Snatched: Ya Gotta Have Faith (Week 2)

I finished Week 1! It’s been an exercise in, um, letting go. I signed up for Snatched because I was so blown away by the consistently amazing results. So, when I’ve had the urge to add additional gym time to my week or eat fewer calories than I’m required to, I’ve (mostly) resisted. If it worked for other people, I just have to trust the program and know that it will work for me, too.

That is REALLY hard for me. REALLY.

But I’m resisting the urge to do what feels comfortable and familiar, because… well… I wouldn’t need to be in Snatched if what was comfortable and familiar gave me the results I wanted.

This past week, the following items have been lifesavers:

1. Kitchen Scissors – When I was little, I remember my best friend’s mom using her kitchen scissors to cut up meat, and I was totally skeeved out by it. The thought of cutting meat with scissors made me really uncomfortable. I’m not really sure why. Now, I can’t live without the scissors! The knife set in my kitchen cost me $30 at Bed Bath and Beyond. There are 12 knives in the set. That indicates the quality of the knives. The scissors have made food prep SO much easier, especially when I’m cooking massive amounts of protein [like two pounds of bacon or a pound of chicken] to prep for the week.

2. Tupperware-ish Containers – My fridge/freezer are loaded with pre-made meals. They are all already measured out and ready to be heated up. Every morning, I eat this sweet potato, turkey bacon, cheese frittata that I am OBSESSED with. I want to eat it for every meal. It’s so nice to have something SO delicious in the morning that I just have to pop into the microwave. Breakfast is currently my favorite meal of the day. Incidentally, my friend Kristen has put the fear of god in me concerning putting plastic in the microwave. [Apparently it causes cancer, but… what doesn’t these days?] Though I haven’t completely given up the habit, I’ve become more aware. The problem is that if I have the food stored in a plastic container, and I transfer it to another vessel for heating, that creates twice the amount of dishes.

3. Food Scale – My mom bought me a food scale for Christmas a few years ago [it’s The Biggest Loser brand cause I’m addicted to that show], but it’s never gotten as much action as it has the last two weeks. [To be honest, the first time it was ever used was for the purpose of weighing some weed. Thanks, Mom!] It has made a GIGANTIC difference for me and my peace of mind – knowing exactly what I’m eating, and how much.

4. Skillet – It made the frittata. Enough said.

5. Amazing Support – The support has been so wonderful. I got an email from one of the trainers [in response to something super strife-y and angst-ridden that I had sent to her], and she wrote back “You only know how to win!” It really, REALLY struck a chord with me. I turned it into a fourth grade art project and plastered it on my mirror in my room. [I made it with my Pentel markers from the yellow portfolio, which was REALLY fulfilling.]

Win

Ok, so here’s how it’s progressed. In my dream world, I would have lost 6 pounds this week, but… I guess that wasn’t a super realistic dream. Most importantly, I feel like I can see definition beginning to peek through in places that it didn’t exist before [visible ONLY to my hyper-critical eye and no one else’s]. So far as the pictures below go, I don’t see a huge difference in the first two, but I can see a difference in the profile view [maybe I’m just imagining it, but I’m just going to let my imagination run rampant in this scenario].

NumbersWeek2 FrontWeek2Week 1 || Week 2BackWeek2

Week 1 || Week 2

SideWeek2
Week 1 || Week 2

I Can Cook, Too

In preparation for Snatched [WHICH STARTS A WEEK FROM TODAY! OMG!!], I ordered some groceries from Fresh Direct and have started doing some cooking.

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(The only negative points for Fresh Direct come from their excessive cardboard use. There has to be a greener way! I broke it down and recycled it all, though, so I feel good about that.)

First of all, I always thought that Fresh Direct was for rich people.

That is not true.

When you are a first time customer, you get $50 off an order of $125! WHAT!? That means you pay $75 for $125 worth of groceries! [You’re welcome, those of you who struggle with math.] You guys! That’s a crazy good deal. Because I knew that I was going to be saving so much dinero, I ordered ALL EVERYTHING ORGANIC. It made me feel good to know that my eggs were coming from free range chickens who eat organic raspberries for lunch [or something like that].

Second, I like to buy Fage yogurt. In Manhattan, that shit is like $1.79-1.99 EACH and it is NEVER ON SALE. EVER! And if it IS on sale, it is $1.29. Ya’ll. I think that is A LOT for yogurt. But. I would just pay it anyway. Cause… I like that yogurt better than the highly processed crap with aspartame that is going to kill me. On Fresh Direct, Fage is $1 EACH!!!! For people who are major yogurt eaters on this Isle of Joy, you KNOW that is a bargain.

Also, if you’ve never used Fresh Direct, you can use this link here, find a $50 off code [they’re all over the interwebz], and then we are both winners. YAY!

Ok. So. The cooking.

In the mornings, I’ve been experimenting with eggs. The first morning, I overcooked my eggs, burnt my spatula, and set off my smoke detector. Luckily, it all tasted pretty good. As the days have gone by, I think I’ve figured out my groove a little bit and… well… cooking takes a lot of time! I don’t know how I’m ever going to be able to get all of my protein and calories in because the whole process is just so darn time consuming! For instance, today I still have over 1/3 of my calories left [for dinner] and, the thought of cooking for a third time is just exhausting. I need to figure out how best to cook ahead/freeze/etc.

Also, I made these turkey lettuce wraps [a la PF Changs, minus all of those hidden calories and MSGCrack], and THEY. ARE. SO. DELICIOUS. Like, I CRAVE them.

Anyway, the turkey lettuce wraps are giving me newfound hope that I CAN actually cook. I think I just get in my own way. When I’m baking, I’m VERY precise about following a recipe. In my mind, though, being a good cook is always just about “throwing some things together!” And, well. That’s just not true. At least, not if you’re an inexperienced cook. So, for the time being, I’m sticking to recipes.

Also, not at ALL in line with preparing for Snatched, last night for Cinco de Mayo, I made these Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache. [I know they’re NOT Mexican AT ALL, but… no one complained]. Whenever I make them, I think that they would be DELICIOUS with some Girl Scout Thin Mints smashed and sprinkled on top [or perhaps one in the very bottom at the base of the cupcake?], but then I think to myself “Yo. That’s using a $5 box of cookies as a garnish. That’s too rich for my blood.” HOWEVER. If you have a box of Thin Mints laying around, and you think to yourself, “I don’t know how I’ll ever eat this ENTIRE box of Thin Mints before next cookie season!” this is your solution.

So here’s the cupcake recipe if you are so inclined [So simple! So easy to make!]:

CUPCAKES:

2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp peppermint extract

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
5 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tbsp coffee grounds
1 tsp salt

3/4 cup strong black coffee
2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees; line cupcake pan. [It’s best if you have fancy houndstooth-patterned cupcake liners, courtesy of a lovely friend.]
2. Cream sugar, butter, eggs with hand mixer until fluffy (3-5 minutes); add sour cream and peppermint extract.
3. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, cocoa powder, coffee grounds, salt.
4. In a measuring cup, combine coffee and vanilla.
5. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the coffee mixture to the wet ingredients. Mix thoroughly.
6. FIll the cupcake liners. Bake ~20 minutes. Makes around 24 cupcakes.

GANACHE:

8 oz (or more – based on thickness preference) dark chocolate
3/4 cup whipping cream/heavy cream

1. Boil whipping cream.
2. Pour over chocolate.
3. Stir.
4. Let cool.
5. Resist the urge to just eat out of bowl. You must frost your cupcakes!

[I like to use more chocolate here because I like my ganache to be sorta thick… It’s easier to manage then. And yes, I’m still talking about ganache here.]

IF YOU ARE FLOSSY/FLY/FANCY:

Crumble up some Girl Scout Thin Mints and sprinkle on top of your cupcakes.

Image(Recipe adapted from Crazy About Cupcakes by Krystina Castella)

And just for kicks, a picture of my very clean kitchen before the festivities began. Nothing makes me happier than a clean apartment!

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Now What?

Actual conversation I had with my therapist today:

Me: So. Uh. I have jury duty tomorrow and, um… I’m actually kinda looking forward to it… cause…

Her: Cause it’s something to do?

Me: Yeah…

Now that I’m done with my half marathon, I’m experiencing some letdown. It’s like the day after Christmas. Sadly, there’s no half price half-marathon candy at Duane Reade the day after the race to lessen the blow. [This probably makes me a prime candidate for postpartum depression some day. Oh joy.] Training was such a huge part of my day-to-day existence, I feel sort of sad without it now.

So, now what?

I suppose the best strategy would be to set a new goal, one with a definite ending point or means of measuring my success [those goals seem to be the most satisfying, right?]. As I look back on my hopes for 2013, there are a few things that jump out at me.

10. Cook more. I have DRASTICALLY reduced my delivery.com consumption (YAY!), but I’m still not really, actually cooking. I heat things up. Occasionally I make pasta. I wouldn’t really call those things cooking.

17. Go on some dates. OkCupid Month of Yes got a little waylaid by my training. I’m going to keep at it (I have a date tonight, actually), but I’m also going to explore some other options. I know that this is 2013 and everyone is on OkCupid, but sometimes it just feels so forced and fake to meet people through the interwebs.

19. Keep my room clean. And really, my whole apartment, while I’m at it. I want to buy some new furniture and linens, but I have decided that I cannot do that until I keep my apartment consistently clean for a good amount of time [what is a good amount of time? 4 months?].

25. Get back into dance class. This is an addition! I used to dance a lot [A+ for effort, but I was never going to be on So You Think You Can Dance or anything like that] and I miss it. Ideally, I’d like to take 3-5 classes per week, but they are expensive. I’m going to commit myself to one class per week and see how it goes from there.

For some reason, this video seems apropos. I can do anything good!

How do you pull yourself up after something major has passed?