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Food Blogs: Yum Yum

“It’s Just Like Riding A Bike!”

I used to hate it when people used that phrase because it’s used to imply something that is easy, something that you never forget and can always pick up on at a later point in life. I’d mutter to myself under my breath, “Easy for YOU to say.” Because for me, “riding a bike” was fraught with anxiety.

When I decided to sign up for this triathlon, I knew it was going to be as much (or more) a psychological challenge as a physical one. (although that isn’t anything to sneeze at, either!) I feel like I pretty much can deal with the running. Last week, I got into a swimming pool for the first time in 17 years and.. I didn’t drown! I didn’t exactly meet the goal of 200 yards with only a 10second rest (starting recommendation for the Olympic distance triathlon) but I did the whole thing freestyle, and I know if I’d mixed it up with some other strokes it would have been OK. So I checked that off the list.

Last weekend Mr McBody went to pick up Junior’s bike from the house she’d left it at. I totally hemmed and hawed all week, even when he asked me if I wanted to take it on a little spin around our cul-de-sac. NO thank you. Honestly, I was terrified. But today I told myself, I’d give it a try.

First I woke up late. Then I did a pile of paperwork, paid bills, and organized an entire purse and deskful of receipts into a neat little accordian file with sticky tabs. That took me pretty much half the day. Then I had to have lunch. And a cup of coffee. And fret about my clothing. Mister McBody was laughing at me. “What’s the problem?” I was wearing long leggings. “But what if it’s hot?” “Then wear shorts.” “But I need something to protect me.” “Protect you from what?” “From the BIKE!” I was envisioning my legs getting caught in gears and chains and having half my calf skin torn clear off. Finally, I went outside and it was indeed hot so I put on a pair of shorts.

He put air in the tires and applied some greasy goo stuff to the chain. I went into the house to go to the bathroom and procrastinate in any other way I could think of.

"Take your time, honey."

Finally we loaded up the bikes and drove down to the Estuary Trail, which is a lovely path I’ve often run on. It goes along the water and a bird sanctuary and ends up near the Oakland airport. It is utterly flat with just a couple curves here and there and best of all, no traffic. It was the perfect spot for a first (in many years) ride. How many years? Well Juniorette is 17 years old and she swears she has NEVER seen me on a bike in her whole life. She denies any memory of such a thing. I told her I’d ridden along the Truckee River at Tahoe, and she said she didn’t believe it. So it’s been a lot of years.

I was tense. To say the least.

Not a happy camper.

Finally it was the moment of truth. We fiddled with the seat and then I got on and… at first my hands were gripping those handlebars so tight I thought the skin was going to shear off my knuckles. But after a minute or two I realized I wasn’t totally struggling to stay upright. I skidded to a stop and jumped off at the sign of any turning, but eventually I got the hang of that too. We took off down the trail and it was pretty good for about five minutes. Then my pocket started ringing. I realized it was Junior, calling me from her day off. She is off being a counselor at circus camp where they have NO EMAIL, NO TEXTING and NO CELL PHONE reception so we’ve been completely incomunicado from her. So when I got this call I knew that she was on her day off and was once again in cell range. I HAD to answer it.

We ended up standing there in the trail for a good half hour, talking with our offspring. (Good thing I chose Mr. McBody for my first riding partner and not anyone else, because nobody else would’ve put up with that!) We had a very good talk in which she pondered her many life paths ahead of her, and by the time we got going again I had almost forgotten I was terrified.

We rode for a total of 10K or 6.2 miles. ME! Wow!!!!! Now, granted, this ride involved no hills or traffic or cars, BUT the fact that I survived it without having a complete physical or mental breakdown was a huge reason to celebrate. I was so relieved! SO RELIEVED.


On the way home we discussed our dinner plans. I really didn’t want to go out. But I also didn’t really feel like cooking. But I wanted to celebrate. What to do? Then I remembered Danica talking about Foodgawker yesterday and I remembered how I love that site and that I’d just added the iPhone app. I opened it up and it jumped out at me: MUSSELS! We love mussels but we’ve never made them at home. We veered off to stop at Market Hall which is a collection of tiny special food shops including seafood, produce, cheese… yum.

They had mussels. Yay! And they weren’t expensive! Then I saw these gorgeous heirloom tomatoes and I thought, “Caprese salad!” Mister M picked up some Prosecco and other wine, and some mozzarella di Bufala, and we were set.


This is the recipe I used, which I originally found via Foodgawker. It was soooooooo good.

And here are some fancy pics from our fancy at-home dinner. SO GOOD and a wonderfully fitting celebration for my unfatal first foray into bike riding. One more step to being less terrified! Cheers!

gotta have fresh lime juice
mussels in coconut curry broth: YUM
crusty bread for dunking
amazing Caprese salad: OOPS, forgot the basil!

Healthy Beef Stroganoff – YUM! A Guest Post by TJ!

me and TJ!
I’m excited that Tracey (aka TJ) is sharing one of her awesome healthy recipes on my blog today! Her blog is full of fantastic, easy recipes that are super WW-friendly. Check out her fantastic progress – inspiring isn’t it?? One of her greatest strategies is coming up with wonderful recipes to keep her satisfied and on track. Take it away, Tracey!
Hi guys! Tracey here from tj’s test kitchen! Special thanks to Foodie McBody for allowing me to post a recipe over here today. 🙂 I made this just this past weekend with my Mom and the whole family loved it. Beef Stroganoff SCREAMS comfort food if you ask me but sometimes with comfort comes calories. My mission along this weight loss journey is to make the foods I love…. HEALTHIER!
Beef Stroganoff
serves 8
*add additional PointsPlus for noodles
1 lb package lean ground beef 90/10
1 can Campbells Healthy Request Cream of Mushroom soup
1 can Campbells HR Cream of chicken soup
1 Cup Fat Free Sour Cream
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 1/2 Cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 Cup water
pepper to taste
First brown beef over medium heat until fully cooked; drain any fat after cooked.
In separate pan- even at the same time the beef is cooking saute mushrooms in a small pan sprayed with PAM.
Ingredients all lined up….
These are the noodles I used 1 cup for 5 PointsPlus
1 Cup Sour Cream
After draining any fat, add onion soup mix, sour cream, water, and both soups to the pan. This looks weird, I know, but wait! haha!
Give it a stir….then toss in the cooked mushrooms.
stir again…mmmm nice and creamy! Add in pepper if you like!
Serve on top of cooked noodles. YUM! After I took this picture I tossed in some peas. It was delicious!
Easy and tasty! My two favorite words to hear when I am cooking dinner! Hope you all liked my recipe! Make sure you stop by my blog to let me know if you decided to make it! I would love to hear all about it! 🙂 ENJOY!  tj

Food Fitness Fabio FUN!

I had a very Foodie McBody weekend this last weekend. Mr. McBody and I took my mom down to LA to visit friends and relatives and to visit the awesome Japanese American Museum. The weather was absolutely amazing.

It was really interesting being in LA for so many reasons. From the minute we got to the airport, I was struck by the incredible number of (by my estimate) size zero-to-2 women around. I mean, I rarely see women this stick-thin where I live. But it felt like they were everywhere. Plus, incessant ads for 1-800-Get-Thin on the radio, on billboards, EVERYwhere. And cosmetic surgery. It was such a “Toto, you’re not in Kansas anymore” realization.

On the other hand, there was such a visible overall commitment to fitness as well. AND massive foodie-ness everywhere. So… double edged sword, I guess. Triple edged sword.

The McBody part: I went for an almost five mile run along the Palisades and the beach on Saturday. It was absolutely gorgeous.

I had plenty of time, and I just told myself I was going to go as far as I wanted. I started out slow but after mile 2 (my magic moment) it started feeling really, really good. One of the great things was that I kept passing these “pods” of around 20-25 people, each running with a couple of coaches. LA Roadrunners, you guys are AWESOME! I must have seen a total of (no kidding) 500 people out there running that morning. At first, I saw lots of really fast teams but toward the end of my run, I saw this group out there that looked… like me! They were running like penguins. I got so excited because I could see their feet and they were moving at the same pace as mine. They were coming toward me and as they passed me, I turned around and ran behind them for a while. It was really fun, and a great aha! moment to think, there are training groups that go at my pace! I loved it.

On Sunday, I took a nice long walk along the same route. Beautiful.

But the HIGHLIGHT of my Sunday was a cooking class at Firenze Osteria, the restaurant of Top Chef‘s Fabio Viviani! Woo! I am such a HUGE fan of Top Chef and Fabio is one of the friendliest, Tweetiest chefs there is. And funny. AND an amazing chef. I was so excited to discover that he was going to be offering this class the same weekend that I was going to be in LA. YIPPEEE! I invited my young cousin-in-law’s fourteen year old son, who loves to cook, to come with me.

The “class” was actually a live demonstration in front of a restaurant full of highly amused people. Fabio is a great entertainer, warm and funny. He also really knows his stuff! He’s been cooking since he was a toddler. He’s been in restaurants his whole life. He told lots of affectionate stories about his grandmother and her handmade, old-country ways.

So the class was about how to make pasta in five minutes, which Fabio stretched out to about 45. But really it was shockingly simple. He quizzed us over and over: HOW many eggs if you are cooking for four people? “FOUR!” I was actually amazed at how easy he made it look. Then we got to taste it. Wow. It was so, so, so delicious. With this crazy delicious Bolognese sauce. Immediately people started clamoring for a “sauce class!” Which Fabio put into his iPhone immediately and promised to offer next month. Yahoo! (if only I could return…)

After the pasta, he demonstrated gnocchi. “The potato needs to be grinded, not mashed!”  I was a little bummed to see that gnocchi involves (ideally) a stand mixer. Which is not the same as investing $40 in a pasta presser. I have wanted a stand mixer, like, FOREVER, but it always has seemed like too much of an extravagance. Let’s just say it’s on my permanent wish list.

The class was awesome. It was like going to a performance and a great meal and invited into a friend’s kitchen all at once. Y’all, if you are near LA and want a fantastic experience, I really recommend checking out Fabio’s cooking classes.  Follow him on Twitter or watch his blog for announcements. I’m posting a lot of my photos in a slideshow below. You’ll see that his hands are often completely blurred, because they were never still. Total Italian!

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Tiptoeing away from Sugar

First of all, just another shout-out to Mary who, at her tender young age, has managed to be an amazing mentor for me in so many ways. First, she introduced me to foodblogging which has proved to be nothing short of miraculous. It stopped two binges in their tracks yesterday. Amazing.

Another thing that Mary does, which I observed during her visit with me, but did NOT PARTICIPATE in, is her practice of only eating sugar (processed sugar) on weekends. I was like, hmm. Okay.

Now, as a diabetic person, I probably could benefit from not eating sugar at ALL. And I know plenty of people who do not eat sugar AT ALL. But cutting any food out of my repertoire completely just freaks me out. And it is important to me to feel like I can 1. maintain my weight loss, and 2. maintain good diabetic health, while continuing to enjoy certain sugar experiences once in a while. (cupcakes, anyone?)

I never eat large amounts of sugar. Mostly they are very small amounts of things- a teaspoon of ice cream, a sugar-free candy, (I’m going to count that as “sugar” for now because it does contain a certain type of sugar), some low-carb chocolate or a Skinny Cow. I do not go all out and have a hot fudge sundae.

Anyway, this week, after the big wedding weekend, I decided to come back to “basics.” And I noticed that I didn’t eat sugar on Monday or Tuesday. (today is Wednesday) I noticed it didn’t kill me. Or upset me. Or make me feel deprived.

So I’ve decided to gently see how this feels. I’m not doing it as a Challenge, or a Vow, or anything like that. I’m just doing it out of curiousity, for as long as it lasts. I’m not putting a time limit on it or anything. It’s just…. an experiment.

By the way, I don’t notice any difference (after 2 days) in how I feel. It’s not like I feel lighter and happier and free from the Evil Substance. I’m more noticing how I don’t feel like I’m suffering. Which is fine.

Week 2 of Foodblogging: What I’ve Learned, Part 2

I’m still at it. I’m having fun. I’m liking it. And I’m still learning new things.

This weekend, for example, I learned that it is possible to take photos of your food and still gain weight! (ha) Saturday was a perfect example of Too Much Of A Good Thing. (well, actually, NOT too much, but perhaps too much to LOSE weight) I don’t regret a single bite of anything. I don’t feel like I binged. But I know, and especially looking back, that that was a day that I ate really healthy food (perhaps with the exception of the bread and butter, and the cream puff at the end!) but more than was necessary, um, physiologically speaking. I mean: grilled vegetables! Salmon! Shaved zucchini salad! It was all good good food. It was delicious. I ate “in moderation.” All in all, I’d consider it a Success. I did  not feel deprived; I ate good things, I was happy.

I also learned that it is possible (well, I knew THIS one already) to eat not enough of Not Very Good Food. This was pretty much yesterday. I was still really full from Saturday AND I was really busy so I did not eat very much. But what I did eat wasn’t the most ideal stuff. A lot of carbs, not enough produce.

Last week I took some photos of lunch while at work. I think my co-workers thought I was a little, um… special. As my daughters would say. But I took them anyway.

I’m excited that since I’ve started this process, a few of my blogging buddies have joined in and are photoblogging too. I’m having a great time following their food, and learning all sorts of things. Here’s Karen’s, and Pubsgal’s, and Sweeter’s. Welcome to foodblogging, friends!

The process is continuing to fascinate me and every day I notice more and more new things. Onward!

Cream Puff Heaven

I went to a wedding with most amazing food! Including cream puffs instead of wedding cake!! All I can say is it’s a GOOD THING I started at a low.


More later.

It’s Working.. And I Didn’t Even Ask It To

Remember my “wish” to lose ten pounds maybe, like sort of?  Well, after much deliberation I decided to not sweat it or “try” to do anything; I’d just keep doing whatever I was doing, and whatever happened, would happen.

Then Mary came to visit and I watched her take pictures of all her food. For the first 3 days, I just watched her, and I ate all the yummy things she was eating PLUS MORE. The weight started creeping up. Then on her fourth day, I started foodblogging as well.

See what happened? That’s my weight up there. From the very first day. This was not on purpose, ie I wasn’t “trying” to lose weight, I was just trying to be more mindful and accountable for what I ate.

The one little uptick you see there is the day I forgot to take my medication which allows me to not look like a watery bloated sausage.

The difference between the top of the graph and the bottom of the graph (today) is 5.2 pounds.

Just sayin’.

I’m taking my camera with me EVERYwhere from now on. 🙂

EDITED: Hmph. Facebook tells me that this blog post has been rated as “abusive” by Facebook users and so they have disabled the link. What is THAT about? Am I being boycotted by anti-scale people??

Is Exposing Your Food Like Exposing Your Privates?

One of my friends said to me that my food blog was upsetting her. “I think what we eat is really private!” she said. “And political! I would never show people what I eat.” (or some such thing. I am paraphrasing) This intrigued me. “What do you mean by political?” I asked.

“I would be afraid that people would judge me, for going out to eat too much, for not cooking enough or whatever.” This was fascinating to me. Of course people could certainly judge ME for going out to eat too much because I do it like every five minutes, but that’s not the kind of judgement that I care about or that worries me.

I have been guilty and embarrassed and ashamed of various food I’ve eaten for years decades, but not for political reasons. For deeply personal reasons. I think now, how I would feel if someone had pulled a camera on me when I sat in my car eating a pint of macaroni and cheese or chocolate pudding or one of my other comfort/binge foods. I would have died a million deaths. So for me, it is incredibly empowering to be exposing/outing myself and my food. And to shed light on it is one of the most amazing things I have ever done.

Mary said to me that food blogging basically eliminated most of her mindless and compulsive eating, which pretty much made my eyes bug out of my head. And which made me want to try to do this. So far, I have to say, it’s been an incredible experience. I’m learning so much about myself.

For someone who spent so much of my psychic life eating in a closet, this is really HUGE.

I’m finding that photographing my food is almost like a prayer, a little premeal ritual, and almost like meditation. It is deeply contemplatative. I think about my food, consider it from angle, think about if I do want to eat it, how much I want, etc. I want it to look good. I want to feel committed to it. Believe me, this is something I did not used to do. Often I would almost eat with my eyes closed because I would not want to see what I was doing.

It’s only been four days. But I’ve gotta say, it’s changing me. And I’m not embarrassed.

Food Bloggers at Work!

A little excessive

Originally uploaded by pkingDesign

Ha ha. Pretty soon this will be me.

OKAY! Now it IS ME! I’m officially a food blogger who totes camera to every meal!! Follow it here…..

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