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Coffeeholism

15 Apr

I have mentioned my addiction passion for a coffee previously in the post “What Would You Like, an Ice Blended Yummy Drink or a New Car?”. And even though I did cut down on the coffee intake considerably, I know that I have to get rid of this habit once and for all. But it’s not as easy as it might feel like, I’ll tell you! There’s a reason why coffee is compared to such legalized drugs as tobacco and alcohol; it’s very addictive. I didn’t even know how addictive it is until I tried to cut it off completely. Three days later after itching and craving for a cup of coffee I grabbed one with my shaking hands and practically gulped it down. That’s when I knew that it’s not as innocent as a whole trend of countless coffee shops want it to look like.

Just the other day when I had to run some errands, it was a pouring stormy rain outside, and all I could think of is to get to the closest coffee shop and to get myself a hot cup of hazelnut latte. There’s something comforting and soothing about the whole feeling of holding it with your freezing fingers, inhaling the aroma and carefully tasting that first sip… Continue reading

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Dropping the Drive-Thru

13 Apr

I’ve been working very hard to break a bad habit: I noticed that I tend to stop at a drive-thru for a snack or lunch when I’m out running errands. What’s worse though is that I realized that I order more when I’m alone (and somewhat anonymous) rolling through the drive-thru, whereas I tend to order less to eat when I actually go inside and face someone and others might hear what I’m ordering.

fast food logos

Fast food on the brain. Image credit: tswift4ever @ http://i183.photobucket.com/albums/x228/tswift4ever/food-1.jpg

It sounds a little silly when I describe it at length like this. And it certainly isn’t a conscious binge or sneaky behavior. I’m not sure why I do it. But I’m starting to feel glad that I’ve become aware of it so that I can stop doing it. I’m dropping drive-thrus from my life completely. I have to if I really want to lose weight and do so more quickly. If I really want fast food or any restaurant food, I’m going to insist (to myself) that I go in and get it. Maybe that little extra trouble will help me control my desire and the amount I want to eat when I’m out. Or, better yet, maybe I’ll just go home and eat something healthier and cheaper.

I have to say, as much as I hope the media uproar regarding the beef industry’s “pink slime” is overblown, it is having an affect on me.

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Vacation Eating: East Coast Edition

10 Apr

We only get to go to New Jersey to visit my husband’s family about once a year because it’s hard to budget for the airfare these days. But when we get there, it’s a whirlwind of house-hopping to see each of his FIVE brothers, his mother, his aunt and cousin, and our friends in the area, all set to the sounds of merengue, salsa, bachata, and hip hop, and the smells and tastes of Peru, Brazil, and Newark. It’s always an amazing time. I fell in love with Newark when I moved out there to go to college…and then I fell in love with my husband, whom I met there. His family moved to Newark when he was a little kid. Being from the west coast, it was a crazy culture shock at first

Newark bridge

A Newark bridge on a cold, overcast morning.

to move to Newark, but after the first week, I knew I’d found a new home. I spent nearly five years there before we decided to move to Los Angeles for a while. It’s an area that has a little bit of everything from nearly every part of the world…with a distinct New Jersey attitude about it. Plus, it’s only a 15-minute train ride from Manhattan, which is awesome, of course.

Newark sunny

Newark on a bright sunny day during our trip. Beautiful springtime.

I can imagine us moving back there someday, but LA is my home too, so we envision a life of living in several places in the future. As long as we’re together, home is where your heart is, right? Anyway, my point is that we have a blast when we go there. And a lot of the fun and visiting is centered around food, which is a terrific, bittersweet problem to have because everything tastes great but I’m trying not to eat too much. When you’re around family and on vacation, it can be extremely difficult to not over-indulge or even feel pressured by others to eat more, as I described in this previous post. For example, practically the first words out of my Peruvian mother-in-law’s mouth were, “Estas rellena. Toma, come,” which, loosely translated means she told me I looked like I had filled out (was a little heavier) than when she last saw me and then she told me to eat the huge plate of food she was handing me. She cracks me up. I love her to death and she’s an awesome M-I-L, but how am I supposed to eat after being told I look ready-to-have-babies heavy? Ha! Because she raised six boys, bless her heart, she typically overloads a plate for me–even if I tell her it’s too much, she insists I eat it–so sometimes, when my husband finishes his plate before me, I’ll switch my half-eaten plate with his empty plate when no one is looking. :) He happily eats more, I sit there happily stuffed.

I noticed a few general diet-saboteurs that occur when traveling:

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Prehistoric Monster Syndrome

6 Apr
Monster drawing by Sydney Padua of London.

Illustration credit: http://www.sydneypadua.com.

That’s right, you all know what I’m going to rant about right now, the ugly truth of PMS. Therefore I think it would be wise to note that this post is intended for ladies’ read only. :)

When I was younger I have never had any symptoms, except for the first day’s cramps. No mood swings, no crankiness, no weight fluctuations accompanied by bloated stomach, no body aches, no general tiredness. In fact, I even thought that this syndrome was a myth, created by women as an excuse for some of their behaviors. How naive I was. If somebody told me that now, I might just punch that person in the face. As you can see currently I am going through some of the crankiness. It’s the fifth day of an uncontrollable depressed mood for me, and there’s nothing I can do to make it better. I already warned my dearest understanding husband about an upcoming monster attack; he is sweet though, he turns my every snap into a joke and makes me laugh, gently diffusing the situation. However, I understand that every person has his limits, and God knows I don’t want to test his, that’s why I’m trying to control myself as much as I possibly can.

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The Snack Monster

5 Apr

Late at night, when a hush falls over the city and the moon rises high in the sky, a throaty howling screech pierces the calm. Ripping, shredding, gnawing noises cause people to wake from their sleep, cats to arch and hiss, and the sirens of the police start blaring.

I wish I could say it was an attack. A single, isolated event in which I was the victim. But the  dark truth is that last night I was not mauled by a monster, I became the monster…the snack monster. Just past midnight, I felt my hair frizzing, my eyes widening, my stomach grumbling, and my mouth salivating for anything I could find that was salty or sweet.

The Snack Monster

Late last night, Michelle became...The Snack Monster! Illustration by Michelle.

 

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Grocery Shopping: Girls versus Guys

28 Mar

My husband and I share everything and enjoy doing most things together. Grocery shopping together, however, is a different matter. It’s usually a lot of work to do this task together because we have such different approaches to the chore. To get around our differences, we either split the shopping list and meet at the check-out line or one of us just goes alone. Since Vita and I have started this anti-diet weight loss project however, I’ve realized that I have a lot more fun–and am a better shopper–when she and I go to the grocery store together than when I go alone or with my husband.

When I compare the different outcomes, It’s obvious, at least in my case, that my shopping habits not only reflect my eating habits, but also my moods. Because of this correlation, I’ve decided to give more thought to how I time my trips to the store rather than just focusing on making a detailed shopping list.

Let me breakdown the differences in grocery shopping style. Here are typical examples of what happens in these different shopping scenarios:

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Rainy Day Adventure — Michelle’s Story

26 Mar

We decided it’d be fun to do more joint posts so that you can get a more intimate look at our friendship and have fun hearing about the same day from two points of view (giving you the Rashomon effect). Enjoy!

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Sunday was a blustery, rainy day in Los Angeles. Normally such dark, ominous, wet weather makes me want to curl up on the couch with a blanket and an old movie. I appreciate rain but I prefer to not be cold and wet. However, Sunday was different. Vita and I had planned to go check out a JCPenney because they’re advertising new rebranding efforts as an always-affordable, no-gimmicks kind of store and we both wanted to look at dresses (I haven’t decided yet what I’m wearing to a big party next weekend). We both thought we knew where there was a JCP near our neighborhood…but we were both wrong.

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