I cannot believe it’s been a year since my first anniversary post! Many of you might not even remember it – but I sure do. I discussed my relationship with food and body image. It was the first time I really went out on a limb – and it was very scary to really talk about what I think and feel about such controversial issues. Surprisingly, I had more comments, personal notes and buzz with this particular column than any other – and it didn’t even have a recipe or travel information! Sheesh...
So, I will continue where I left off and tell you more about food, exercise and stocking my kitchen.
I am not in love with (or even in like with) fried foods – i.e. potato chips, donuts, french fries, deep-fried Oreos, or any of this junk-food that so many Americans adore. I could honestly have any of these items in my cupboards and I’d end up throwing them out as they would get stale. Really. It’s not even that they’re not healthful…as you may know, I would eat these things if they “spoke” to me.
Foods I love:
Sweets: As I’ve said again and again, chocolate is a critical part of my life. But again – I’m picky. I would let milk chocolate or white chocolate (shouldn’t even be called chocolate) stay in my drawer forever. Dark chocolate is another story… I need a tiny bit every day, but only if it is high quality chocolate. And while I don’t need them as frequently, there’s nothing like great fruit pies, my famous black bottom pie, and German Chocolate Cake. I know, the cake is a wild card but I adore this dessert more than any other and seldom make it because the rest of my family isn’t super excited about it, and I end up gifting a lot of it. Ice cream doesn’t do it for me either — I know, I know, I’m weird.
Salads and soups: These are my favorite foods to prepare and to eat as well. I can’t get enough of tangy salad dressings and weird combinations of nuts, seeds, fruits, veggies, lettuces, grains, proteins… And I rarely turn away from soups – everything from vegetarian types to hearty, meat-based stews rock my world.
Lamb anything: This might be why I love New Zealand so much. During our visit I literally ate lamb every day – it just called to me. Most New Zealand or Australian lamb is organic and grass fed, by the way. And I don’t even eat a huge portion – even a little lamb keeps me satiated.
Hot breakfast cereals: Especially when piled with chopped fruit, nuts, or even plain with a pat of butter and milk or cream. LOVE.
Finally, I am embarrassed but must admit that I am a food snob. I dislike bad food – and am forever on the hunt for decent eats even in remote areas. Fast food or really bad-tasting, commercial food does nothing for me, and I avoid it like the plague. I can be a little obnoxious about this. In my next life I will be surrounded only by Mediterranean food and Asian-inspired cooking because I rarely tire of these two cuisines. In addition, I can quickly reach my fill of prepared food, be it from fine restaurants or good quality takeaway places. I start to crave “my” homemade, I-know-what-is-in-it food.
This doesn’t have to be brain surgery. I know myself well – I am constantly buzzing around like a cockroach. This becomes especially apparent when I am around more sedentary folks. Me? I rarely sit still. And I walk vigorously or take a 40-minute spin class several days a week. Or I love to go to my nearby gym and take part in a yoga or strength training class. The women at my gym are super nice and I have made lasting friends. Who would have thought? And I don’t ever mind walking or “doing” the stairs in my neighborhood alone. I’m good company.
My point here is that, for me, exercise is essential to feeling good – both physically and mentally. I feel stronger and healthier AND fine with my aging body.
OK, this is going to sound very strange. But food shopping is almost meditative for me. I’ve never been an avid clothes shopper, yet I could get lost at a good farmers market. I become almost religious about showing up at the Queen Anne Farmer’s Market every Thursday afternoon during the summer and the Ballard Farmer’s Market every Sunday morning year around. I even love my neighborhood supermarket – I’m lucky enough to be within walking distance of a store with the most beautiful produce and flower displays I’ve ever seen. Metropolitan Market is close by, I know the staff there, and although it can be expensive for exotic produce or ingredients, I pretty much stick with a list and find their quality and pricing to be fair.
I keep a running list or wish list of little things that need replacing in my kitchen, be it a few nice dish towels, a new set of measuring cups, etc. I feel like my kitchen is really up to snuff in terms of pots and pans, gadgets and appliances. I don’t have extra cooking supplies and I use every single item in my kitchen on a regular basis. But once a year I take an annual pilgrimage to my favorite kitchen shop and gather items that need replacing. Ahhhh…