yoga. The selfish part of me truly hopes that the place doesn't sell until after I move, whenever that is.
After my skating adventure I went home and pretty much slept the rest of the day away. We were planning on going to trivia tonight, but that didn't happen, so I went to try the newest restaurant in town. Not impressed.
Upon returning home full of middling martinis and sub-par cake it occurred to me that if OHI is going to work, I need some rules. I did pretty well on the eating today (more on that Friday) but the evening's outing sort of blew it. So, for my sake as well as posterity, I now give you Uranium J's OHI Rules and Regulations for Success.
- No sweets - if you want something sweet, eat some fruit or a smoothie.
- No alcohol - really, what's the point?
- Drink 1 gallon of water a day - starting early is the key to success.
- No eating out - if you can't calculate calories, you can't eat it.
- Keep track of calories.
- Walk with The Sprout for 1 hour every day starting at 1:30 pm.
- Go to the gym every day a 4 pm.
- Get 8 solid hours of sleep every night.
- Take meds consistently.
- Be Honest.
Number 10 may be the most important rule. If I am honest with myself and my peers (readers) I will be held accountable, and accountability is tres important.
I am also going to go ahead and set a goal for myself today. By August 1, I want to weigh 225 pounds. I want to be able to make 5 continuous loops around the derelict gym. I want to be able to jog around the gym 5 times as well. By October, I want to run a 5k. There, I said it. Let's make it happen. Also, let's hope this weather holds out, huh?
Monday, June 25, 2012
|The Sexiest of Oatmeals. Source|
My love affair began this past winter when I decided I wanted to try my hand at eating "savory oatmeal". It was cold and I wanted a warm bowl of comfort. I knew that oats were good for me, but after many attempts at making them something I could stomach, I had given up. Raisins, craisins, and apples had been merely tolerable in oats cooked in water and apple juice. Other types of fruit were just short of nauseating. Spices helped matters, but only minimally. I was convinced that the only kind of oatmeal I could stomach was that sugary crap that comes in little packets with dehydrated strawberries. Sweet oats and me were never to be. But maybe something savory, yes? Salt - cheese - chicken perhaps?
Maybe my readers are unfamiliar with the corn based breakfast porridge call "grits". These are ground hominy boiled in water like rice. Most people eat them with butter and salt, some people get fancy and add cheese and meats. They are pretty tasty, depending on who makes them. You will often see them served in restaurants as this runny mess that quickly spreads and overtakes the entire plate. This is not how you are supposed to eat them. This is yuck. Grits should be so thick that you can easily eat them with a fork. You should be able to scoop them onto your fork, turn it over, and have them stay put. If they aren't of this thick and stable consistency, don't eat them. Just don't.
It occurred to me that grits and oats were somewhat similar, and if you could put meat and cheese in grits, why not try it with oats? After a little searching, I stumbled across Sexed Up Savory Oatmeal. Since the cheese in that recipe was pretty fancy pants and I could rarely be bothered to cook steel cut oats, I modified it for what would work in my reality. What I came up with is this:
Uranium J's Basic Savory Oats
1/2 c 1 Minute Oats
1 c water
1/4 c finely shredded Sharp Cheddar
1 tbsp Olive Oil
Place Oats and water in a microwave safe dish. Microwave for 2 minutes. This insures a very thick consistency. Add oil, cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Eat.
This is heaven. Now, I have made a similar dish with steel cut oats - and it is better than heaven. If you are up to waiting the 45 minutes it takes to cook steel cut oats, go for it. It's definitely worth it.
If you are looking to add some more nutrients to the dish, try adding some cooked chicken pieces or eggs. This adds a good deal of protein to an already super healthy meal. You could also try adding some favorite veggies. I have yet to be this daring, but I know that it's been done. Just the other day, I discovered the holiest of oatmeal holies: Add Buffalo Sauce. Eat. Transcend.
As for Operation Healthy Initiative - food intake is going well. Exercise needs to happen today, and I need to make a plan to make it happen. More to come.
Friday, June 22, 2012
|Look how proud she is of us. Source|
- 1/2 serving of "Overnight Oats"
- 1 giant cinnamon muffing
- 1 overly large latte
- 1 Coke Zero
I will be sharing with you the first of what I hope is a series of tasty recipes chock full of heath that will sate your hungry tummies. Today's recipe is the aforementioned "Overnight Oats". I totally stole this idea from Julie at pbfingers.com. I hope that we can become blog buddies, but for the moment I am just another reader of her awesome healthy lifestyle blog.
What are "Overnight Oats"? Simply put, they are uncooked oats that soak in some sort of fluid overnight in the refrigerator, thus tenderizing them and making them suitable for human consumption. I suppose you can use either Rolled Oats or Steel Cut - the original recipe called for Rolled, but I prefer Steel Cut, so that's what I've been using. In the interest of not overloading on calories, this makes for a rather small bowl of oats, but they are pretty filling and full of vitamins and minerals. Not to mention, they are very tasty.
Cinnamon Apple Overnight Oats
1/4 cup Steel Cut Oats
1 tablespoon Chia Seeds
1/4 cup Unsweetened Apple Sauce
1/4 cup Silk Unsweetened, Unflavored Almond Milk
Cinnamon to taste
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix well. Cover in saran wrap. Refrigerate overnight. Serve in the morning.
Simple, right? You are probably wondering "Why Chia Seeds and what are they?". Chia Seeds are those things you spread all over your Chia Pet, but they also happen to be a super healthy thing to eat. They are high in protein (2 grams per tablespoon), as well as omega fatty acids, which is good for 2 reasons.
- Omega Fatty Acids are good for your heart.
- The nutrients in Oats are fat soluble.
That means you have to eat the oats with some sort of fat in order for your body to break the good stuff down and use it. The Chia seeds add should add just enough healthy fat to do the job. They also serve to bulk up the dish as they are high in fiber. Once they've soaked, they are very similar to kiwi seeds and they take on the flavors of the apples and cinnamon - delish.
A few more facts about oats, while we are on the subject: They help to lower your bad cholesterol and to stabilize your blood sugar. As someone with a history of high cholesterol and a family history of diabetes, these are the kinds of things I like to see in my food. It doesn't hurt that I love oats. I used to think I hated them, but over the past several months I've learned that I just hate rolled oats as a sweet porrage. It doesn't work for me. Thankfully, I've been doing some creative things with oats in the kitchen, so rest assured, this isn't the last Oat-y post from Uranium J.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
|God said "On second thought, maybe |
I should'a given it all to the monkeys."
Maybe it's not too late.
Have any of you heard this dreck "We Are Young" from the band Fun.? Am I the only one who is appalled by this garbage? See the lyrics.
Since when was it okay to beat on your woman or otherwise give her a scar because you are young? Now, perhaps this scar was a result of a night of drunken carousing. If so, then I guess the scar thing would be OK Though judging by the references to apologies and what not, I'm guessing this was a violence related scar, in which case I cannot understand why there's not rioting in the streets over this song. People get up in arms over rap songs depicting violence toward women, but it would seem that white hipster douchebags can beat on their women and that's copacetic. No foul. It's cool bro.
With this development and many other examples of societal de-evolution, I am ready to quit the human race. I don't like the road we're heading down. There are people tweeting "Who was Rodney King?", "The Titanic was real?" and "Who the fuck is Paul McCartney?" and I think it's time for me to move along. Surely there are greener, more intelligent, less hypocritical pastures out there. They say the whole world hates America - I'll bet the whole universe hates Earth. I hope I'm not around when we finally make contact. I imagine it's going to be like The Day the Earth Stood Still except we aren't going to convince Klaatu and Gort that our civilization is worth sparing.
Monday, June 18, 2012
|The fish was delish and made quite a dish. Source|
Last week, someone from the doctor's office called me in reference to another doctor to whom I had been referred. By them. As it happened, that doctor did not accept my insurance. I was told that I should find out what specialists would accept my insurance and then get back to the office with a name. I wondered to myself "Why wouldn't I just make the appointment myself, at that point?". It seemed as though they were asking me to do their jobs for them. I was a little irritated, but I let it go in the interest of resolving a larger issue.
The doctor had given me a prescription on the first of June for a 30 day supply of pills. They were 50 mg a piece. The following Monday, he told me that I was to start increasing the dosage gradually until I was taking 150 mg a day. That's 3 pills a day, if math's not your thing. I realized that even with a refill, I would run out of pills long before my July 6th follow up appointment. Since I had someone from the office on the phone last week, I brought this concern up. The office representative told me to wait for until I was about to run out of the refill to ask the office for another prescription. I was unsure about this at the time, but decided that the lad must know what he was talking about.
As of yesterday morning, I was down to one pill. No worries, I thought. I'll just trot down to the friendly local CVS and pick up my refill.
Alas, it was not to be.
The kindly pharmacist scanned the refill and informed me that my insurance would not pay for it at this time. Why? I had gone through 30 days worth of pills in 17 days. Therefore, I had either been popping them or pushing them. Either way, it was not a good look. I was aggravated, as it seemed as though the doctor's office could have easily avoided all this, but aggravation would get me nowhere on a Sunday afternoon. I needed 2 more pills for my dosage that night. I had to have some pills, if not all of them. I was able to buy the 2 pills I needed to the tune of $8.045 a piece.
This morning, I found myself back at the doctor's and explaining the situation. Apparently, the doctor had to see me face to face in order to write me a new script. After waiting for close to an hour, I finally saw him. He spoke to me like I was stupid, wrote me a new prescription, gave me some samples, and sent me on my merry way. I thought the problem was solved.
After a nice lunch with j^C, I went to my friendly Target Pharmacy to drop off the prescription. I then learned that for whatever reason, the insurance still wouldn't pay for the damn things. So, now we wait and see what will come of that. For the time being, I have enough pills to last the next 20 days, thanks to the samples. With any luck, the issue will be resolved by then.
Meanwhile, while the doctor (who I am now certain is over medicated himself) was speaking to me like a child, he informed me that the increased dosage of this medication was going to cause me to gain weight. In order to counteract this side effect, I was going to have to become very mindful of that which goes into my mouth from now on. Hence, "What's Cooking?"
I am going to try to start posting what I eat on here in an effort to track my intake. I can't be gaining weight and we all know I need to lose some.
So, without further ado, here's what I ate today:
Some mini vanilla wafers (100 cal)
Visalus Shake (465 cal)
- Shake Powder (90 cal)
- Banana (120 cal)
- 2 tbsp Peanut Butter (200 cal)
- 8 oz Almond Milk (35 cal)
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder (20 cal)
General Tso Chicken Lunch Special (600 cal?)
Lg Latte (180 cal)
1 ginger snap (negligible calories)
Some Orange Juice (90 calories)
Sloppy Charlies (400 calories)
Some grapes (150 calories)
Total: 1985 cal
Not bad. Now, to add in some exercise. More on that conundrum to come. Meanwhile, let me share with you all the glory and wonder that is "Sloppy Charlie". If you are a fan of "Sloppy Joe", then this will be right up your alley. Take 1 can of Sloppy Joe sauce. Add 2 cans of drained tuna. Combine. Heat. Eat on whole wheat bread. Yum! I suggest you try it if you are looking for something quick and tasty for dinner. I hope to add some pictures and more inventive recipes at some point in the future.
In other news, there's lots cooking in the creative department as well. The inspired juices are still flowing and I am happy to report that a fair amount of writing has been happening. Let's hope this trend continues. More on that to come as well. For now, happy eating!
Thursday, June 14, 2012
|Michigan J. Frog - Spreading Joy 1955-2005 |
Since my insurance seems to be working against psychotherapy at the moment, I've taken it upon myself to make a conscious and mindful effort at creating and maintaining some happiness in my life. The first step of this has been to more or less banish downer music from my listening repertoire. That sounds like a simple thing, but if you were to look at my Media Player, you would see that I have more songs in the key of G minor than otherwise. I like sad songs. Elton John knew what he was talking about when he sang "sad songs say so much". A sucker for the intellectual and the thought provoking, I love music with a story and engaging lyrics. Those stories, unfortunately, tend to be downers, if not specifically in lyrical content, then in tempo or chord structure.
Thankfully, as I have mentioned in the past, I also really like pop music. It's something that I've recently come to terms with, as I didn't want to be a "prep" while in school, I eschewed the "Britney and Justin Wannabes" and kept my Hanson and Spice Girls consumption to myself. I'm not in high school anymore though, and it's high time I stop worrying about what other people think. I'm never going to be invited to sit at the cool kid's table, and if I were honest with myself, I don't really think they're that cool anyway. There comes a point when you gotta say "Fuck Em", and to thine own self be true. My dad and Shakespeare both said it, so it's gotta be some pretty good advice.
That said, I'm currently listening to a playlist of mid to late 90s boy bands, feminist empowerment rock, and "upbeat" heavy metal. Don't ask me what that is exactly. There's no definition. The best example I can give you is Godsmack's "Whatever". Also, there's a fair share of dance music and rap. Despite the fact that rap music can have some pretty harrowing words, you just can't be sad with a good beat. Basically, I am listening to whatever makes me want to sing and dance. They say you gotta find your bliss; well, mine is music, so I'm using that to my advantage.
In my quest to help myself, I've given some real thought to what truly makes me happy and I've come to the conclusion that it's a pretty short list;
This brings me to the part about thinking outside of the box. I want to be a writer, right? The problem has been that I can't think of anything to write about. I've been trying to write novels and short stories - trying to tap into what's hot in the off chance that I could ride this or that wave to publication. In so doing, I broke the cardinal rule: "To thine own self be true". I haven't been able to find my voice because the stories I've been trying to write don't move me. I was trying to write someone else's story while passing it off as my own.
Today, it hit me - What's my story? What do I love? Cooking, food, friends, family, writing. Why wasn't I writing about food, cooking, friends, and family. I came home as fast as I could and started brainstorming - at the moment I have over 60 story ideas involving food and my friends and family. It makes sense, historically the table has been a gathering place. If you read the Bible or Beowulf, people are eating and telling stories. I can't say that I'm going to be able to develop all of these stories, but I've got something more to work with than I've had in a really long time. These are stories that I want to tell. They're stories that aren't sad, bittersweet, or otherwise painful. They are funny, poignant, and full of life and joy.
I am so excited about this, you guys! I can't wait to see what's going to come of it. I hope this is the start of an upswing for me. As for you guys, what's your bliss? Find it - share it. Oh! Be joyful! Cus shit spreads.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
|This is ourselves - under pressure. Source|
After a night of completely erratic behavior I decided it was time to see a doctor about this. I don't care much for doctors. Now, I am taking a daily "sleeping pill" and a certain well known member of the "Benny" family on an as needed basis. I was also referred to a psychiatrist for further treatment, but due to hangups with my insurance, that's still up in the air. By the by, I vote that they outlaw insurance entirely. It will force medical care prices to go down because without insurance no one could afford to see a doctor. So, either they would lower their prices or we would all die, and I doubt they'd let that happen.
So far, the "sleeping pill" has been helping a little, but not as much as I would like. I never feel rested during the day and I think that my panic attacks have found their way into my dreams. Last night I dreamed that I had not graduated high school, even though I had my B.A. For some reason, I had been going to two of my classes regularly, two of them sporadically, and the last two I had not attended in months. The school year was coming to a close and I had "F"s in the two classes I had been skipping. I was panicking about not being able to graduate. I was running around the school trying to figure out what I was going to do when I decided I would talk to one of my teachers about it. My guidance counselor had recently retired, so there was no one else for me to talk to. I found Mr. Izzard in his classroom, very angrily grading papers with his pet goose sitting on his desk. It was grey and it bit me on the nose. He was very irritated that I had come to see him after school on a Friday. I asked him if he wanted me to help him grade papers, but he declined my offer. I was getting ready to leave, feeling very rejected, and then I woke up.
What's my point? Clearly, I am dealing with a lot of feelings of failure and rejection which are either exacerbating or being exacerbated by this anxiety and panic issue. Why? I don't know. It should be noted that I've had this not finishing high school dream several times now - it seems as though it may have replaced the "Guilt/Dead Body" dream. I don't know what I can do to solve this issue, but I do know that it would help if the smallest things didn't cause me to literally quake with fear.
Seriously. I was making dinner last night and the whole time I was shaking, fighting to stave of a debilitating panic attack, fighting the urge to scream at my child, fighting to stay in control. I'm not particularly proud of the fact that I now know that Crystal Light Fruit Punch and Tanqueray go well together, but in a moment of weakness I sought any solace I could readily grab a hold of. It didn't help.
Right now, I am working toward applying for Graduate School in Fall 2013. This means I need to take the GRE and pass it sometime soon, as well as get my other affairs in order. I find myself wondering, if I can't cope with daily life right now, how am I ever going to get into Grad School, much less manage to stay there? On the one hand, I feel like it would do wonders for my self esteem if I could make something of myself in Graduate School, but on the other hand, I feel like it would kill me to blow it in the same way I feel like I've blown every other major life goal I've ever had. I really need some success to tuck into my hatband, but I'm so shell shocked by failure that maybe I'm too scared to even try.
Being afraid sucks. How I envy the fearless among us. Live fast, die young, leave a good looking corpse is a whole lot better than Live in fear, die old, leave a lot of regrets.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
It took me almost an hour to install this new piece of hardware because A) The instructions were garbage, B) I've never replaced a doorknob before, and C) It required more finesse than know-how anyway. It probably didn't help matters that in the middle of the installation I started thinking about Laura Kuhn. I don't know why it happened - I was one screw away from having the doorknob improperly fitted (the first time) when I dropped the screwdriver to the floor with the last screw and went to the computer to google her. I found a series of websites under her brand Midnight Boheme, but no news from her world as to what she might be doing nowadays.
The last time I saw her was at Catfish Festival 2010. I had just found out that I was pregnant and I wasn't taking the news very well. After listening to the gospel sing in the park and falling to pieces I found myself at The Parker House drinking diet coke while everyone else got wasted. To say it was awkward would be an understatement. j^C was already on the Magical Mystery Tour and I was getting the feeling all my old schoolmates thought he was a figment of my imagination.
After an hour or so of awkward conversations and hanging out with people who were my mother's age I honed in on a young man who looked as out of place as I felt. Having never met a stranger, I went over and struck up a conversation with him. He was not a local, but married to one. When his wife arrived she hugged me and talked to me as though we were old friends. I was aghast. She was in the class of 99. How did she remember me? Even more shocking - Laura remembered me.
As a 7th grade student at CCJSHS, Laura Kuhn was my hero. I wanted to be just like her, although I doubt anyone really knew that at the time. Over the years I had voyueristically kept up with her. I went to see the Tim Burton Planet of the Apes just because I heard she'd done some makeup work in it. I stalked her MySpace back when that was a thing. I may have even thought about contacting her from time to time. I never did because why would she want to talk to the likes of me? She was a successful artist - a writer - a bohemian - and fucking beautiful. All the things I wanted to be. All the things I still want to be.
Imagine my shock when she began chatting me up that night. I was Moses up on the mountain listening to the voice of God. I was reverent and attentive to every word that passes from her ruby lips, every look from her painted eyes. She was a porcelain goddess glowing the night, the blue smoke from her cigarette circling her head like the halo transforming her into the icon she always was to me.
I should have called her the day after, but I was afraid. I still felt unworthy. I still feel unworthy. She makes me nervous. When I look at her work online, I feel just a little sick to my stomach. Just a little afraid. Maybe it's the fear of a mortal before God. Or maybe it's the fear that if I seek too much, If I look too hard, the face she's prepared to meet the faces that she meets will shatter and fall to the floor, and behind it will be someone not unlike me. Someone who is afraid, disenchanted, alone, and entirely human.
We all need something to cling to, after all.