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Thread: In Pursuit of Happiness and a Flat Stomach (TheEscapeArtist's Journal) page 2

  1. #11
    bellajgw's Avatar
    bellajgw is offline Senior Member
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    Escape - you are not alone!

    My wife likes to hide the lovely avocados I buy in the veggie drawer and I forget about them until the following week when I go to clean out the fridge to find the - ever disgusting - pruney avocado. It just....stares at me...reminding me that I just spent a good deal of money on it and forgot about it. It's a shame...I wish i had some of that Avocado-Whispering mojo. If I buy avocados I actually have to hide them from my wife and put them on the shelf, which then backfires because I've now forgotten where I've put them, forget that I bought them, and then I go to grab a mug for coffee on the weekend and find this hideous green, wrinkly, moldy thing sitting on my shelf next to me Tinker-bell "Morning's ain't magical" mug...which I now have to scrub heartily.

    Awesome journal!

  2. #12
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    The brown bits in the avocado of life

    I was feeling down today. I haven't really talked about that in my posts, which have been very chipper, very gung-ho, very eager beaver, very I-HAVE-EVERYTHING-UNDER-CONTROL-HERE, which isn't how I've been feeling all the time. I know, I know, hard to believe it hasn't been one big 'ol primal party.

    That's not to say that I've been putting on my happy face just to write these posts. I really have felt amazingly chipper, gung-ho, etc the past couple of weeks and have only resorted to Japanese bed therapy a few times: I spent most of Monday before last in bed (primarily sleeping + a bit of fantasizing about being thin and beautiful and running into various ex-boyfriends who bite their hands in rue at what they've lost) and then part of yesterday afternoon (watching three episodes of True Blood back to back + two episodes of Episodes).

    Probably no coincidence that both these occurrences were on Mondays. *#^&*% Mondays! I've been mostly working from home Mondays because I've started to feel a bit crispy around the edges - not completely burnt out, but productivity getting worse and worse along with attitude, starting to get testy with colleagues, etc. However the working from home thing doesn't seem to be helping...maybe because I don't work; instead I go buy flowers for my window box or do sprints in the park and then I feel guilty. Guilt is deadly. And structure is probably my friend - although the sort of friend who wears pocket protectors and coke-bottle glasses and who nobody wants to sit next to at dinner parties (not that I have dinner parties).

    Today, although a Tuesday, was still a bummer, for a number of rather trivial reasons, the highlights of which I will share with you here (aren't you lucky):
    • I spent most of the afternoon on a conference call - I hate conference calls, especially ones with lots of people. In addition to the normal tedium of a meeting, there's always one or two people on these calls loudly typing or running an electric shaver or a frickin' lawnmower (yes, I know, probably the connection, but rather than cursing the telephonic gods, I like having a person to blame). This time there was a loud typer and an unidentified hum that nobody would own up to - not quite loud enough to be an electric shaver but loud enough to be annoying and head-ache-inducing none-the-less. Next time I'm bringing along my vibrator
    • I got a report on an independent assessment of one of the projects I'm working on - overall good, but with one or two sharp criticisms that I took personally (and yes, I know I shouldn't and I told myself that...myself just wasn't in a mood to listen.)
    • I got another report on a big meeting we had a few months ago, which included not one but three color photos of me looking puffy and mean and sporting a double chin. I think the guy we hired to do the documentation must hate me. (I want to ask him to expunge all pictures of me from the report but am afraid of being perceived as petty and vain by my colleagues plus earning the enduring ill-will of the documentation guy who already has the whole thing all laid out with captions. Ahhh!)

    Anyways, I read the reports, got off the conference call and then I went and ate a sausage - a dried sausage (of free range pork I add in my defense). It was around ten inches long. I ate it in one go. I ate it like a carrot. Then I felt ill. The good news is I did not binge on chocolate (largely because I ate the last of my dark chocolate supply yesterday while watching True Blood) or sprint to the liquor store before it closed (it did cross my mind, if ever-so-briefly). So 'yeah me' (said rather halfheartedly while clutching stomach).

    Then I took a walk with my dog - one of the new 'escape from yucky feelings' strategies that I'm trying to cultivate to replace my old 'escape from yucky feelings' strategies (drinking, binge eating, watching multiple seasons of 'Rookie Blue' back-to-back). And it did help some - partially because getting out of the house and moving helps get me off my hamster wheel of unhappy thoughts and also because my dog is very charming and makes people smile and some of that smileyness washes over onto me too.

    And then I came back and logged in here and read the replies to my thread from kind people who also struggle with avocados and I felt a bit better still. BTW I'm trying out a new angle on the avocado problem - basically putting the onus on the supplier. I told my neighborhood street vendor I wanted an avocado that would be ready for tomorrow's breakfast. He took the responsibility very seriously - squeezing every avocado in the bin, setting aside a few he thought were good candidates, and finally choosing one - the perfectly ripe avocado - for me to take home. I will let you know how it turns out tomorrow.

  3. #13
    Wrenwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheEscapeArtist View Post
    I was feeling down today. ...
    Sorry to hear that.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheEscapeArtist View Post
    ...a bit of fantasizing about being thin and beautiful and running into various ex-boyfriends who bite their hands in rue at what they've lost...
    But if it's any comfort to you, your writing is quite funny.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheEscapeArtist View Post
    And structure is probably my friend - although the sort of friend who wears pocket protectors and coke-bottle glasses and who nobody wants to sit next to at dinner parties (not that I have dinner parties).
    I so understand this.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheEscapeArtist View Post
    ...which included not one but three color photos of me looking puffy and mean and sporting a double chin.
    Oh dear! Some sort of passive-aggressive vendetta? You criticized one of his captions perhaps?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheEscapeArtist View Post
    ...also because my dog is very charming and makes people smile and some of that smileyness washes over onto me too.
    There's nothing like a dog to improve a bad day. Unless of course there's some chocolate left.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheEscapeArtist View Post
    ... kind people who also struggle with avocados
    I just have to say that life is essentially unfair. You have street vendors to hand-select yours (smart move, by the way), someone else on this forum has luscious gems raining from the trees and rolling down the gutters - my avocados are still rock-hard and resentful, daring me to try to eat them. Had one with dinner and they're not so good when they're crunchy.

    I sincerely hope your day improved... and no more conference calls!
    Wren
    My Primal Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57034.html

    "...since our orthodox theories have not saved us we may have to readjust them to bring them into harmony with Nature's laws. Nature must be obeyed, not orthodoxy." Weston A. Price

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wrenwood View Post
    I just have to say that life is essentially unfair. You have street vendors to hand-select yours (smart move, by the way), someone else on this forum has luscious gems raining from the trees and rolling down the gutters - my avocados are still rock-hard and resentful, daring me to try to eat them. Had one with dinner and they're not so good when they're crunchy.
    In general I'm a fan of crunchy, but not in avocados. Crunchy avocados are indeed not a good thing. But no need to feel jealous of me Wren. Turns out Ahmed the avocado monger doesn't know much more about picking a perfectly ripe avocado than I do. The one he selected for me (and with such great care!) was riddled with brown spots. I took your advice and mashed it - adding in some green salsa to try to make it, you know, more green. But the result was sort of a swampy brown reminiscent of...well, let's not say what it was reminiscent of. Tasty with my eggs, but I had to close my eyes to eat it

  5. #15
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    badgergirl is online now Senior Member
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    hello, I'm very much enjoying your journal and I too wish I could be an avocado whisperer. I get quite queasy when I get a brown spotty one, but cannot bear to waste it so struggle through despite the gagging revulsion.
    Last edited by badgergirl; 08-15-2012 at 03:03 PM. Reason: spelling fail

  6. #16
    bellajgw's Avatar
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    Being unproductive...I hate that...especially when you started out with such great intentions!

    My recommendation is to read "The Four Hour Work Week" by Timothy Ferriss. He has some pretty reasonable ideas to help him remove the monotonous work from his life, get better organized, delegate the tedium to un-thought-of resources, and work from home (or the beach) if you choose....Wish I could manage that one! Being an admin they like to see you to hand you stupid stuff to do...boo!

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellajgw View Post
    My recommendation is to read "The Four Hour Work Week" by Timothy Ferriss.
    I'm a fan of that book too! Recommend it all the time, but been a couple a years since I read it myself. You know I actually tried his suggestion of outsourcing my tedium to India...it didn't work I think you need bales of tedium to make it interesting enough for them to pick up. My tedium was too pissant. But he did have some really good ideas; maybe it's time for a refresher. BTW have you read his "The Four Hour Body"? Was comparing notes with a guy who's following it; sounds very similar to PB aside from recommended cheat days "to keep your metabolism up". Hmm...

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by badgergirl View Post
    hello, I'm very much enjoying your journal and I too wish I could be an avocado whisperer. I get quite queasy when I get a brown spotty one, but cannot bear to waste it so struggle through despite the gaging revulsion.
    Hey thanks badgergirl! I'm glad. As for the avocados, I don't recommend trying the 'eating with your eyes closed' strategy unless you're using a spoon. Nearly forked myself

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    My first food porn!

    I never thought I'd be the sort of person who takes pictures of their food but here I am taking pictures of my food. I just so proud I cooked a whole fancy meal just for me!

    Pre-primal I almost never cooked...except for breakfast. It wasn't like I was eating McDonald's every night, but I was heavily dependent on the 'home cooked' take away places that abound in my neighborhood. I guess I'm not the only one around here who doesn't want to cook but wants to eat like they do. The woman who owns the place closest to me must think I died or something. I was in there almost every night. We were on a first name basis. We'd swap stories about our days while she heated up my food (I didn't even heat up my own food). I got to know her parents - lovely people. She even has pictures of my dog on her phone. It was almost like we were dating. Does that mean I owe her some sort of breakup talk...along the lines of "It's not you. I just need to be on my own now right now"? I'm afraid if she tried to woo me back with her chocolate cheesecake, I'd cave...possibly even falling at her feet and pledging my undying love. (I'm telling you it was that good.)

    Anyway, I digress. Tonight's menu:
    • herb encrusted pork loin
    • steamed yellow squash with onion
    • asparagus and mushrooms sauteed in ghee

    By the way, ghee is great. I only just got a can (comes in cans...sort of like paint) a few days ago from the Indian market and it's so much easier to cook with than butter. Only one thing worries me...you know how Mark encourages you not only to worry about what you eat but also about what you eat eats. Well, in India, where my ghee comes from, the cows eat garbage - literally. I have seen cows eating garbage bags even. A read an article about a town where they shipped off most of the cows because they were causing major traffic problems and a couple of weeks later they had to go get them all back because the town was filling up with garbage. Hmm...note to self: step up efforts to find a domestic source of organic ghee.

    And it wasn't even planned in advance, this meal. I'd picked up all these ingredients sort of randomly and, in fact, the asparagus had been languishing in the crisper for well over a week, and was starting to look a tad anemic. It was also easy - required no special skills or know-how. The hardest part was getting the timing right so it all come together at the same time.



    And it even tasted good!

    So the nitty gritty in case anyone should be inspired to replicate:

    Herb encrusted pork loin
    Mix together 2 tablespoons of each of the following to make a paste:
    • thyme
    • chervil (can substitute parsley - which is what I did, who has chervil?)
    • marjoram (could probably sub in oregano)
    • garlic powder (or minced garlic)
    • rosemary
    • olive oil

    • Pat the paste onto your pork loin until completely covered and refrigerate overnight or for a couple of hours at room temp.
    • Then cook at 450 until meat thermometer registers 160 - my Mom said for 20 minutes, but my pork loin was not cooperating. Maybe repeatedly getting it out of the oven so I could poke at it with a meat thermometer (I have a really small oven) made it take longer.

    Mushrooms and asparagus
    • Clean mushrooms; cut those larger than 1 inch in diameter in half and the really big muthers in quarters.
    • Wash asparagus, break off woody tips, and cut the good part into 1 inch pieces - longer for skinny asparagus, shorter for fatter.
    • Heat one or two tablespoons of ghee in a large frying pan on medium heat.
    • Add asparagus and some salt; increase heat to medium high; cook for two or three minutes, stirring occasionally.
    • Turn heat to high; add mushrooms. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes - until any liquid mushrooms giving off is evaporated.

    Squash
    • Cut squash into thinnish rounds; slice onion...however you want.
    • Use the smallest pot you can get away with and add about a fourth of an inch of water; put on the lid.
    • Bring to a boil, reduce slightly and cook for around 10 minutes or until tender.

    OK maybe more of a fall menu, but I was so pleased to use up what I had on hand. I hate wasting food, but I used to do a lot of it, because I would buy food - thinking I really should cook more, I should eat more salads, etc. - and then not have the energy to follow through. Apparently I have the energy now
    Last edited by TheEscapeArtist; 10-05-2012 at 01:45 PM.

  10. #20
    Wrenwood's Avatar
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    Yum, your dinner looks lovely! I almost took a picture of mine too, but instead I just ate it. Coconut ginger cilantro chicken, green beans and red cabbage slaw.
    My Primal Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57034.html

    "...since our orthodox theories have not saved us we may have to readjust them to bring them into harmony with Nature's laws. Nature must be obeyed, not orthodoxy." Weston A. Price

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