Like most women my age, which I will actually disclose is 32, I am virtually obsessed with my weight. Not necessarily in a productive way. As in I’m very good at complaining about it but not necessarily about taking action. I’ll own that. It’s always on my mind.
There are the questions. Constant questions. And you know you think them too. Did I eat too much today? Should I eat this now because of what I may have to eat later? Does this have processed sugars in it? What shouldn’t have I eaten today? How does that skinny bitch eat a grilled cheese? If I don’t eat this now can I get out of working out later? Who are these people that can handle 1 cheat day and not get thrown off the wagon?
As I embarked on a new diet and workout routine I’ve realized something. I enjoy spinning because it gives you the illusion of having achieved something and getting somewhere. In my case, I’ve spun my way to China.
We had the pleasure of celebrating Labor Day weekend by going to US Open with our family. After braving the mildly claustrophobic crowd we made it into the nose bleed seats of Arthur Ashe Stadium which actually offer a really awesome view of the matches being wrestled out below. First up we had the women’s night session. We were super excited because the match we had in our line up featured the #6 seed, Caroline Wozniacki. Not that long ago she was ranked #1 so how bad could this match be? And how is some random chickita banana that is ranked #137 in the world going to do against her? Honestly we weren’t expecting much. We were expecting a floor mopping. What happened?
Three sets of ass kicking wonderfulness. The little 5’6″ blonde hit serves at 110 mph and bounced her way into being our new fave lady on the tennis circuit. Her enthusiasm, spunk and follow through got the entire stadium into a cheering tizzy. Her tears and pure joy in winning got her a standing ovation.
She lost yesterday in the 4th round but went down fighting. She will be our front running lady next year.
Labor Day is seen as the last hurrah of summer — your last swim, last ice cream cone, last spray of sunblock — the unofficial end of summer. It marks a psychological letdown as temperatures cool and your bathing suit gets put away and kids go back to school. People start saying, “I can’t believe summer is over”, “it went by so quickly”, “back to work now”. Hold up – enough of those Labor Day blues. Here’s why:
1. Astronomically speaking, summer lasts until September 21st. That weekend, I’ll be sitting with my nearest and dearest on the beach in Rehoboth, DE.
2. Fall clothes are really cute and you no longer have to stress about how you looked naked in front of strangers.
3. You’re an adult and work all year long. Don’t let the school calendar make you sad. Those days are long gone. Just take advantage of the back-to-school sales.
4. Think about what you want for Christmas. Who doesn’t love getting gifts?
5. Outdoor activities are so much better when the humidity disappears, so plan your next game of tennis, pick out a hike, and don’t miss a chance to go apple-picking.
I am completely guilty of going through phases of making the same recipes over and over again. If it’s not broke why fix it? If I’ve learned how to make it why learn how to do something new? My new effort with the year at the farmer’s market is to really try new things. To step out of my usual purchase every week of just getting tomatoes and try actually take a stab at expanding my repertoire. When I wrote the post about the market a couple weeks ago I promised to keep you all up-to-date with what I’m trying out. It’s time to actually follow up on my promises.
I absolutely love cookbooks. Looking at all pictures of delicious food is relaxing to me. It’s like mental yoga. It’s also just inspiration for what kind of flavors to put together. In my far off fantasies I wish I could be a chef but I know I don’t necessarily have the culinary creative vision to create entirely new flavor combinations. I have however become exceptionally good at improvising and creating simpler, down and dirty versions of more complicated recipes. Sometimes I cheat a little and use store bought products. Shhhhhh….
While reading It’s All Good by Gwyneth Paltrow, I came upon a recipe which was your usual Japanese restaurant style salad with ginger carrot dressing. I took my own spin on it to cope with my own limited schedule.
I always prep 2 portions….
1 head of romaine chopped
2 handfulls of baby spinach
1/2 a red onion chopped
1 tomato sliced
1/2 a cuke sliced
1 avocado halved and then sliced (set aside, I put on afterwards so the salad stays pretty)
1 tablespoon of minced ginger (the pre-chopped kind in a little jar works wonndddders)
1 minced shallot
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3-4 tablespoons olive oil (more if you like a more substantially dressing)
Salt and pepper as you like
optional: 2 tablespoons of grated carrot (this is not really my jam so I omit this one depending on who I’m preparing this salad for)
Put all salad ingredients in a large salad bowl. Salt amply over the top (my little veggie tip… salting the veg before pouring on the dressing makes the flavor more concentrated – especially your tomatoes). Mix together dressing ingredients and pour on top of the salad and toss. Top with avocado after you’ve plated everything!
photo courtesy of It’s All Good, Gwyneth Paltrow