Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Un-American Diet

Today I started and finished reading "French Women Don't Get Fat" by Mireille Guiliano. In the book, the author, who was born and raised in France, points out that even though French women eat 2 or 3 course meals 1 or 2 times a day, they never seem to gain weight. The author was a skinny woman herself, until she did a one year exchange program in high school and lived in Boston. During that time she gained 20 pounds and was embarrassed to come home. She now lives in America, but still manages to practice a French diet. The book is geared towards people who need to lose up to 30 pounds, and not for emergency medical reasons.

The first thing that the author mentions is that the American diets obviously don't work. Once you have quickly lost weight, it is easy to gain back. Her French "diet" is a lifestyle change and more of a "slow and steady" diet. It works because it is not "one size fits all" like many American diets, and it doesn't contradict itself!  One minute there is an American diet book out about how carbs are bad, and it is quickly followed up by a diet book that says that all you should eat are carbs.

She encourages the reader to start off their new lifestyle change by keeping a diary of everything that they eat, including where and when.  When she did this, she found that she was eating a lot in the middle of the day, while she was walking to and from class, because she would pass several pastry shops or bistros along the way. The scent of the French food would always get to her, and she would order a pastry. While she was looking at her food diary, she was able to pick out "problem" foods.  For her, the problems were sweets.  After you have kept the food diary for 3 weeks, you spend 3 months resetting your body's cravings for food.  She starts you off by drinking leek soup broth for 2 days, which sounds pretty disgusting to me, but I think maybe you could skip that part.
Anyways, for 3 months, you find different ways to cut the problem foods out of your diet. She suggests doing one "treat" on Saturdays. She suggests different things like never eating standing up, never eating out of the carton, and really considering how much one "portion" weighs (about as much as an apple.) For example, if you are eating 1/2 a pound of meat with your meal, that is TOO MUCH.  Apparently, after a few bites of a food, your taste buds basically "tune out" so your portion really only does need to be a few bites, and you should eat one thing on your plate at a time so that you can fully appreciate the full flavor of the foods that you are eating.

After 3 months has passed, you should be half-way to your goal weight.  If so, you can slowly start to give yourself more "treats," but she says that you will often find that you no longer desire them. She suggests that if sweets are your weakness, you could maybe have a small piece of good quality dark chocolate as a little treat in between lunch and dinner.  If you haven't reached the half-way mark yet, look for more ways to take the problem foods out of your diet.

There are so many other things I could say about this book, but I don't want this to turn into a novel.  You should read the book!  It's an easy and quick read. I am definitely going to try out the diet concepts that are talked about.

Monday, March 12, 2012


This blog post is going to take the more personal route, and it's a little long-winded, but I think it's important to share.

One thing that I know I have always wanted to be is a mom.  My mom wasn't the perfect mother, but I always admired her. Well, not really in high school, but let's skip that part. My mom started home daycare when I was born. When I was in 6th grade, she quit that and started homeschooling me and my siblings. We had home cooked meals EVERY MEAL. Never ate cereal for breakfast, except on Sundays. She had dinner on the table every night when my dad walked in from work. She never missed a night (thank goodness, because I think my dad can only make eggs.) Made us elaborate, homemade cakes for ever birthday.  I swear that woman could make a cake for every theme we came up with. I wanted to be her.  Still do.

I love my jobs, but I don't necessarily feel committed to them because they aren't actually what I want to be doing. Even before I met Garrett, I always knew that I wanted to start having kids as soon as my future husband was ready.  Garrett and I met on a blind date, and I instantly fell for him. I didn't know how he felt, but I knew I wanted to be more than friends. It took awhile to get there, but after awhile I knew he liked me too, and after what seemed like an eternity (but was actually only 3 months) he asked me to be his girlfriend. 6 months later we were engaged, and 2 months before our 1 year dating anniversary we got married. It was fast. People gave me funny looks. My parents were happy I found someone, and they loved Garrett, but they still thought we should wait. They had only met him once, and they didn't meet his family until the wedding. But I knew it was right and I have yet to regret the decision.

Well, Garrett and I can't have kids naturally. When I found out, it was hard. I knew that being a mom was something that I always wanted to do. Obviously, there are other options, but I had no idea how expensive those other options were. Let me just say - EXPENSIVE.   Some people might say that the inability to have children would be a deal breaker for them. But not me - I knew Garrett was the right guy and that God would provide for us. Don't get me wrong - even knowing about it, it's still hard to believe that we can't.  I was hoping the doctor was wrong. But 19 months later, it's pretty obvious that he wasn't. Sometimes I get jealous of other people who are having babies. I know A LOT of pregnant people, and as excited as I am for them, I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little jealous.

Recently we found a grant for in-vitro that we could apply for, and I threw myself into getting all the paperwork together. Having to rely on other people to get the paperwork we need SUCKS. I think I am more of a control freak than I realized, and we aren't exactly working with the world's fastest people. The application is due this week and we are still waiting on some paperwork. At first, it really pissed me off that people weren't getting things to us as quickly as a wanted. And maybe we won't get all the paperwork in time and maybe we will have to wait until next year to apply for the grant again. At first, that really upset me. Then this weekend happened.

Garrett and I were both not feeling well Thursday and Friday, and so we took the days off work and had a 4 day weekend. It was GLORIOUS. It was just what we needed. We watched all 8 Harry Potter movies, because, well...when else are we going to have the time to do that? We left the house a few times, but mostly stayed home. IT. WAS. PERFECT.

Many times, I have only wanted my identity to be found in being a good, Christian wife and mother. Now, I'm thinking that I could be happy without that mother part. Obviously, I still want to try and have a kid. But, spending the rest of my life with someone who I am head over heels in love with would be a pretty awesome life. I am really happy that God lead me to that realization this weekend. I am so much less stressed about getting the application in, and just more laid back about having kids in general. If it happens, it happens. And I will be ecstatic. And if it doesn't, it doesn't ... and I will spend the rest of my life traveling the world or spending weekends having movie marathons with my best friend - and I will be the happiest woman alive.

All this just to say, that God knows what He is doing. I think He is using Garrett to show me that I am not in control. I had "a plan" for my life, and I am starting to see that God's plan is a little different than mine. I love Garrett so much and I can't wait to see where God takes us.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Make Your Own Sushi

For the longest time, I could never get best friend to take me out for sushi.  He couldn't remember if he had ever tried it, thought it sounded weird, etc. I finally convinced him to go with me to a little hole-in-the-wall sushi restaurant in Edmond. He found a roll that was just salmon and rice, and he liked it! YAY!  We have been there a couple more times, but last night I wanted to try and make some on our own. 

First, we cooked up some edamame to eat while we were making the sushi. I just bought one of the Steamables bags. Then I sprinkled some sea salt all over it, and ... YUM.  I love this stuff.

For sushi, you will need:
A sushi rolling mat - optional, but helpful
A couple sheets of Nori (seaweed)
3 cups of short grain rice, cooked
1/3 cup of rice vinegar
3 Tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
Whatever you like in your sushi!

We made a trek out to a super sketchy Asian market in Del City to get the seaweed and rice vinegar. They didn't have any veggies at the market, so we just went to our local grocery store - (where they also had seaweed and rice vinegar ... now we know.)

First you need to make the rice. We cooked ours in a rice cooker that we borrowed from a friend, but the package should have cooking directions on the back.  While it is cooking, combine the rice vinegar, salt, and sugar in a small saucepan. Cook on low, stirring until the sugar and salt have dissolved.  When the rice is done cooking scrape all of it but the bottom layer into a bowl. The bottom layer will be cooked a little more than the rest and will give your sushi a weird texture. Pour the rice vinegar mixture over the rice, and combine well.  Set aside to cool.

Put one piece of Nori, cut in half, on your sushi mat. Cover with sticky rice, except for the very edge.

Then, put your sushi fillings in the center of the roll.

Here are our fillings: crab, cucumber, and avacado for me, and salmon for best friend:

Then, with the help of your sushi rolling mat, roll up your sushi!

With an extremely sharp knife, cut each roll into 6 pieces. Enjoy!