Category Archives: Nutrition

MP3: Ocean’s 8

O8

 

Fantabulous! No, not the movie; we’ll get to that later. I’m talking about the voodle salad at Whole Foods.

Yesterday, Thursday, I arrived at Bella Terra in Huntington Beach early enough to grab a late lunch, meander around B&N, and see O8. My plan was to have a low-carb salad at Daphne’s Greek Café, but you know what they say about plans. BT was undergoing some remodeling, so I wandered around for a bit, trying to find Daphne’s. Finally, I spied a directory and OMG there was no Daphne’s! Yikes. Sadness. Now what? None of the other casual restaurants looked like they’d have something tasty and low-carb friendly (I don’t eat sushi anymore). So, I figured I’d walk over to Whole Foods, where there would have to be something acceptable among the trendy offerings. Right?

Usually at WF I get a slice of pizza or a dish of pasta or a cookie ~ you know the drill. Heavy on carbs, light on veggies/nutritional value. All that has now been nixed from my slate of choices. I poked around a bit. Not fond of salad bars where peeps are breathing and sneezing all day. The packaged stuffs were too carby ~ sandwiches, wraps, etc. I peeked at the deli counters. Lotta pasta and… ooh, what’s this? Mediterranean salad. I love! Why are they calling it Zucchini Voodles?

OIC. The curly things aren’t noodles ~ they’re zucchini curls. Cute! There must be some machine that voodlizes your foodles. And the rest of the ingredients were totally legit: tomatoes, artichokes, feta cheese, spinach, olives, dressing. I bought a cup of that and sparkling water and sat down. I assumed the salad would be good, but it was wonderful! I’d never have ordered this in my “past life.” I’d have passed it up for something yummy like pizza. But it was so delicious! The flavors worked so well together. I savored that for a while until realizing I hardly had any time left for B&N. Whoops.

Did a quick book browse, then checked into the movie. It was crowded for a weekday, but O8 has been pretty hyped up. There were some good previews I can’t remember and then the main feature began. First, let me say one thing. It’s really difficult to watch Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett now without remembering that article about their penis facials. I mean, obviously the facials work because their skin is super-glowing and beautiful. But still. This knowledge is distracting.

Second, the problem for a movie with 8 (or 11, etc.) main characters is that… it has 8 main characters. These Ocean movies are overcrowded with protagonists, or anti-heroes, to be precise, since we are (may I remind everyone) talking about criminals. I don’t know about you, but I can’t really root for characters committing crimes unless they’re setting to rights a miscarriage of justice, and I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by saying that’s not what these Ocean movies are about, mainly. They’re about very good-looking people committing crimes, is what.

Third, putting that aside for a moment, I can still have fun with a movie like this if I can let go and jump into it, but that’s difficult when the set-up drags on and on and on. For gawd’s sake ladies just steal something already! Since I’m not a scriptwriter, I don’t know how you make it super-fun for an audience to sit through the minute details of hacking into a computer system or copying a diamond necklace or whatever, but geez they need to spice that stuff up! So boring. Yeah, there were a few funnies, but not enough. And I had the same criticisms about the male Oceans ~ in fact, I dozed off during each one (bought the set at the beginning of the year to prep for O8). Yawners, even with Clooney. I know!

Finally, the action happens and it’s good. Nicely paced (finally). I enjoyed the last third of the movie. James Corden was hilarious as the insurance detective. The ending was fun as well. But overall Ocean’s 8 was a disappointment after all the hype. Certainly not as bad as Life of the Party, but nowhere as good as Book Club.

I’m going to give Hotel Artemis a swerve after the terrible review in the Observer, and while the stellar reviews of Hereditary tempt me, I’m afraid it’ll give me nightmares for the rest of my life, if not heart failure on the spot. Definitely The Year of Spectacular Men next week and then The King! Elvis, baby.

*

Whoa. One thing before you go. While looking up the O8 cast to make sure I got Corden’s name right (I didn’t, lol, and fixed it), I noticed that there was a busboy named Michael Gandolfini. Yes, his son. BE STILL MY HEART.

 

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It’s Migraine Awareness Month!

Good thing I opened this reminder email to be aware of migraines as I literally just took a sumatriptan. Hah.

I haven’t done much migraine bloggery lately because nothing much has changed. I’m still suffering constantly and the pain greatly impacts my life. As my fellow migraineurs know, it’s not only the actual days of pain that ruin events, but the fear of pain and the avoidance of triggers which make us just as anxious, not to mention the side effects of any meds. We don’t drink or smoke, and we avoid loud crowded places, travel, perfume, bright sun, cold wind, etc. We try to stick to routines as best we can. I don’t need a bunch of suggestions in comments ~ I’ve been on top of migraine news for decades, have read all the ideas of things to try and give up, have tried many, and if I haven’t tried something there’s a good reason for it.

Right now, I’m on a low-carb diet, just to see what happens with respect to migraines. I was optimistic at first, but now I’m back to “normal” with a 3-day horrible wave of pain. I like the diet though in general. It feels good to eat meat again (sorry cows) and I’ve been tired of my habits for a while. Obviously sugar is bad, and my lazy way of eating wasn’t healthy (cookies for dinner!), even if I didn’t gain weight. It’s great to have salad and avos daily, cheese, nuts (in moderation), lox, etc. I haven’t actually eaten much meat ~ one small steak so far and a small bowl of beef soup. Mostly I have salad with a little chicken on top, and I eat eggs frequently. I’ve been doing this for around two weeks, though more seriously for this last week.

The problem with the diet overall is nausea. Besides laziness, one of the reasons I ate so many carbiful meals was not only because they were yummy but also they were gentle on my tummy. My tummy does not want salad or meat in the morning (and sometimes not later in the day); it doesn’t always want the traditional egg breakfast either. There aren’t many breakfast choices that are appealing on the low-carb plan. Luckily, I’m not that hungry on it, but skipping meals is not good for the migraine sitch. In fact, it might be triggering some of this current wave of pain. This is a dilemma that could be easily solved with a bagel, lol.

Peeps do this diet to lose weight, but I don’t know what I weigh because my scale failed (I think I got water in the battery compartment when I washed the floor) and I threw it out. I’ve been too lazy to buy another one. This is a really bizarre turn of events! I’ve never been sans scale, and I’m curious to see how long I can last. I do have a doctor’s appointment coming up, so it’s not as though I’ll be completely in the dark.

I can always hope for a new miracle cure. The drug companies are always researching new migraine meds ~ our heads are big biz. I guess I should feel lucky that there are so many of us suffering together.

 

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Mushroom

Mushrooms

We’re told to eat boldly colored veggies, but the modest mushroom is packed with vitamins and low in calories. Well, until you do things with it, that is. My kids used to dunk fresh ones in vats of Ranch dressing. My mom sautéed several types together and served them over a salad of wilted greens. I have a fabulous recipe for mushrooms baked in a casserole with butter and breadcrumbs and Italian seasonings. One of my favorite sandwiches is the Portobello mushroom served like a burger with all the toppings. Mushrooms: clever little vehicles to take you to Butter Town.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Mushroom

Twelve Years Gone By

Please excuse my lack of bloggery… I was busy attending my daughter’s wedding. ❤

I seem to be out of writing mode, which will change shortly as I’ve rejoined a great prompt group that meets weekly, plus September always motivates me. I’m a student at heart. New school year, crisp notebook, let’s go!

But in the meantime, I wanted to say something, so I decided to turn to my trusty old Ultrablog archives. Apparently I said nothing 10 years ago (hard to believe), so I went back 12 (I don’t like elevens). Twelve years ago I was married, had two children living with me, and for some bizarre reason went to see the Dukes of Hazzard movie.

Now, if you had asked me point-blank an hour ago, Paula, did you ever see the Dukes of Hazzard movie? I would have said no and I would have probably even denied knowing there existed a Dukes of Hazzard movie. But archives do not lie! And if Google Drive says I saw a movie, then I saw it. I suppose in the scheme of things that forgetting the Dukes is no great loss. I hope I don’t forget anything important however, such as a subthread from Game of Thrones.

I said I liked the movie except for Burt Reynolds being miscast as Boss Hogg. I also said the TV Roscoe was funnier and I was disappointed that “Boots” played over the credits at the end and we didn’t get to see the sexy car wash scene. I have no idea what I meant by that. The Nancy Sinatra song? Wha? I suppose I could look all that up, but someone will know, so I’m not going to bother.

I really miss when my online writing friends blogged instead of blopped on Facebook. FB is junk food for writers ~ and not even the good junk food like tacos or Oreos, but the worst junk food like those skinny yucky pretzels. You can sit there for hours and eat a million of them and you’ll never be satisfied, only thirstier and thirstier.

Pretzels

BOGO, Baby

You know you’re old when…

You get excited about the drugstore’s BOGO sale on vitamins and supplements. Used to be that BOGO’s got my attention when they were about cute shooze or yummy cupcakes or lacy lingerie or sparkly doodads, but how far we’ve come from all that nonsense.

A friend recommended the lipo-flavonoid supplement for my inner ear issues, and I found the CVS equivalent on BOGO day. I also found zinc, which was recommended for the same issue, and turmeric pills, for achies. A while back, I bought a vat of turmeric spice, on the advice of other friends, with the intention of adding some to all my foods, but it made everything inedible. I like my food to be yummy ~ it’s one of the last few pleasures I have, besides reading. I sound just like my father! Hey, how about that New York Times, greatest paper on earth, eh? (Inside joke, that no one gets but me.)

I made a lovely omelet: eggs, perfectly beaten; shredded cheese; veggies, etc. Sprinkled in salt, pepper, a tsp. of turmeric. Cooked it all up perfectly. It looked beautiful… and it was totally awful, not edible. I tossed the entire thing in the trash. Anyone need a giant bottle of turmeric? Come ‘n’ get it! Anyway, now I have it in pill form, hurrah.

My kitchen counter definitely looks like grandma central, which doesn’t bother me at all. I find myself embracing my elderliness, rather than fighting it. Why fight? Stressful, not to mention expensive. Besides, being old is the perfect excuse for not doing anything. I’m old, I’m tired, I’m staying home. Who can argue with that?

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Edible

A Whore’s Breakfast

My new band name.

The first time I remember reading the phrase “a whore’s breakfast” was in Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. Are you old enough to remember when that book was a thing? Good. As I vaguely recall, some mean bastard husband (are there any other kind?) said that to his wife when she and the kids were having birthday cake for breakfast.

I loved the phrase, especially because I’ve been eating cake for breakfast ever since I learned to count calories. Instead of smashing all my calories into an enormous dinner, I often save the dessert for the next day. I don’t like feeling full at bedtime, and it’s fun to look forward to cake (or pie, if you’re one of the weirdos who prefer pie to cake) in the AM.

(Sometimes I have dessert instead of dinner just to mix it up. Yes, I am a wild and crazy chick.)

Urban Dico says that a whore’s breakfast is coffee and a cigarette though. Or possibly a Coke. Hmm. Those just sound like high school breakfasts to me. Not that being in HS and being a whore have to be mutually exclusive.

I prefer to think of cake, especially birthday cake, as the true whore’s breakfast. It’s just so decadent and anti-traditional. Goes against everything your mom told you was Right & Good.

My bosses bought a delicious red velvet cake for my birthday Wednesday and I had a leftover piece for breakfast. Soooo good!

Bdaycake

I hope my pairing of whore and cake in the same poast generates a whole bunch of new bloghits and readers!

Chicken Dinner Good Candy

I realize this sounds like the title of a Murakami story, but it’s actually the slogan for an old-time candy bar called Chicken Dinner.

I know, right? But that’s what the Sperrry Co. named their “nutritious” candy bar in 1923. It also made TIME’s list as one of the most influential CB’s because it apparently helped generate the creation of Power bars and such. (You will note that Chicken Dinner is no. 6 on the list. Number 1? KIT KAT!)

Also, there’s an entire blog named after the Chicken Dinner candy bar. Here’s an interesting excerpt:

The unusual name was meant to echo the feeling of well-being and prosperity associated with “a chicken in every pot”—a slogan that went back to Henry IV of France and which would be revived for the 1928 Republican campaign. And it was pretty popular, too! It stayed in production for nearly 40 years before being discontinued in the 1960’s. ~ Mars

Did you know that “a chicken in every pot” was a fronsh king thing and not an original Hooverism? Well, I’m sure you did, but I did not. Look at all the cool info an investigation of a candy bar turns up!

Now you may sensibly ask wtf motivated me to go googling up Chicken Dinner? I will tell you ~ it’s  because I wanted a poster for my kitchen. I had these neato carved wooden people from ages ago, and when I tried to put them up in my new place, one of the hooks broke. I could have fixed it, but then I thought, nah, I’m tired of these anyway. So, I looked up kitchen art. Most had to do with coffee, which is boring.

But then… then I found this most awesome poster ever!

CDGC

Is that perfect, or what? Not only does it look awesome over my stove, but the yellow complements my countertops. I just love this thing ~ it makes me smile every time I go in there.

And there you have it: Chicken Dinner Good Candy. You may now resume your life full of extra-special knowledge. You’re very welcome. 🙂

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Wordless Wednesday

Mango

Violence and Chocolate

Merry Christmas, mah peeps.

I’ve been watching a lot of movies with Sharon over the last several days, mostly romcoms bought for cheap off Amazon, but also some rented classics missed over the years. We saw Fight Club last night and I must say that I am now a fan of Brad Pitt. Never liked him at the beginning when every other woman was in lust for his bod, but lately I just think he’s a good actor. That said, I had a really hard time with all the gore in this movie ~ it was just so ewwy and gross.

Yet today we watched Full Metal Jacket, which was hideously violent in the most disturbing ways ~ and I had no problem with it whatsoever. I can’t say I enjoyed FMJ, because that just sounds weird, but it was a damn good movie. I’d sort of like to figure out if there is a logical reason why the gore in FC  bothered me and FMJ did not, or if it’s just my subjective moodiness. The violence in mob movies never bothers me with one exception ~ the horse’s head. I don’t think I need to explain.

Regarding chocolate, I was totally fine all day until I had a bite of a chocolate chip cookie Sharon made and then I was immediately blasted with a migraine. It was totally obvious that there was a connection. Could have been something else in the cookie ~ oats, peanut butter, almond milk, vanilla extra, flour? I think I’m going to do the n0-chocolate experiment again. I don’t even care about choccy that much, only caffeine. The headache was so bad I wished I had a shot ~ it took hours to subside from a pill. But the shots cost so much it’s ridiculous.

Anyway, cool title, no? I must get back to writing soon.

Preemptive Weenie

I don’t think I’m going to do NaNoWriMo anymore.

Last month I made it: I wrote 50,000 words of a novel. I did this in 2011 as well, but it took around 6 weeks and I “inadvertently” did it in September-October due to a request from an editor to novelize a short story. And several years ago I managed to hit the goal a few times as well. So, I’ve proven I can do this; it’s not a one-time fluke.

But it took a lot out of me. I totally messed up my sleeping schedule and now it’s a week later and I’m still exhausted and not in a good place. Sleeping erratically is  bad for migraine sufferers. I hardly went to the gym in November (maybe two or three times in the month instead of per week like I should) and feel bad about that. But I’ve been too tired this week to go after work. I also didn’t eat right because of trying to spend all my free time writing rather than bothering with much grocery shopping or meal prep. So it was basically carb city around here. I had cinnamon toast for dinner many nights.

I don’t think it’s worth it.

It’s not like I never write otherwise, though I have to admit I would never write this much. And it isn’t “all crap” as some people like to disparage the NaNo output. I have some good stuff to work with and will definitely turn what I have into another romance novel and submit it somewhere. I’ll need about a month to edit and add to what I wrote in November and it’ll be good to go.

Yet I’m not going to do it again. That’s how I feel today anyway.

I want to get all my current writing (romance and non) in top shape to market and then begin new work. But this will be at a normal pace, not a frenzy. I need to have a regular routine of sleep, exercise, and semi-decent meals. I can’t live like a freaking hippie.