Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘food’

Jackson SquareA month ago, my hubby and I stayed overnight at the Blake Hotel in New Orleans. Since he travels a great deal for work, he occasionally receives a free stay at a hotel. With COVID-19 cancelling plans and limiting activities this summer, we decided to take advantage of the change of scenery. Between me working as a supervisor for the ACT at Southeastern earlier in the day and restrictions in the city, we knew we would not be able to do much in New Orleans except maybe enjoy a nice dinner and go for a short walk around the French Quarter.

Fortunately, that Saturday (June 13th) Phase 2 was implemented for the city. We had originally planned to eat dinner at the hotel; however, the hotel was only serving breakfast and lunch. The front desk clerk made a few suggestions of restaurants that would be open and gave us a couple of brochures with menus. So, after looking over the menus, we decided to call Oceana to see if we could dine in and if we needed to make reservations. As luck would have it, we did not have to make reservations, and we could eat in the restaurant. Additionally, eating at Oceana would count as trying a new restaurant (#11 on 20 for 2020 list). It would be the second new restaurant that I have tried this year.

Oceana-tiniWe were greeted by a friendly hostess who asked us to write our names and phone numbers in a notebook before being seated. Apparently, due to COVID, this is a social practice for restaurants in New Orleans. Appropriate social distancing was implemented within the dining area, so we felt comfortable. Emily was our waitress for the evening. She was lovely and took great care of us throughout the meal. Since this was the first time eating out in New Orleans in some time and probably would be the last for quite awhile, we opted to splurge. We started the evening off with Eggplantcocktails. I chose the Oceana-tini (Absolut Vodka, Bols Sour Apple Pucker, Midori, & a touch of sour mix) and the hubster ordered a beer. Our appetizer was fried eggplant sticks. Yummy, crispy, and not greasy! I love fried eggplant, but I do not prepare it at home. When given the chance to order it while dining out, I take it. Next up, the entrees!

I ordered the Mardi Gras Pasta, and Barry chose Blackened Catfish. Our chef did not disappoint us. Our meals were scrumptious, and we both ate every last bite.

Mardi Gras pasta

Mardi Gras Pasta

Blackened Catfish

Blackened Catfish

NOLA Bread PuddingWhen Emily approached us about dessert, we ordered the New Orleans Bread Pudding (to split) without hesitation. I adore bread pudding, and there are so many ways it can be prepared, so I rarely pass up the opportunity to indulge in such a delightful treat. Yum-yum…yum-yum-yum! It was one of the finest bread puddings that I have ever eaten. I’m actually fantasizing about it right now.

Of course, after eating all of that delicious food and feeling like a pregnant whale, we had to walk around to let our meals digest. Unbeknownst to us, we were about to get a surprising eyeful. One of the restrictions that was lifted in Phase 2 was the opening of bars. While there were not nearly as many people frequenting the bars on Bourbon Street as on a normal Saturday evening, there were more than we expected considering social distancing limitations. Anyway, as we were strolling along, I spotted butt cheeks (three sets in fact) through the open doorway of one of the bars. Imagine my surprise! At the exact moment that I am telling Barry what I had seen, a group of scantily clad bike riders passed right in front of us. We didn’t find out until the next day that we had witnessed World Naked Bike Ride NOLA. You really never know what sights you will see in the French Quarter.

We returned to our hotel to enjoy the rest of our evening. The next morning we had a pleasant breakfast at the hotel restaurant, Café at the Square. Shortly afterwards, we headed home. Our overnight trip may have been brief and lacked some of the bells and whistles the city of New Orleans normally offers; however, Barry and I had a fantastic time because we were together, and we rather enjoyed the change of scenery without the usual hubbub. Happiness!

Kat & Barry-Oceana

“A change of scenery can help everything.” ~ Drew Pomeranz

Read Full Post »

It has been a little over a week since I went on my adventure to Pho NOLA with my awesome friend Michelle. She is quite adventurous when it comes to trying new restaurants and new foods, which usually entails a good bit of ethnic food. In addition to American fare, we have eaten Korean, Cuban, and Mexican together. Because of distance, we do not get to hang out together as much as I would like, so when an opportunity presents itself, I take it. I can always count on Michelle to suggest somewhere terrific for us to enjoy a fantastic meal and a wonderful conversation.

Meatball Pho

Meatball Pho

When deciding where to eat lunch, I shared with her that one of my 20 for 2020 (#11) was to try 20 new restaurants this year. Since I had never eaten Vietnamese food, she suggested Pho NOLA in Metairie. I relied totally on Michelle to help me order because I had no clue. Of course, on my first visit, I had to try the pho (pronounced fu).

Brisket Pho

Brisket Pho

For those of you not familiar with pho, it is a popular Vietnamese soup traditionally found on the streets of Vietnam that is served in restaurants globally. It consists of broth, rice noodles, herbs, and meat. The key ingredient in the soup is the broth which simmers for many hours. A variety of meats can be used, including chicken and shrimp.

Trying PhoI ordered a combo meal: meatball pho with a grilled shrimp Banh Mi, a Vietnamese PoBoy (sandwich). Michelle opted for the same, but ordered brisket pho. The bread used to make the sandwich comes from a well-known Vietnamese bakery in New Orleans East called Dong Phuong Bakery. The bakery is famous for their king cakes. I have not been fortunate enough to try one of their king cakes; however, the bread that was used to make my Banh Mi was delicious.

SmoothieMy first experience eating Vietnamese at Pho NOLA was gratifying. My food was scrumptious. The meatball pho was heavenly and a perfect choice for the cold day (warm with a perfect blend of seasonings). A basket was brought to the table with basil, cilantro, bean sprouts, and scallions to garnish the pho. I chose only to add bean sprouts and cilantro. My sandwich tasted fresh and flavorful with the right combination of grilled shrimp dressed with aioli (light mayo mixture), pickled carrots and daikon (radish), cucumber, and cilantro. YUMMO! We topped off lunch by ordering BOBA Smoothies with tapioca pearls. I requested a mango and pineapple smoothie (delicious), and Michelle requested an avocado one (equally delicious). She was sweet enough to let me taste her avocado smoothie. Now, I dream about these delightful concoctions. What a wonderful treat with my AMAZING friend! Pho NOLA was a hit and a perfect place to start trying twenty new restaurants this year.

Pho NOLAHaving lunch and spending time with Michelle is always a happiness boost. Trying a new restaurant AND a new cuisine with her was a joyful adventure. I will definitely eat Vietnamese cuisine again, and I look forward to trying the different types of pho. Dear reader, I highly recommend having an adventure eating a cuisine that you have never tried before or visiting a new restaurant. You can even be adventurous at a restaurant that you frequent often by trying something new. I’d loved to know what new foods or new restaurants that you have tried recently. Please share your adventures with me because I have 19 more new restaurants to try before the end of 2020.

“Without experimentation, a willingness to ask questions and try new things, we shall surely become static, repetitive, and moribund.” ~ Anthony Bourdain

 

 

Read Full Post »

Finally, my weight is in the 130’s. Woot! Woot! I lost three pounds this week for a weight loss total of 15 pounds. I’m officially 138 pounds, and more than half way to my weight loss goal. I have more marbles in my “pounds lost” container than my “pounds to go” container. YES!

I completed my ninth week of eating clean and exercising on a regular basis. I have been using a food journal from a book by Kathy Smith that I’ve had for years. After the tenth week (starting tomorrow), I will have to make more copies. I am thinking about copying another ten weeks. During the next ten weeks or 11 weeks if you count this upcoming week, I will start creating menus. I have not been able to plan my meals in advance, so I want to work on that as a mini goal for the remainder of my weight loss journey. I also continue to struggle with drinking enough water. I want to be more consistent with my water intake. So, this will be another mini goal.

I feel like I am doing really well with my eating in social and restaurant/take-out situations. Once a month from January through November, I play Pokeno with ten other women. Each month one person hosts dinner and dessert. The hostess for the month is also asked to provide plain and peanut M & M’s. Thursday night was Pokeno. Our hostess for the month prepared Chicken Parmesan, Caesar salad, and bread for dinner. She brought a chocolate bundt cake and Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream for dessert.  Even though my treat meals are generally on the weekend, I decided there is no reason I cannot have my treat meal on Thursday night in lieu of having one on Saturday night. I ate both dinner and dessert in moderation. I will confess I ate too many peanut M & M’s because I adore them. The portion I ate would be equivelant to a small bag you can buy at a checkout counter at a supermarket. I don’t regret it. The last time I ate peanut M & M’s was at last month’s Pokeno. The way I look at it, I get to indulge once a month.

My hubby and I ordered Chinese take-out on Friday night. Again, I made the decision to eat a treat meal on Friday instead of Sunday. I ordered as sensibly as you can when it comes to Chinese food. I had Shrimp with Lobster Sauce (5 medium/large shrimp & 1/2 cup of sauce), 3/4 cup of white rice, one eggroll, and a fortune cookie. In the past, I would have ordered a pint of shrimp lo mein, crabmeat delight, an eggroll, and a fortune cookie. It’s all about making choices and eating in moderation.

Yesterday, I went to visit my parents. I called my mother ahead of time to let her know that I would be bringing my lunch, so we would not have to order out. As far as I was concerned, I already had my treat meals for the week. And, I’ve eaten clean all weekend with the exception of one peanut butter/chocolate chip cookie I enjoyed at my little guy’s Scout Court of Honor ceremony. My hubby baked them for the reception afterwards. It is unrealistic for me to think I can eat clean 100% of the time. However, it is realistic for me to think I can eat clean 93-95% of the time. Food is a big deal with socializing. I’ve learned these last nine weeks to make better food choices when socializing and eating out at restaurants.

As for fitness, I’m right on track with what I want to accomplish and have been getting the right amount of cardio and strength training per week. Although…I did skip my workout Tuesday morning because I was on the phone Monday night until 11:30PM with my oldest son who is stationed in Alaska. I didn’t get to sleep until about midnight, so I had a hard time getting out of bed at 4AM. I’m not going to apologize for taking a rest day, especially since I had the opportunity to talk to my son the night before. However, I will admit I felt kind of off all day. I really look forward to my morning workouts.

My schedule for this week is to run/walk on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday (bonus day). Walk 10 minutes, run 8 minutes. Walk 2 minutes, run 8 minutes (repeat twice). I’ll walk/bike and strength train on the other days. In the next few weeks I will start researching races. I would like to run a 5K soon. It has been almost a year since I ran my last 5K. It would be nice to have a fitness goal.

Looks like rain and cooler temperatures this week. Hope everyone has a wonderful week full of happiness and endless possibilities.

“Everything in moderation, including moderation.” ~ Oscar Wilde

Read Full Post »

What a pleasant surprise I received when I walked out my door this morning! Cool weather. Sixty-two degree weather. Goosebumps on your arms and legs weather. I walked, ran, AND rode my bike this morning. Happiness!

Good News: lost another pound. I’m now 141 pounds. Last week was a little more challenging because I worked as a substitute all week. I subbed for a 3rd grade class on Tuesday and for the librarian Wednesday through Friday. I had to make sure I worked out, showered, dressed, ate breakfast, packed lunch/snacks, and took care of pets before walking out the door at 7AM. To stick to my exercise plan for the week, I got up each morning at 4AM. It is not easy, especially after having my routine disrupted by Mother Nature the week before. Thankfully, I do not have to get up so early on the weekends; however, I still try to get on the road by 6AM.

I’ll follow my same routine as last week for strength training. The only thing I may change is biking on a couple of the days that I do not run/walk. I’ve also decided to repeat my run/walk schedule from last week. Walk 10 minutes, run 7 minutes. Walk 3 minutes, run 7 minutes (repeat twice). I felt a little soreness in the inner part of my shins this morning. I’m trying extremely hard not to get injured.  

This morning I made chocolate chip pancakes. I used Bisquick Heart Smart Pancake and Baking Mix. I sprinkled in 1 tsp of Nestle semi-sweet mini chocolate morsels for every three pancakes. After cooking, I spread a minimal amount of yogurt margarine on the pancakes and topped them with 1 tbsp of pancake syrup. YUM! This was definitely a treat meal, but with less fat and calories.

I also discovered Whole Wheat tortillas at the grocery store. I’m using two brands: Mission 100% Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas (medium size) – (1 tortilla contains 3g fat; 130 calories; 2g sugar) and LaTortilla Factory Low Carb Whole Wheat Tortillas (large size) – ( 1 tortilla contains 3g fat; 80 calories; 1g sugar). I will use both, but I prefer the Mission brand. 

I will be substituting for the librarian again this week. It is the annual Book Fair at the school. For an entire week the school gym is transformed into a mini bookstore. Andrew and I are looking forward to attending Family Night tomorrow evening. Lots of excitement! Besides being in charge of the library, I get to teach an advanced English class to eight 8th graders. We are working on writing a resume this week, as well as discussing the novel Nothing But the Truth by Avi. Good stuff!

“Never discourage anyone…who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.” ~ Plato

Read Full Post »

WOW!

What a Week!

And, it was mainly about my youngest son, Andrew. Last weekend, Andrew was in a musical theater performance of School House Rock. Most of you remember those catchy songs with an educational message. He performed three times to packed audiences. His grandparents even came to see him perform. Lots of energy, lots of smiles!

Andrew singing “Elbow Room” in a musical theater performance of School House Rock.

Lights, Camera, Action! Andrew and I went to the movies TWICE this week to see The Amazing Spiderman (Marvel Comic fans) and Ice Age: Continental Drift. We enjoyed both movies.

Happy Birthday! Andrew’s birthday was Wednesday. He is officially 11 years old. My hubby and I gave him an iPod Touch for his birthday. Needless to say, his entire day revolved around this electronic device. Thanks to mon frere, Moonius Maximus, for answering our numerous questions about the iPod Touch and iPod Touch cases,  as well as helping us through the steps of setting up an iTunes account. Hooray! I no longer feel so app deficient.  

Welcome! Last night, Andrew and I went to his school for Supplies and Hi’s. He dropped off his school supplies and met his new teacher, Mrs. Inman. Andrew is a 6th grader this year. Summer vacation is quickly coming to an end. School starts next week. Darn!

What about ME?

So, what’s going on with me this week? Booyah! I lost another two pounds. That is a total of 5 pounds lost since my weight loss journey began. I also started walking/running this week. My schedule for this weekWalk 8 minutes. Run 2 minutes. Walk 1 minute (repeat 3-minute session 5 times). Walk 8 minutes. This schedule comes from the book Running and Walking for Women Over 40: The Road to Sanity and Vanity by Kathrine Switzer. This is a schedule for anyone wanting to become a 30-minute runner in 10 weeks. I will tweak the schedule a little bit to meet my needs. The goal is to run without getting injuries.

Yesterday, I received the Jackie Warner DVDs. I will be viewing them over the weekend, so I can incorporate them in my exercise schedule. These DVDs will replace the Power Circuit workouts from her book.

I discovered two bread/grain items in the grocery store that have made eating clean more enjoyable: Oroweat Pocket Thins 8 Grain Flatbread (1/2 flatbread contains 1.5g fat; 100 calories; 2g sugar) and Kashi’s Heart to Heart Roasted Garlic Whole Grain Crackers (7 crackers contains 3.5g fat; 120 calories; 0g sugar). I’ve been eating egg salad (2 eggs, 1 Tbsp Hellmann’s Light Mayonnaise, salt, pepper, paprika) inside the flatbread. I ate the crackers with sardines. Yum! 

Finally, I spent some time this week looking for a job. Sadly, my days as a freelancer are coming to an end. I just know there is an opportunity out there waiting for me with flexibility, fun people, and pay higher than minimum wage. I just have to find it. Eek!

Detour! My favorite School House Rock song was “Unpack Your Adjectives”

Question: What was your favorite School House Rock song? I’d love to know.  Please leave me a comment.

“It is not often that a man can make opportunities for himself. But he can put himself in such shape that when or if the opportunities come he is ready.”             ~ Theodore Roosevelt

Read Full Post »

This past Saturday, my hubby and youngest son, Andrew, went to spend the night on the USS Alabama with the Boy Scouts. It is an annual sleepover to plan their activities for the upcoming year. This left me with the house all to myself. I told my mother earlier in the week I’d be home alone, and she invited herself to my house for a sleepover. Fun! We don’t get to see each other very often, so this was an unexpected happiness boost.

Saturday arrived. I kissed my two guys good-bye and set out to retrieve my mother from her home. She lives an hour away from me. We only had one stop before heading back to my house. I had to buy two pairs of running shoes, one for everyday wear and the other for actual running.  Our drive home consisted of conversation, laughter, more conversation, and a giggling fit so severe I almost had to pull over and regain composure. A giggling fit and operating a vehicle at 70 mph are not a good combination.

We eventually made it back to my house. After my mother unloaded all of her stuff out of the car, we sat around the kitchen table talking and cutting up some more. She drinking a cup of coffee. Me drinking a Whey Protein drink with unsweetened Almond Milk. The topic of conversation soon came around to where we would be dining for the evening. This was going to be my first treat meal since I started eating clean. I was a little apprehensive because I wanted to enjoy my treat meal, but not undo all of my hard work leading to this weekend. I let my mother decide since she had eaten a fried shrimp po-boy earlier for lunch. I figured she’d pick something to balance her obvious treat meal for the day. We got out the phone book and perused the various restaurants. The only food I did not want to indulge in tonight was pizza. I absolutely LOVE pepperoni pizza. And, I’m an absolute piggie when pepperoni pizza is involved. After some discussion, we mutually agreed to eat at Great Wall (a Chinese and Japanese SUPER Buffet). HA! It literally advertises 10 buffet tables (largest buffet in Tangipahoa Parish) and ALL you can eat. Dangerous, you say! Oh, YES, indeed. However, I was going to prove to myself I could indulge without going overboard.

Jackie Warner has in her book a “good, bad, and ugly” list for eating out at restaurants. My mother and I looked over the list for Asian restaurants to get an idea of what to avoid. I had already made up my mind to avoid two of the uglies: fried rice and lo mein of any kind. There was only one item on the bad list I knew I would eat….the infamous egg roll. I figured at about 190 calories, I’d be okay if I only ate one. 

Once at the buffet, I walked around and looked everything over while my mother was loading up her plate. I had a total of 4 plates of food. I know you gasped, but chill. My plates were divided into food groups. I approached the buffet as a chance to sample instead of gorge. My first plate consisted of 8-10 pieces of different sushi rolls. My second plate contained 4 large boiled shrimp, 3 pieces of pepper steak, two pieces of sesame chicken, two pieces of another style of chicken, and a spoonful (serving spoon size) of crab meat. My third plate involved fruit and veggies: spinach, sautéed green beans, marinated artichoke and tomatoes, broccoli, 3 slices of watermelon, as well as my egg roll. My fourth and final plate should be NO surprise. It was the dessert plate. It held 3 cubes of red jello, 1 spoonful (serving spoon size) of banana pudding with 1 vanilla wafer on top, and 1/2 cup of strawberry ice cream. Oh, and I drank water throughout the meal. Overall, I felt I did pretty well considering what I’ve eaten at Chinese/Japanese buffets in the past.  I even bypassed the wontons filled with cream cheese. If I could redo the experience, I would not have gotten so many pieces of sushi. I felt bloated from eating too much rice.

Afterwards, my mother and I went home. We both felt roly-poly, so we decided to play some Wii games. At first we considered Just Dance; however, we both quickly agreed the food we just ate would not taste as good coming up as it did going down. Instead, we played Wii Sports and Wii Play. I discovered I’m a decent bowler, but a terrible baseball player. Actually, neither one of us was very good at baseball; however, my mother managed to beat me 1-0. Luck had everything to do with it. Now, the Wii Play had us laughing often. After some trial and error, we figured out how to actually play the games advertised as “quick and easy.” Quick maybe, but not all easy. We still don’t know what the “Pose Mii” is all about. We stopped playing about 10:30pm. I went to bed. No telling what my mother was up to the rest of the night; however, I spotted her sleeping on the sofa the next morning when I snuck out for my morning walk. Maybe the next time my guys are away, I’ll have a slumber party.

“In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.” ~ Gordon B. Hinckley

Read Full Post »

I thought eating the specific foods for the first two weeks on the “eat clean” program was going to be easy. After all, with the exception of whey protein (never tried it before), I’m a fan of those foods. Nope. Out of the first eight days, I only managed to eat everything on the list two of the eight days. Most days I got in six of the eight items. For example, I ate the eggs, oatmeal, veggies, fruit, and drank water; however, I didn’t drink the whey protein or green tea. Another day, I may have gotten everything, but the oatmeal. It is hard. Well, it’s hard for me.

I discovered as I reviewed the week, one reason I came up short is because I don’t eat on a set schedule. I don’t eat before my morning workout. Sometimes, I may not eat breakfast until 9:00AM or 9:30AM. Therefore, a mid-morning snack is not necessary for me. The next time I eat would be at lunch. So, in order for me to do better this week, I really need to plan out my meals ahead of time to make sure I can incorporate all these foods. Thank goodness I only have to do this for one more week.

While I’m discussing food, I must confess I find unsweetened Almond Milk disgusting. However, I am drinking it with the whey protein powder (chocolate flavor). This combination makes a remarkable difference.

As for my cardio workouts, I did workout five days. However, I did not workout at maximum effort or with intervals. As much as I love walking with my dog, he slows us down with all his sniffing and marking his territory. So, we are no longer exercising with Comet. Instead, I will take Comet for his own walk later in the evening where he can get his groove on at his own pace.

As for my weight (153 pounds), I did not lose or gain. So, I don’t get to move any of my marbles. Am I disappointed? Not really. I didn’t expect to lose anything this past week. If anything, I worried I had gained weight because my guys and I had gone to a family BBQ on Saturday. I indulged by having three Mike’s Hard Lemonade and two or three brownies.

A new week has started, and I’m ready. My goal for this week is to ramp up my cardio, and to eat everything on the list everyday.

“Exercise is king. Nutrition is queen. Put them together and you’ve got a kingdom.” ~Jack Lalanne

Read Full Post »

Cristian Mihai

builds stuff

Keto Zeal

Living A Keto Lifestyle

Movy

Watch New Movies

Finger Lakes Connected

Finger Lakes Connected connects consumers to local businesses.

Eat Think Wellness ᐈ Health, Wellness And Fitness Blog

Our blog provides dietary supplement reviews and health articles to help you make informed decisions to achieve your health, wellness and fitness goals.

Health Matters

Health matters at your finger tips

The Kat Files

Finding Adventure in Everyday Life

Never Alone

Empowering Oneself

Creating Websites From Scratch

HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript

Get On With It

Writing and drawings about work, family and the stuff in-between

theleadlesspencil

Musings on the 3Rs: Reading, Running and t-Ravelling. Or anything else that makes me ponder.

Daniel J Bockman

Businessman, Author and Speaker

Li. A. Wake

Author and Screenwriter

dastardly.reads

procrastination.queen

This West London Life

Attempting to live a better story ... and scrapbooking it.

Ask Dr S.

Lifestyle, Performance, Physical Medicine

ilovemyhomebusiness.wordpress.com/

Helping families one family at a time.

From scene to seen

Adventures in time and space. My diary of film and TV locations I've visited across the world.