Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Day in the Life and Rachel Ray, This is How You Do $30 a Day!

"I had a very good food day" I im-ed to E late last night. "Really? Tell me about it." She im-ed back. And I did

And thus is my life with food. I think about food quite often through out the day. But some days aren't such good food days. The days when I forget to eat at the store and end up scarfing down a handful of nuts and a lone cup of water. Yeah, I know.

I have a true love/hate relationship with food. I know what I should eat and how much of it I should be eating but I can't stick to such things. If I was good, I'd keep to a protein shake in the morning, salad at noon and a big serving of steamed fish and veggies at night. I'd work out everyday and be all fit and shit. But I don't have the will for such things. I once asked a very cut male stripper at a gay bar, still wearing his g-string, if he ever ate chicken wings. The answer was no. And my response was "I don't want to live in a world without chicken wings". And that pretty much sums it up for me.

Like most women I struggle with thinking "life would be so great if I lost 10-20 lbs!". It's an uphill battle kids. Uphill! But what I've found is that the more I embrace the notion of good food for myself (and that DOESN'T include protein shakes) in any manner or form, the better off I am. I'm happier, more content and yes still motivated to work out and take care of my body. It's only when I veer off in either direction - starving myself (which I have done and it's not fun) or binging a bag of potato chips washed out with a huge chocolate shake that things don't work for me. I start hating my body and well, that's not good.

So yesterday was a nicely balanced day of food for me. It started with the perfect little latte and chocolate croissant. It had been freshly made and it was delightful. The layers were perfect and there wasn't just one but two long strips of dark chocolate folded into the center. I got my breakfast goodies from a place called KooKoo Cafe in Brookline Village. The line was a bit long for such a small place but it moved quickly and the person who was there working the register and getting coffee orders was so nice that I got my goodies and left a couple of bucks in the tip jar.

After that, I was off to run errands and such. Around 2pm I was getting hungry and was around the downtown area. I decided that since it was a very dreary rainy day, I needed soup. But not just any soup. I needed something with homemade noodles and veggies too. I went to my old tried and true spot in Chinatown - Taiwan Cafe. It's a restaurant where lots of additional menu stuff is written in Chinese on the walls. It's a place that served stinky tofu (it's 100% more stinky that durian folks) and makes no apologies for it. I've always loved the food there. I've had clams in a spicy black bean sauce that were so good, I was practically licking the plate, soup dumplings that were piping hot and sufficiently soupy in the middle.

Yesterday when I went, I was spoken to the entire time in Mandarin. When I opened my mouth it was clear I was so Americanized. But liked being treated like an "insider" for a bit. I reviewd the menu but what I wanted was comfort in the form of soup. And so I ordered the spicy beef noodle soup with spinach.

Since I was there quite late, I got to watch the wait staff clean and prep bags full of beautiful fresh green beens. They all sat at one table and did their work, clearly enjoying each other's company. It was nice to see. My soup came out very quickly.

This picture does the soup not nearly enough justice. The broth was very rich and spicy. The noodles perfectly toothsome and long. The beef was marbled with fat and just melted in my mouth. It was the perfect lunch. On most days I wouldn't have been able to finish such a big serving but I was really hungry and ate it all!

When I was finished I watched the people sitting around and loved the diversity around me. An older Asian couple finishing up some clams. A group of three giggling young Asian women dripping in Louis Vutton paying their bill and planning their attack at Saks. Finally I asked for my bill, but not before I was asked in Mandarin if I was done (or so I think I was asked hah!). The bill came to $6.50 and that included my diet pepsi too. Alright so this got me to thinking between my breakfast and my lunch, if I was Rachel Ray and on $30 a day (which we all know she's not b/c she makes 18m according to Forbes), I'd be pumped. But I'd also not give any sort of tip. I'd tip maybe 25 cents. Ugh. So thinking this, I had to overcompensate for that level of evil, I left a ten dollar bill and called it a day.

Later I hit the gym and worked on building up to 50lb kettlebell swings. Oye, one day I'll do a full swing! I was so pleased with my workout that I decided to reward myself with a nice veggie sandwich made on my George Foreman grill. That grill is fantastic for grilled panini sandwiches. I roasted up some peppers and eggplant I got from ghetto shaws and later layered them on top of some Italian bread that I had slathered with my homemade pesto. I added fresh local mozzarella (leftover from this insanely good dinner E had made a couple weekends ago) and green olives.

It was a great sandwich. Melty and crunchy due to time spent on the Foreman grill. I know, I know it's suppose to "knock out" the fat, but come on, it makes a fantastic grilled sandwich any day of the week and that is truly the only reason I still have it lying around.

I think the veggies sent me back around $10 and I bought enough so I could have roasted veggies for the rest of the week as well. So stuff that in your pipe and smoke it Rachel Ray!

Overall, I think I ate mostly locally made foods and fairly whole foods. Okay so the noodles, bread, cheese and croissant are really "whole" but they were all local and really lovingly made. Plus, I get my butt moving at the gym so I ended my entire day feeling really good.

A good food day indeed!

1 comment:

Tom Aarons said...

Hah! I don't want to live in a world without chicken wings either!.