Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bitterness, with just a hint of feet.

So, in a fit of deciding to be a healthier person aided and abetted by Amazon Prime, I am now the owner of a ton of sun dried Goji berries. Here is the thing, though: They taste like bitterness, with a hint of feet. (I am assuming. I have never eaten feet.) The tag line on the back of the package says, jauntily, "Eating your way to health!" It sounds like a threat. There are a lot of them left. 16 ounces is a lot when they are dried so throughly as to be almost weightless.

Hey, but that's okay, because do you know what week it is? Body Reset Week! Also known as Subsist on Air and Hardboiled Eggs! So, actually, I'm not supposed to be eating them anyway. But I am sort of ignoring the air part of the diet and eating additional food so I don't, you know, keel over. The workouts are going fine. They're not hard, they're just weird and the sort of thing that I really hope no one ever witnesses me doing because I am afraid they would harm themselves with laughter and the resultant pulled muscles. I do not want that on my conscience.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


I confess that the other night I ordered truffle fries and I did ask the kitchen to puree them, nor did I ask the waiter to pre-chew them for me. What I am saying is: I blew it. I ate adult food. There were also some other tapas I don't remember and only one of those was pureed and I didn't even do that part on purpose.

I have been, however, doing all of the 30 minutes of spastic bouncing and then the 30 minutes of lifting "weights" (weights can be no more than 3 lbs, ever) and kicking like an injured donkey.

Speaking of the lifting no more than 3 lbs:

"Honey, I need you to carry this kitty litter upstairs."

He starts to walk toward me, totally willing, but then slows down when he sees me standing there, empty handed, and his joke-o-scope starts beeping or whatever it is that happens when he senses that I am full of crap. "Uh, okay. But are you serious?"

"YES. If I lift more than three pounds, I may engage some of the, like, larger muscles or whatever and then I will bulk up and be completely unlovable." (I may be paraphrasing but I am reasonably sure that's what the pamphlets were getting at.)

Anyway, I then carried the litter upstairs, but I wept silent tears for my poor, manly arm. The litter was 20 lbs. I'm no math genius, but that is 17lbs of rule breaking right there. (I did that math in my head, even! Nice!) 17 lbs! I am no goody goody (see: non-pureed fries), but that can't be good.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Dynamic "Eating" Plan! Week One.

Do you know what I am enjoying right now? Well, nothing. Do you know what I am eating? Carrot Parsnip Puree. I am eating it because Tracy told me to eat it. It is 1/2 cup each of carrots and parsnips, boiled and then, you guessed it, pureed. There is a half of a pinch of salt in there, too. (I added some turmeric because I am living on the edge, even though Tracy specifically instructs me that no additional anything, not oil, not salt, not spices or additional seasonings may be added. Turmeric is good for you, I muttered, and added some, then stirred it in before she could see. She wasn't there, but one has to be careful.) It is... orange. It isn't terrible or anything, I have nothing against carrots or parsnips, but it is not my average breakfast. It just is what it is. It is tautology food.

But, yeah, let's talk about this eating plan. Week one, which I am on day 3 of, is a Nutrient Boost week! This is when you push the red button on your dashboard that then engages your nutrient tank to blow some blue flames out behind you while you go faster for a while. By that, I obviously mean that you get a ton of fruits* and vegetables and then basically make baby food out of them, and then eat baby food for a whole week.

*Let's talk about apples. So, when figuring out how much of everything I needed to do one week's worth of these foods (a broken down shopping list would have been really helpful here, but I think figuring it out yourself probably burns extra thought calories, so, good thinking, Plan Maker) and tallying everything up, I realized I needed 32 apples. And I don't mean, I needed 25 apples but also got some extra apples for my husband and children, no. I mean that I personally was apparently going to consume 32 apples in the space of 7 days. Well, okay. I mean, why have a colon if you're not going to use it, amirite?

So, I log on to my grocery ordering thingy, and punch in all of my kale and my 32 apples and my parsnips and man, I am getting hungry just TYPING all of this, whoa, and anyway, so I finish up my order, add some things for the rest of my household to eat while I am eating stuff that has been prechewed for me, and hit send, scheduling my pickup for the next morning. (You pull up and pop your trunk and they put the groceries in there! You don't even have to make eye contact with anyone if you don't want to! It's great.)

The kids and I roll into the pick up area and I give the attendant my card and he runs it and comes back and I'm waiting and the kids are hitting each other with various small plastic figures but they are both laughing so I let them get on with it, and a manager comes out.

"Ma'am?" she asks. "Ma'am, I am certain this is a typo and I almost called you this morning to confirm, but I told them, no, it's a typo, but I just want to make sure..."


"It says here that you want 32 apples. I assumed you meant THREE, so I had them give you three, since you had three each of a few other types of apples." (These other apples being for the other people in my house.)

"Well, no, actually, I do want 32."

(Silence, during which I assume she is worrying about the fact that I did not also order toilet paper.)

"Oh! Well, okay, I'll go fetch them for you and then we'll have to re-run your card for the additional amount."

HA. So, you see, there is some outside confirmation of crazy. (Most of those 32 apples become Blueberry Applesauce, which is applesauce with blueberries in it. After I'd peeled and quartered 8 apples (two days worth) it occurred to me that they probably sell blueberry applesauce already made in stores. Tracy didn't say I could have that, though. She said I have to make it. Maybe the peeling calories are important. I am not taking any chances.)

And then I went home with my trunk full of fiber and nutrients and I proceeded to cook everything for one whole week. I started at 10 a.m., and I was taking care of the kids at the same time, and I only had one burner going (I only have one Dutch oven, so I only had a large enough pot for one thing at a time with the quantities I was making) and didn't finish until FIVE. My food processor hasn't done that much work since, well, ever, since I use it to make hummus about once every 2 months or so. It is probably looking over its contract right now to see if I am even allowed to do that to it.

When I was done making each dish, like, say, Sweet Potato Corn Pudding (which is1/2 of a steamed sweet potato and 1/2 of the corn off an ear of corn (don't make it ounces or anything, that is WAY too accurate for me and of course ears of corn are readily available at all times and no one uses frozen corn kernels or anything like that. What are we, animals?), I would spoon out my serving and eat it.

By dish number 5 (Gazpacho), I started farting. I am not sure how to put this delicately, but, here goes: They were the kind of farts where your dog (I do not have a dog, but I grew up with the best dog in America (RIP Mocha) and am therefore qualified with regards to dog behavior) will look disappointed in you and walk away. It was not good. It only lasted 20 or so minutes and I was alone in the kitchen so no one else had to suffer, but there was no getting away from myself. It is something I will have to live with, my Heart of Darkness. (The Fart of Darkness? The horror, the horror.)

So, the dishes in week one are, per day: 10 ounces of POWER JUICE ("and handful of beets" (does this mean by the stems? Or of chopped beets? No freaking clue. Measurements are for lesser beings.), kale, 1/2 an apple, and spinach), 4 apples worth of blueberry applesauce, 4 ounces of sweet potato corn pudding, 8 ounces of carrot parsnip puree, gazpacho, veggie protein soup (or, veggie "protein" soup, since the 2 ounces of chicken or tofu in the recipe is split between 3 servings), and 4 ounces of chocolate pudding (which contains dates and chesnuts and unsweetened coconut.)

And that's what you eat, every day for the first week. I have actually been eating most of it, and will concede that it is a ton of food by volume. It adds up to around 1200 calories, but I haven't been hungry. I have been doing things like skipping the juice (I broke my juicer a few months ago) and chucking the beet into the gazpacho instead, and I haven't actually had the pudding yet because I ate some macaroni and cheese yesterday and realized that I didn't feel like eating the pudding. I think I still resent how it came spraying out of the seams of my food processor and coated my kitchen in a thin miasma of cocoa powder, chesnuts, and water.

Week Two is going to be the real trainwreck, though. I added up the calorie counts for the options and it tops out at about 630 calories per day. Y'all, I spent a day in the ER a couple of months ago after passing out and do you know what I do not want to do? That again. So even though I am doing this in the interest of science and snark, there is no way that I am going to try to be a functional human/ present parent on that few calories, so obviously I will be supplementing the eating plan with actual eating.

I have to go bounce around my living room now.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Dance Cardio As "Performed" by the Anti-Dancer

If there is a list of things that I am not, right at the top of that list is Good Dancer. Brandon Walsh and I sometimes talk about this in group therapy. I am an abysmal dancer. Growing up, I did not take a single dance class. (Instead, I opted to be the most non-graceful figure skater in America, and to show up for ice time wearing Simpson's boxer shorts and plaid tights, and also to wear thin the patience of my instructor, whom I called my "coach" because I was and am pretentious, by having 1000 jokes and not a lot of attention left over for my axle. This is, essentially, the story of my whole entire life.)

Exactly one half of the entire Tracy Anderson workouts are Dance Cardio. What Dance Cardio is, essentially, is bouncing around your living room like a spaz for 30 minutes. You have the option to do it twice! If you want! (So far, I do not want.) I am SO BAD at it. So bad. I see what she is doing. Since I have no mirrors in my living room, I, thankfully, do not see my version of it. Even calling what I am doing a version of it is an insult to "it." Mostly, I am jumping, with some bouncing thrown in just to mix it up. It is terrible. By the end I am both sweaty and filled with self-loathing and worried that someone was peeking in the cracks in my curtains and now Knows. For my upcoming anniversary, I am considering letting my husband watch me "perform" this and make as many jokes as he would like without hurting my feeling.

I just looked it up, though, and the traditional 12 year gift is silk/ linen, not humiliation, unfortunately. Back to the drawing board.

Tracy keeps saying that I will get better at it. Well, sure, relatively. But will I ever not feel like a complete moron? I have a whole basket of doubts.

Working out with Kafka

YOU GUYS. When I say "you guys," I am referring, of course, to the entire internet. Hello. I know I have been remiss in not updating my blog, well, ever, but it is because I didn't really have anything to tell you. I totally have something to tell you now:

You guys, I started doing Tracy Anderson's Metamorphosis program. We totally need to talk about it. If you are not familiar with it, this means you are not an avid watcher of informercials. It's okay: Neither am I. In fact, I completely can't remember where I heard about this or what prompted me to buy it. Target was having one of those "Buy this expensive thing and get a gift card for a small amount!" promos and I am a sucker for that nonsense. Then sometimes I even lose the gift cards, but that's okay: You save the money just by getting them in the first place, a small and wrong voice inside my head assures me.

Anyway, the important thing is, I bought it. I bought it and then I brought it home and opened it and looked at it. I watched some informerically things about it on YouTube where Tracy Anderson and Gwyenth flailed their arms around together. I can flail, I thought to myself. (It is true. I can!)

But then I got to the diet. Well, it's not a diet, you guys, no. It is a Dynamic Eating Plan. And then I saw this: No coffee. NO COFFEE. And my prefrontal cortex immediately shut this down. "No, Pamela," it said. "Just... no." And it was right. It usually is.

And so, I put the DVDs and the workout tracker and the pictures of protruding hipbones in very small scraps of clothing and all the other associated detritus in a drawer, and left them there for 5 months. And I have to say, while they were in that drawer, they made absolutely no change to my body at all. And that was ridiculous. Do you actually have to DO the workouts, not just own them? Dang.

But, you guys, a few days ago I pulled them out and actually started following all of the instructions (except for the no coffee because, come on, I live in reality with two small kids and not a ton of sleep) and it is for serious getting super Kafka-esque in here, just like the title promised. Awwww, yeah.