Thursday, January 27, 2011

...and then a WIN

 So the last time I attempted to find my max weight for the back squat, we were doing the CrossFit Total workout.  It's entirely lifting: overhead press, back squat and deadlift, as heavy on each as you can go.  I got a solid 165 for the back squat that day (also when I hit my standing deadlift max of 185), but when I tried to go higher (I can't remember if I tried for 170 or 175), I slipped at the bottom of the squat and rolled the bar down my back, leaving some very pretty bruises all the way down my spine.  Not so much the fun times.

Today, however, was much better.  Warmed up with a 45-lb bar, then did 3 reps each of 85, 100, 115 and 130, followed by 1 rep each of 145, 152.5, 160 and then attempts at a new 1-rep max.  .  For this move (as with all squats), it's super important to go below parallel - that is, your hips need to be below your knees - at the bottom, so your glutes engage and take the strain off your quads and knees.  I was sharing a rack with Katja i.e. Awesome Tall Yoga Lady, and something we both noticed was that the higher the weight, the easier it was to get lower (duh, I know) but the less it felt like you were going so low.  I started to worry that I really wasn't going low enough on the heavy lifts, but Dave said it looked just fine, so I tried not to worry or force it too much.

So 160 seemed heavy, but not too heavy.  Katja and I both hit 165, my previous max, without too much grunting, so we moved it up to 170 and stuck that one just fine too, which is her new 1RM, so yay Katja!.  We were running out of time, so I tried once more for 175 and...made the hell out of it :D  I'm even sure I could have done a little heavier! 

I can lift things that weigh considerably more than I do.

I just love saying that.



Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Crossfit killed me last night.

All said, it wasn't an insanely difficult workout.  There was 15ish minutes of freestanding handstand practice for which I helped spot; anything more than a very slow and controlled tuck into a headstand, by the wall, with my eyes screwed as tightly shut as I can get them tends to evoke primal fear and the feeling of imminent death.  But I'm good at spotting them!  And the ladies I was teamed with (not sure of their names) were great at actually doing them, so that all worked out.

Then, the WOD was as follows:
  • 500m row
  • 20 burpees
  • 15 bent-over rows with 25-lb kettlebells in each hand
5 rounds for time.  This shouldn't have been that hard.  Pace yourself on the rows and take the burpees 5 or so at a time and you're golden.  But...I couldn't.

I noticed it pretty quickly.  After the first round of rowing and about 10 burpees, I already felt completely sapped.  I kept going for as long as I could, but eventually gave up after only 4 rounds...which took me 30:55 (including several minutes in child's pose thinking about how I might be able to blend into the floor mats long enough to sneak out the door).  That's ridiculous and pitiful and I'm more than a little annoyed with myself.

It's not that I felt overly exhausted, or sick, or anything like that.  My muscles didn't hurt, they just felt incredibly weak - like they were constantly on the point of failing me all together, leaving me to collapse.  And my body - and my muscles in general - are one of the very few things in my life that I feel like I do have control of.  I can't get back the years I lost to being stupid in college, without which I'd have had my degree years ago.  I can't, with my current job, make enough to support myself without working over 50 hours a week (I did the math).  I can't snap my fingers and have The Man's family financially set and stable enough for him to be free to move to NC, so we can actually be a real, geographically-together couple after almost two and a half years of being 600 miles apart.  But I can (or should be able to) master my own body enough to make it get through a tough-but-not-impossible workout that really shouldn't have taken longer than 20-25 minutes, tops.


But now I'm gonna eat this poached egg, put on a shirt and my game face, get back in there and do better.  Because sometimes that's the only thing you can do.  And poached eggs are delicious.


PS: I did in fact do a whole lot better at today's workout: very solid on the presses, focusing on form, with 70lbs as the max weight for today, and then finished the WOD (3 rounds of 10 deadlifts with 115 lbs (which should have been 135 at least) and 150 single-under jump-ropes) in 7:51.  Not bad.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Eleven Things I Can't Wait To Consume Once I Finish Whole30

 So I have one more week to go before January is over, along with my first attempt at the Whole30.  Overall, I'm really happy with it.  Yes, it absolutely feels restrictive sometimes, and it's really not that fun going through the Lady Times of Grr and Arg without any chocolate whatsoever.  But I feel...good.  Really good.  Lighter, somehow.  Slightly more awake, even with the simultaneous effort to switch to decaf.  And it's not my imagination anymore, my tummy is definitely flatter and there is significantly less fluff between my skin and actual muscle.

Speaking of fluff, I tested my body fat the other day with a hand-held gadget thing of my mom's.  I had to guess at my weight, as I'm not weighing myself till February either, but I think I guessed pretty well.  The result was 20.0% body fat, which (according to the Internet, bringer of all truth and light) is on the low side (21%-30% recommended) for a "normal" healthy woman, and on the high side (10%-20%) for an "athletic" healthy woman.  Which is about what I'd expect.  I still want to get it tested professionally, but this is a fine benchmark to start from.  It's also the first item on my 101 in 1001 list that I can consider kinda-sorta-halfway done!  Go me!

But even with all the awesomeness that Whole30 is, there are still definitely some foods I dream about.  Here's the short list, with only the ones that actually make me salivate when I think about them:

1. Turkish coffee.  Equal parts ground coffee and sugar; one tablespoon of each per cup of water, which makes two servings.  Bring to a rolling boil in a very small saucepan, then lift the pan off the stove so the boiling stops; repeat this twice more.  Pour into espresso cups, leaving behind as much of the dregs as possible.  Best when combined with animated discussion about art, philosophy or politics.  

2. Heavy cream.  Raw, pastured heaven.  Either dribbled into the above or just sipped on its own.  Also, a big ol' glass of plain whole milk that I will chug like there's no tomorrow.  
3. Miso soup. Nothing but miso, water, vinegar and a minced chive or two.  
4.  Nanny's zucchini bread. Recipe to follow as soon as I make it!  
these were disappearing like crazy until I wrote that
5. The chocolate-covered cherries that The Man sent me for Christmas, which didn't make it here until right after I started Whole30 and have been sitting in the cupboard crying out to me ever since.  Yeah.  
6.  Halava.  Pudding-style dessert made from shredded carrots cooked for a long time with honey, cream, butter, raisins, nuts and cardamom.  
7. Greek yoghurt. With or without vanilla and a little honey.  
8. Squash soup made with cream.  It's the bestest!  
9. Cheese.  Brie with almond crackers, crumbled Bleu mixed into salad dressing, Vermont cheddar or Gruyere melted into soup, Wensleydale with cranberries all by itself...  

10. BOOZE. Thick, malty beer with a head that takes up half the glass.  Woodchuck's holy-mother-of-god-wonderful pear cider.  Irish coffee (with whipped cream, of course!).  Hot cocoa with a shot of raspberry vodka.  Steaming cinnamon tea with honey and peach brandy.  A big healthy glug or two of red wine poured into beef stew, and also in a glass when I eat the stew, and also out of the bottle while I am cooking the stew.
11. Fresh french fries from the fast food dive next door to my store, dipped in so-many-preservatives-it'll-outlast-the-cockroaches honey mustard dressing.  It's so, so gross and bad and unhealthy, and I love it.

Which is your favorite?  Think I left something out?  Let me know!


    Saturday, January 22, 2011

    Another reason I love CrossFit

    They are so awesome they give me a WOD for my birthday!

    ^^This was my face when I saw the post.  Before coffee.  That's how cool it is.

    Here is the link!  Go check it out!

    Also, just because I thought it was awesome and I doubt Dave will include it, my idea for the warm-up was for everyone to do 5 minutes of double-under jump-ropes (which are basically self-flagellation for me) and then anyone who didn't trip on the rope and lash themself painfully at least twice would have to do 20 burpees.  I thought it was apt.  Muahahahaha :D


    Thursday, January 20, 2011

    CrossFit questions

    The first step is admitting you have a problem.

    And then, if the "problem" happens to be CrossFit, the second step seems to be buying shoes of questionable aesthetic appeal that come in many bright colors.  Cases in point, the Inov-8 shoes I'm seeing on everyone and their grandmother in the gym right now, as well as the already classic Vibram Five Fingers (the name of which, my sister thinks, sounds like it should belong to a product of slightly more personal use).

    Note that I haven't actually bought a pair of either yet, I'm just lusting after them like yeah whoa.  Just something to go on the list of what to do with my tax refund...

    But I digress.

    I'm addicted, you guys.  I've swallowed the red pill; I've downed every last drop of the kool-aid (can you even make paleo kool-aid?).  I may have constant bruises and torn hands and even red, swollen whip marks from those damn double-under jump-ropes, but it's absolutely worth it to be able to do something that is slowly (but faster than I realise it) and surely turning me into a totally bad-ass goddess of CrazySexyFitness.

    The question is, where do I go with it?

    Part of that question is for you guys.  I know that not everyone who reads this blog is as head-over-heels gone as I am for CF, or has even tried it yet.  I'm assuming that the regular CFers would be at least marginally interested in me posting my stats for WODs and lifting, but what about the rest of you?  Would you prefer that I keep it in a different section or page, or just update once in a while?  I've also been toying with the idea of adding videos/pics of myself and other CFDurhamites (if they want) working out.  What do you think?  Let me know!

    The other part of that question is a deeper and much more personal one.  As it stands, being fit and healthy is currently an almost entirely personal pursuit of mine, and the day job revolves around...well, to be honest, pretty unhealthy food.  It's started to nag at me rather a lot lately - I put so much emphasis on having the best health I can for myself, but my livelihood still consists of literally feeding people stuff that I won't even eat.  Now, don't get me wrong - I love working there, but it's mainly because of the people I work with.  The more I learn about true health and the more I apply that to my own life, the more it bothers me that I'm supporting myself by doing exactly the opposite for other people - it's kind of a "sleeping with the enemy" thing, only I get paid for it.  Which makes me a...well, you know.

    So many things to ponder.  For now, what do you think?  I'd love to hear what you'd like to see on this blog, any ideas you have for what I should do with my life, what you had for lunch today, how much you are loving your new baby puppy (Haleigh, I'm totally calling you out here!) and anything else you feel like commenting on.


    Sunday, January 16, 2011

    Eleven Things I Am Wishing For Right Now

     Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy bi-OH MY GOD I'M A QUARTER-CENTURY OLD!  Wow.  That's just craziness.

    It's gonna be a pretty quiet day this time around.  The Man and I both woke up early to make our coffee and whisper sweet nothings to each other while watching the sun rise, which was pretty amazing.  Let's hope that next year we won't have to do it over the phone!  The 'rents also slipped me a nice wad of cash, along with a gift certificate for a haircut.  Gentle hint much?  (I kid; it's for a super nice salon downtown and I did express interest in exactly this).  Thank you, 'rents!

    Here's my birthday breakfast: eggs, brussel sprouts, half a baby apple, macadamia nuts (these things are seriously amazing) and coffee with coconut.  And the funnies.  Couldn't get much better.

    However, if it could get better, these are the things that would make it so.

    1. A Cuisinart!  Yes, I'm pretty good at the chopping and dicing and all that (being literally a pro), but it gets tiring.  And you try making macadamia nut butter by hand!
    2. A Handful bra.  I'm not even sure it would contain my mammaries of insanity, but they are just so cute!  They don't make them in bright blue, so I'd have to go with the pink.
    3. Closet space.  Just look at these.  UNF.  LUST.  Someday...
    4. This house.

    5. Or this one.  I'm not terribly picky.


    6. A backyard flock of chickens!

    7. An all-expenses-paid (including lost income, babysitters, maids, etc) trip for The Man and myself to rural Italy to live on an old but well-established farmstead for a month screw that, if I'm just wishing I'm gonna say indefinitely!

    8. Barring that, the time and funds to take two weeks and road trip it over to Cali and check out the wine country.  Almost as good, right?

    9. Every single flavor of Taza Chocolate Mexicano.  I haven't even tasted any of it yet but just looking at the site made my mouth water.

    10. Everything in this song:

    11. Also, just because: PONY!


    Thursday, January 13, 2011

    Halfway done!

    Can you believe we're already halfway through the first month of the new year?  It's insane how time keeps on speeding up the older I get.  Which, by the way, with be exactly 25 years old in about 38 hours and 35 minutes.  Yes, I was born exactly at midnight.  Ask my dad, he was watching the clock!  I'd say ask my mom but she was otherwise occupied.

    So we're halfway through the month, and I'm also halfway through my first Whole30 bout.  I didn't make a big deal about it when I started, as usually when I have some kind of food or life revelation and get all gung-ho about a particular method enough to blog about how I'm going to omgztotallyRAWKit, I end up failing within the first week or so.  But...I haven't failed this one yet.  And I don't foresee a scenario where I'd have to completely abandon it, and after this much effort, even the iffy, possible scenarios (forgot to pack lunch for work, don't have the cash to buy it) don't outweigh the desire to finish this goal.
    hope i'm not jinxing myself with this picture!
    The Whole9 style of eating isn't all that far off from what I was doing before - no grains, no added sugars, no processed foods - with the addition of no alcohol and no dairy, which is the toughest area for me, as I am normally a milk fiend.  The biggest difference is that it allows absolutely no room for cheating - no beer or wine with dinner once in a while, no half-ounce of chocolate chips after a 10-hour shift, not even a drop of cream in coffee (I use coconut cream, so I don't miss that TOO much).  I never really realised how much I do take those little tiny sidesteps off the path of real, clean eating.  I firmly believe that it's okay to enjoy sweets and treats and things you wouldn't have every long as you don't have them every day.  And I wasn't having them every day, but it was a lot closer than I'd like.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I'll tell you that I did "cheat" once, just a few days after I started the whole deal.  The Man's holiday box of goodies finally arrived in the mail, containing all kinds of sugary deliciousness that tempted me sorely, all of which he spent a long time picking exactly which gift would be perfect for each member of the family, or which would mean something extra to me.  One of the things included was a little block of eggnog fudge from White House Chocolates in Middlefield, Ohio (if you're ever in that area, you MUST stop there. period).  They make it once a year and, it being super-good quality without many preservatives, it would have gone all stale by the time February rolled around.  So I cut a little chunk off the corner, just enough to taste, and then called up The Man to tell him merci muy mucho and yo te iubesc, and then put the rest of the goodies out of sight and mind until Feb.

    But anyways.  It's been really interesting, at the very least, to try out a deal that's both very stringent and at the same time feels can feel ridiculously decadent, based on what you can have.  I've also realised that left to my own devices I will eat any coconut product - dried flakes, coconut cream, coconut butter, coconut oil, any of the last three dipped in the first... - out of the jar with a spoon.  Which is not always a good thing.  But for the most part, my meals look something like this:
    This was breakfast yesterday.  Roasted brussel sprouts, a couple orange and grapefruit pieces, macadamia nuts, a palm-sized hunk of cow and coffee with coconut cream.  Note that I don't have coffee with every meal, although I wish I could.  But yeah - there's so much awesomeness here that I barely miss things like sugar and dairy (although I'm daydreaming about the raw milk I'm going to get when I finish this up...but that's another story :D)

    Lurkers: did you change your diet (by which I mean all the stuff that you eat, not an action you undergo) for the new year?  What's your take on food/diet "challenges?"  Are you a coconut fiend as much as I am?  What do you think I should eat on February 1st?


    Tuesday, January 11, 2011

    Magic soup (recipe!)

    So thus far in my Epic Meat Quest, I've tried a number of different ways to cook the stuff: broiling, semi-roasting (for only 15 minutes but not right under the heat source), pan-frying, and making a burger.  That's kind of a lot for just over a week after going almost 12 years without the stuff (at least I think so), but in flipping through my copy of How To Cook Everything, it became clear that there's a WHOLE lot more ways to do the deed - namely, stewing/braising, or cooking it in varying amounts of water or other liquid.  It being a totally gross and cold day filled with gray skies and slush, I figured it was the perfect time to try my hand at a nice warming beef stew.

    I bought about a week's worth of meat yesterday at the local Whole Paycheck, and so far I've chosen stuff by price ($4.50/lb?  that one, please), which means that most of the stuff I end up getting is...not spoken very highly of by the various cookbook authors I consult.  I used a chunk of rump round, cut into smallish pieces, which Mark Bittman says is only good for stewing, with "good" being relative to the fact that it's "bad" for anything else.  Meh.  Tastes ok to me!  But on to the procedure:

    Almost all the recipes I saw said that the way to start a really nice stew is to brown the meat first.  The recipe I started from suggested heating a crushed garlic clove in olive oil for a minute or so, then removing the garlic and adding the meat to brown slightly on all sides.  That's about how far I followed the recipe, because I was impatient and hungry.  Once the meat was...well, brown, if not perfectly browned, I went ahead and added the veggies I'd chopped (half an onion and a handful of carrot coins) along with the water and sea salt.  Left it to simmer for about 15 minutes before my sense of "I wonder how that would taste in here!" took over.

    Besides the salt, I thought a little pepper would go nicely.  Then a splash of red wine vinegar, and a little balsamic as well, because I'd heard it might help soften up the meat (which was fairly tough by now).  Let it cook a little more, which did indeed help the meat soften and let off this maddening smell.  So I started tasting the broth, and it was...good, but not great.  Kinda watery.  It might have been better if I just let it keep cooking away, but patience is not for the Nelly!  Let's see if I can add anything else to the mix...

    Guess what I added.

    You'll never guess.

    That's right.  Just about a tablespoon, whisked in as quickly as I could manage so it didn't clump.  I know you all think I'm crazy but holy gods it was the most amazing thing ever.  It thickened the soup just enough so it wasn't gravy-like but definitely not watery any more, and gave it this incredible, tangy, almost-bitter undernote that played perfectly off the other flavors.  It.  Was.  MAGICAL.

    And then I ate it all in like five minutes.  The end.


    Monday, January 10, 2011

    Money Monday 10/1

    Happy Monday, you guys!  The house in the picture is an absolutely breathtaking hand-built creation of Simon Dale and Jasmine Saville, detailed in this site right here.  I want it.  Ok, maybe with an indoor toilet and a few more delineated rooms inside.  But still.  There is serious home-envy going on.

    This week's questions (original post here):
    1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on groceries.  Meat is expensive!  But it also takes less to satisfy me, and I think I'm getting closer to the perfect steak with which to show The Man how much I lurve him.  I know he likes it medium-rare.  I'm not exactly sure what that is but I know it's somewhere between bloody and rubber.  Also, I hardly ever cook it to the rubber stage anymore, go me!
    2. Today I feel just okay towards money.  I'm still waiting to get my last paycheck from the old restaurant owner (yes, that's fron November).  I call every few days and leave a message but no dice yet.  One of my employees actually had to get her father to call him and threaten legal action to get her money, and it was a lot less than what I'm trying to squeeze out of him.  Arg, I say.  Also, I researched IRAs and it turns out that the one I'd like best to get requires a minimum balance of $10,000, which I can definitely not spare right now.  Meh.  I think I'll decide to just get the highest-interest savings account I can right now, and keep on building it up.
    3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free/inexpensive thing I did last week that made me happy was get told by both my sisters that I was "wise" and gave good advice.  I win at sisterhood! :D
    4. I will consider this week a success if I plan ahead far enough in advance that I don't have to run over to the grocery store to buy lunch for work days.
    5. I have pictures of myself as an adorable toddler eating snow directly off the ground.

    Thursday, January 6, 2011

    The best way to start the day

    ...would actually be waking up next to that 6'2" better-than-an-electric-blanket heat mass I call The Man, but this'll have to do.

    Coconut-crusted tomatoes, a few slices of Honeycrisp apple, and MEAT.  I've decided that trial and error (mixed with some book larnin' for when I just have NO idea what to do) is the way to go when it comes to figuring out how best to char the previously-living flesh.  That said, this bout was kind of error. 

    I bought London broil (what the hell does that mean?) from WF, sliced it thinnish and then pan-fried it with coconut oil til it was brown on the outsides and still pinkish in the middle.  Unfortunately, I figured out that this particular cut is pretty damn tough when it's sliced with the grain (as the piece above is).  Lots of gnawing ensued.  But it still tasted fine!  Coconut oil is the BEST.  Maybe next time I'll slice it against the grain and even possibly broil it, as the name suggests.  I don't think I've ever broiled anything, except possibly by accident.  Thankfully, I have Irma Rombauer on my side.  I will prevail!

    The tomatoes were actually pretty awesome, although the recipe definitely needs some tweaking to be really perfect.  All I did was slice them thick (index-finger-width), dry them off a bit, dip them in dried, unsulphured, unsweetened coconut (swish them around to make sure all the crevices get filled) and fry them for a few minutes each side (in coconut oil.  don't you know me by now?).  I also added a little sea salt to one side as they were cooking. 

    I think I was subconsciously craving fried green tomatoes when I made this.  Compared to that, it's meh, but in its own right, it's not too bad.  I think I want more weight to the "breading" next time, and a little more savor - maybe mix it with a little almond flour, with herbs and salt added right in instead of as an afterthought?  Maybe bake them, so the crust doesn't all fall off in the pan (which it actually didn't nearly as much as I thought it would)?  And if I can find real green tomatoes (not for a while yet) it would pretty much be heaven.

    Lurkers: Coconut and tomatoes is a really strange food combination that causes people to look at me askance.  What's a combo you like that's not necessarily "normal?"


    Wednesday, January 5, 2011

    Money Monday 3/1 (now with awesomeness!)

    ...which is super, SUPER belated this week.  But I'm a sucker for alliteration, so the tag stays.

    This past week has been pretty fantastic.  We started the new year off with a bang and a good deed: my friends and I went to Raleigh (our capital city) to dance our patooties off and had loads of fun, then on the way back to the car (amidst a whole lot of craziness) saw a girl sitting barefoot on the side of the sidewalk, sobbing.  Turned out that she and her boyfriend, both slightly sloshed, had a tiff which ended in him storming off into the wilds of downtown, which neither of them knew very well, and leaving her sans keys (with which she simply would have taken a cab home).  My wonderful friend Martha, who can be incredibly intimidating in the friendliest way ever, got on the phone with the girl's boy and persuaded him to come on back, giving him directions on how to do so, while I provided a sweater and hugs until he finally did, which took a good half-hour or so.  But they ended up safely together, and we got the warm fuzzies, and all was good.

    I also had a couple fitness/weight related successes this week.  First, I measured my waist for the first time in years.  In high school, I was about 29-30 inches; in college, that jumped to 32 or so before I didn't want to see it keep growing anymore.  A week ago (before starting Whole30) I measured at 28 inches.  YES, Tony, WITHOUT "sucking it in!" :P  I also managed, just yesterday, to do TWO completely unaided pull-ups (still kipping, though).  I AM SUPERGIRL!

    This week's questions (original post here whoops, looks like Miss MPP took a day off!  Good on her.  I'll just make up my own last question then):
    1.  The most I’ve spent this last week was on the Whole30 Success Guide, $39.  It was a total impulse splurge, and while it's got a lot of good information on the little finicky parts of implementing Whole9 (detailed shopping lists, for one), I probably would not have paid that much for it if I'd gotten to flip through it first.  Maybe $15 or $20, keeping in mind that I'm normally pretty cheap.  But it's still quite useful.
    2. Today I feel FREAKING AWESOME towards money.  Why is that, you ask?  Because I got a major, totally unexpected windfall in the form of a LOT of savings bonds that my grandparents got for me over the years and my mom just told me about.  How much is a lot?  Well, with all of those plus my latest paycheck and some Christmas money, I just about doubled my net worth.  It'll be into 5 figures by April, and that's thinking conservatively and taking into account my tax refund.  I've decided to use most of this to open an IRA (Roth, natch), drop a nice chunk on my student loan and then go shopping with my sister, who's promised to give me comprehensive wardrobe help.  Yay!
    3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free/inexpensive thing I did last week that made me happy was TWO UNAIDED PULL-UPS IN A ROW!!!  That kept me grinning...well, I'm still grinning now :D.
    4. I will consider this week a success if I do THREE unaided pull-ups in a row. 
    5. One of my goals for the year ahead is to do 20 unaided dead-hang pull-ups in a row (no kipping!).
     Lurkers: Tell me something awesome.  Anything at all.  My definition of "awesome" is pretty broad.


    Monday, January 3, 2011

    Oh hey look at that interesting headline right there!

     Maybe I'm not so crazy after all...

    Breakfast FTW!
    • coffee with coconut cream (intense!!)
    • a bunch of pretty boring lettuce
    • 1/4 avocado
    • 2 eggs (nom)
    • homemade salad dressing over everything

     I've started to rediscover my intense passion for avocado paired with something sour (in this case, vinegar in the dressing) and pepper.  Alone it's just kinda meh.  But these other two tastes mixed with it just makes it explode!  Try it, you guys!

    We're doing Fran tonight at Crossfit.  I haven't done this workout before, and it's one of the worldwide benchmark ones that everybody and their mother do.  Kinda nervous...


    Sunday, January 2, 2011


    Yes.  That's right.  For the first time in well over a decade.  It was grass-fed local ground beef that I (at Amam's advice) mixed with egg and made into a hamburger-kinda-thing.  I think I overcooked it like yeah whoa but it was still pretty tasty (the coconut oil I used to cook it probably helped.  stuff smells aMAZing).  With it: avocado with paprika and leftover spinach, fried up in the same pan as the burger.

    It's...strange.  I'd thought it through over and over and convinced myself that I was ethically and morally ok with it (which I really am), but it's just...almost a little bit of a letdown.  Maybe that's just my cooking, though.  

     It's ok, though, because I have this book to help me out!  Joanne et al, I promise to try out all your delicious flesh-filled recipes as soon as I master the hamburger.  It might take a while.  I've got a lot of lost time to make up for.  But I've promised The Man a homemade steak dinner the next time he visits NC, and it needs to be PERFECT.  So naturally I will have to practice a LOT.

    Lurkers: any tips, tricks, hints or recipes to give me?  I need a lot of help here so give me whatever you got! :)