Thursday, July 31, 2008
Boston.com can't even handle the web traffic...
SI.com is reporting, although accounts are still conflicting, that Manny was traded to the Dodgers in the last few moments before the trade deadline.
I used to love Manny but I'm not really sad that he's gone. We're done with your drama! Good luck in L.A.!
I have been eating bananas pretty regularly. And by regularly I mean I've had 4 or 5 in the past two weeks. Which means I've had 4 or 5 bananas in my entire life so far. But I like them, as long as they are still a little green. I don't like the brownish ones. They taste too much like bananas.
Triumph Dining is offering FREE dining cards the entire month of August in order to raise Celiac awareness. If they get 15,000 people to order a free dining card, they will donate $10,000 to a national celiac awareness campaign. Get over to Triumph Dining and Order Yours Today!!
Central Savings by Richard Estes, 1975
I saw this painting at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri when I went out there in April to visit with Gigi and Berni. This was one of my favorite pieces in the museum that day. I love how he has made oil on canvas look so much like a real photo and the fact that it depicts a reflection on a window.. it's just amazing to me. I love this painting. This is a piece I would buy for my own home. I don't often think of buying artwork for my home but this is one that I definitely would. It's funny someone so creative doesn't think about artwork for her own walls. Lack of funding is really the issue there.
Anyway, it's day two and I'm proud to day that I logged everything I ate yesterday. I also went way over (2,588) but I logged it all anyway and I did have an hour and a half of kickboxing so I know I burned roughly 5 or 600 calories or probably more. That equals a net total of 2,000 or less which is satisfactory. I didn't plan on taking my exercise calories burned into consideration but since it was only day one I'll let it slide. Actually, the range I had set for myself at 1600-2000 was supposed to mean that on the days I work out I could eat up to 2,000 and on the days I didn't I should stick to 1600. Well, you get the idea. It was a good first day all things considered. Today will be better. And it's almost 10am! I love days that move quickly. Thursdays are great because I get to go home and do absolutely nothing if that's what I want to do. I should go to the gym and I might but the key here is that I don't HAVE to. Going from 7am-10pm Monday thru Wednesdays really wears you out!
Have a lovely Thursday everyone!
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
This is my Gigi, or G.G. which stands for Great-Grandmother. Today she's flying in from Missouri with my Great Aunt Berni for a visit with the family. She is 91 years old and when you meet her, she will surely tell you so. She's the most lively 91 year old woman I've ever met, she even goes to the local senior center to play the piano for the seniors, most of which are younger than she is! I can't wait to go pick them up from the airport in just about 2 hours. The first half of my life I lived down the street from her and my Bumpa (great-grandfather) but after he passed away, she moved out to MO to live with Berni. I treasure her. My sister and I spent a week out in Kansas City with them in the spring and it was a wonderful time. I can't wait to see them today!
Today is officially Day 1 of the 60 day challenge. I weighed in this morning at 1XX pounds. Ha ha, you didn't think I was actually going to tell you how much I weigh do you? Keep in mind, I'm 6' tall so I can carry A LOT of weight on this frame. My goal is to lose at least 10 if not closer to 20 pounds. I realize that 20 pounds in 60 days is not particularly realistic but 10 definitely is so if I can at least get there then I'll be happy. 15 would be better. 20 would have me looking pretty skinny so I wouldn't mind it but I'm not fooling myself. The plan is to eat between 1600 and 2000 calories per day and shoot for 4 days of exercise, 2 of those being kickboxing and the other 2 a full body workout that I have set up for myself consisting of body weight exercises and cardio. That means pushups, pull ups, dips, squats, lunges, etc. The food should be healthy food, not just any old food that will add up to 1600. We're looking for lots of nutritional value here. If I stick to the plan, it's sure to work. If I don't, it won't. Just like Vance taught me. If I had listened to him in the first place, and stuck to the plan a year ago, I wouldn't be in this situation right now!
Speaking of which, I have kickboxing tonight! I love that class. Now that my body is getting healthier, I'm finding it a lot easier to make it through the class without feeling like I'm going to pass out. Unless Steve is really kicking our butts and then if I do feel like I'm going to pass out it's because I'm working hard, not because I'm weak!
Ok, that's all for now, I have to get some work done so I can get out of here early today!
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Lilies are by far my favorite flowers. I took this photo on Saturday at my aunt and uncle's house. My uncle used to do landscaping and his yard is beautiful and he wanted me to do some photos. I got a bunch of good ones.
I did end up in the hospital Friday afternoon having an ultrasound done to make sure there's no clotting in my legs. But I had been chugging water and eating nothing but fruits and veggies and by Saturday morning the swelling was gone. I just was taking a look back at some photos that I took of myself last year and boy have I put on a few pounds. I feel horrible. I know that part of it is the steroids, but part of it is also me just eating too much. I have to get that under control if I want to look good at the wedding in September. It's only 2 months away. I really just want my jawline back, my face is turning into a pumpkin and that is definitely a steroid side effect.
Not much else to report today. I'm picking up my Great-Grandmother and Great-Aunt at the airport on Wednesday so that will be a nice break in the week. They come in around noon time so I'll have the rest of the day off. I just have to be back in Quincy in time for kickboxing of course! I love that class so much, we had another great workout on Saturday. I'm so much stronger now and the workouts don't make me feel like I'm going to pass out anymore. It's so much better.
Friday, July 25, 2008
First of all, let me just say that I hate my feet, I inherited my Dad's big, gnarly feet and I hate them. Notice the blisters on my toes from the shoes I wore this morning, that's what you get when you wear flip flops all summer and then switch back to cute shoes!
But the point of this picture, really is to show you the horror that is my ankles. If you see an ankle bone anywhere in this photo please feel free to point it out to me because all I see are giant pockets of FLUID. I have put a call in to The Doc to see what can be done about this. I spent a good half hour last night laying in bed with my legs straight up in the air (hey, get your mind out of the gutter!) trying to alleviate some of the swelling. This morning it had gone down some, but as soon as I sat at my desk it started to come back with a vengeance, so I made the call. I'm chugging as much water as I can, eating nothing but fruit and as soon as I can get out to lunch I'm going to get a giant salad filled with leafy greens, spinach, cucumbers, every single ounce of potassium I can possibly stuff into my body. And sorry customers, but yes, I am elevating my feet, on my desk, without shoes on. Deal with it! My right ankle is actually already starting to get better but the left one is still sausage city. I might be making a trip over to Beth Israel this afternoon. I really hope not... I wouldn't mind taking the rest of the day off to rest though!!
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Lately I have been thinking A LOT about redesigning my photos & design website, updating that blog, getting that whole thing going again. Then I started thinking about this blog and what it is now, and what I want it to be in the future and started getting more inspired. I dream of redesigns, new branding, identity and all that fun stuff that promotes social networking and whatnot. Over the past week I've written pages and pages of notes about how I want to focus my energies as far as all of this "stuff" goes. A lot of this brainstorming happens while I'm at work, which really is a huge waste of work time and I quite honestly don't have the time to waste but this stuff is what I love to do, the blogging, the designing of blog headers, the posting of photos, the reviewing of books, restaurants, recipes, etc... and then I realize, HEY STUPID, you could take all of this type of energy and apply it to YOUR BUSINESS! Duh. It's really taken me years to come to terms with the fact that I am solely responsible for reshaping and motivating this company. I mean certainly we are all in this together and everyone else will do whatever it takes but I have to be the one to push it and make it fit in to my generation.
Really the bottom line is this, I have a lot of creative energy in me and instead of putting it into all of these side projects, I need to redirect that energy into the thing that I do, 42.5 hours a week, 52 weeks a year. This is the biggest piece of my life and I need to treat it that way, not just something that I show up for and do half-assed work for and then leave at 5pm everyday leaving it behind until tomorrow. My Dad has put countless hours into this business and I need to start treating it the same way that he does. I know he sees so much potential in me and wants me to step up in the worst way but he'll never push me or do anything to pressure me. He wants me to have these epiphanies on my own so that it's purely my decision to do what I need to do. I appreciate that in one respect, but I also could use a little more obvious encouragement and direction.
I've been trying for weeks to get together a meeting but we just haven't had the time. Now I need to make the time because it's not getting any slower around here. A few years ago we were in serious trouble of losing it all and I thought for sure that we would, and we had to make a lot of big sacrifices to make it work but we've pulled through and we are now in a position to become stronger than ever and I have to be the one to make it happen. I know I can do it. I just have to stop saying I can and just DO.
That doesn't mean anything about this blog really, this is still my gluten-free journey and that's not going to change anytime soon! I just might not post as often as I did at first. :) And the posts here might reflect more of what I'm going through on the business side of things too.
Wow I feel better after typing this all out... :)
I read this article that talked about this book, Good Calories, Bad Calories: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on Diet, Weight Control, and Disease. by Gary Taubes.
This is not another diet book! This is a book that contains extensive evidence showing that carbs, especially of the refined type, are literally killing our society. Just another step forward in my journey to eliminate grains from my diet. I whole-heartedly support the theories that are out there regarding grains as a detriment to our bodies. I'm living proof that grains wreak havoc on our insides. This book however, talks beyond the intestines and goes even further, talking about heart disease and obesity and so much more. If you're curious, go to Amazon.com and check out some of the reviews. I plan on picking up this book asap and giving it a read. I will definitely tell you what I think of it when I'm done reading it. I still highly recommend Going Against the Grain as well. I know a lot of people out there will think that eliminating grains is crazy, I used to be one of those people, but I'm a believer now more than ever.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
This is what my desk looks like right now. This is actually the "to be filed" side of my desk. Once a job is done and I need to file the paperwork it gets stacked in a not-so-neat pile and forgotten about. I hate keeping paper files but I have to keep records and samples of jobs that we sent out to vendors, as well as proofs that have been signed off. I have so much filing to do, not to mention that our filing system is totally hopeless and filled with orders that go all the way back to probably 1987. Remember all this Allie?! What a mess. The problem is that there are basically 3 of us that run the day to day operations of this business. I am completely in control of the customer service side, my Dad runs production and my brother does all of the delivery, pickup, bindery, and the "etc." category. As the GM of the company, really I should have time to do all the necessary administrative stuff that needs to get done, but since I am the one and only customer service person, I spend most of my days answering the phones, helping walk-in customers, receiving all of the emails and web orders... I never get anything else done because I'm constantly being interrupted. I've been praying for a new hire for a long time now and if I can pull it off, we can get someone in here by winter. That may be wishful thinking, but I need the help!!! I'm also going to school on Monday nights for my graphic design certificate, I work Tuesday nights at the Y, Wednesday nights I work for an hour and then go to kickboxing. The first half of the week I leave the house at 7am and don't get home until 10. It's pure insanity. And so the blog gets neglected of course. Plus with all this madness I have no time to cook, nor shop and therefore am practically living off of the Whole Foods salad bar. Delightful.
I'm also full of ideas as to how to evolve this blog so it's more than just a gluten-free blog. Now that I'm getting used to the lifestyle, I find it less and less necessary to blog about it since I'm really not doing anything blog-worthy in my food ventures these days. If I had more time... don't we all wish for that? I'm also going to start working on a completely new website for the business but that's going to take me a long time. I almost wish I had gone for my web certificate instead of graphic design since what they're teaching me now I pretty much already know, but oh well. I have learned a few new tricks of the trade so that's good. I just finished Photoshop class last night and next week we start Illustrator. That's the one I'm really looking forward to, I need help with a lot!!
Ok, back to work!!
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Check it out!
You get your own "pantry" to store all of the foods you eat, then you can get complete and extensive nutritional information, including a printable nutrition label. You can put food together to get recipe info or meal info, any way you want to break it down. I input the salad that I had for lunch today and I was [not] surprised to see that it was very high in calories (potato salad on the side...). I have got to stop this weight gain and I'm hoping this gem of a website will help me with that.
Last night after kickboxing I was stretching with two of the girls and I was asking Victoria what I can do to help with the swelling in my calves and ankles and Kara said "yeah I noticed you were swollen." Well I can talk all day about how the steroids are making me fat, but let's be honest here, the steroids are making me hungry and yes, they do cause water retention, but I dear reader am making myself fat. ::end rant::
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
My aunt Jo-Anne makes a delicious potato salad
The second night we had steak tips and they were awesome. Here they are cooking up on the grill
We ate these with Carolina Long Grain and Wild Rice, and sauteed zucchini and summer squash.
The third night was the best. Mike makes an awesome Beer Butt Chicken. Yeah, that's right, I said Beer Butt Chicken! Shove a can of beer up the butt of a chicken and sit it on the grill like so
When it's done cooking, remove the can and carve it up
I know what you're thinking... "It's made with BEER?! Won't that make you sick?!" and the answer is... YES! So he made two of the chickens with soda!
The point of cooking this way is to grill up a deliciously moist, flavorful chicken and it definitely works. It was awesome. We served it up with some fried corn and more of that delicious potato salad.
I ate a lot of food while I was away, but it was all gluten-free and all delicious. I did get a little bit sick one night but I couldn't pin-point what it was that got to me. I don't think it was gluten though, more like too much of a good thing can be a bad thing!
We really had a great time, here's a pic of the whole family, minus my twin cousins that don't love having their picture taken
Can't wait for my next vacation!!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
So far this week I have taken about 1,ooo photos. Literally. I'm having a really hard time deciding which ones to upload. I took the most generic out of each batch just to give you an overview. I'll be uploading the rest of them soon. Let's recap!
It all started last Thursday, the 3rd of July, which is the annual party with the high school friends. We are definitely getting older. This was the 11th annual event. It's so strange that half of us are married with kids. We had a great time. Unfortunately I didn't get a group shot this year, but this is one of my best friend Lauren and I on the beach. Intoxicated. Of course.
I don't know if she reads this blog but if you do.. I know you hate me for posting this pic, sorry!!
Friday was spent at my parents' house for the annual 4th of July BBQ/day of recovery from the 3rd. This is some of the family. My sister is holding the newest edition to the family Owen, his mom is the one with the sunglasses.
In the evening we boarded the Tails of the Sea with my brother-in-law for a harbor cruise and fireworks display in Plymouth Harbor.
The people on the boat:
My brother-in-law, Captain Jon
Saturday and half of Sunday were spent preparing for camping. Here's us on the way to see the Hypnotist at the campground Monday night:
We came back from camping yesterday and then today the girls, my sister, my brother's girlfriend and I, took a trip to Provincetown (aka P-Town).
And now here I am unwinding. These pictures are not even close to the best I have, but they are good general representations of what I did without overloading you with photos and details. Plus that would take me another week to do! I will definitely upload more to my Flickr page and my Picasa web albums and will share them with you soon! For now, I must close this laptop for the night.
Back soon with more details and vaca recaps and all that fun stuff.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Tonight, I will head down to my hometown, Plymouth, for the annual 3rd of July bash with my old high school friends. This photo was taken probably 3 or 4 years ago. I love these kids! Yeah, I was in need of the gym back then...
Tomorrow I will recover at my parents' house in Plymouth all day at their annual 4th of July BBQ. Then at night we'll board the Capt. John Boats and sail out to the harbor to watch the fireworks with my Bro-in-law at the helm.
Saturday if I feel like it, I'll go to kickboxing. The rest of the weekend will be spent getting ready for camping! Sunday afternoon we leave for Connecticut for a family camping trip. I love camping, although some people wouldn't really call this house on wheels "camping"
But nothing beats a little of this in the evening
Hopefully I'll be able to do a little of this at some point
Mostly, all I want, is to enjoy a little rest and relaxation with a little of this
Have a great 4th of July everyone! I'll be back soon with photos and details of my first gluten-free vacation!
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
This is the chicken that I cooked last week, marinating in my fridge, along side my last bottle of Redbridge, and 3 bottles of wine. We don't drink much at home, I swear. Summer came around and we thought it would be good to stock up and I guarantee those bottles will still be sitting there in August.
The chicken wasn't too bad. I found the recipe for the marinade on one of those big recipe websites. I wanted to use the tamari I'd finally found but the thing is, I don't like just plain soy sauce, there has to be something sweet to counteract the salt. This recipe called for sugar but it just wasn't enough. I'll try something different next time. Brown sugar perhaps? Reduce the sauce before marinating? I'm not sure. Here's the recipe:
1/2 C Soy Sauce - San-J GF Tamari
2 T Lemon Juice
2 T Sugar
1 clove garlic
1 tsp. ginger - grated
2 T Vegetable Oil
1 tsp. sesame seeds
1 lb. chicken tenderloins or breast
2 green onions (finely chopped)
Combine soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, oil, sesame seeds and onion in large ziplock bag. Put chicken in bag. Marinate for 5 hours. Grill. Serve. Yum. Can you feel my enthusiasm?
Here's what I didn't do, I didn't put sesame seeds in it, I used yellow onion instead of green onion and I grated it instead of chopping it. I used fresh ginger but it had been in the freezer, Rachel Ray said it's ok to do that! I marinated over night. It wasn't bad at all, it was good, just a little too much salt and not enough sweet for me. I do have pics of the dinner, I had the grilled chicken, broccoli and Carolina Yellow Saffron rice. Plus the chicken was really thin and I over-cooked it. Hey I'm still learning!I saw today an advertisement on the train that says that Le Cordon Bleu cooking school is now in Boston! Oh how I wish I could go there.
eta: next time I think I will try this recipe that was recommended to me by My This & That!