It Makes You Cry

I’ve been struggling to lose the last of my baby weight. You see, right before I got pregnant I lost 20 pounds. It was a glorious time, and I was all set to continue down the health path. Then my husband knocked me up and I became a typically ravenous pregnant woman. I gained 65 pounds during my pregnancy. It wasn’t too difficult to lose 45 pounds of that weight in the past 10 months, but that’s where I’m stalled. Right where i was before I lost weight in the first place. The weight I sat at for years. Ugh.

So I joined the YMCA, I’ve been using their gym and pool. I feel healthier and stronger, but still not any thinner. I should be more particular about what I eat, but it’s tough because I love food. I worked out this morning then ate waffles and bacon for dinner. It was counterproductive in the most delicious way. Anyway, this comic is hanging on the lockers above the scale in the women’s locker room. It made me giggle (not cry), so I thought I would share.

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I Am Not A Vegan

Let’s get one thing straight: I am not a vegan. I’m not even a vegetarian. I love meat, and I have no intention of removing it from my life. Especially since it’s been just over a year since I started enjoying seafood and I still have a lot of things to try.

That being said, I bought myself a vegan cookbook. It seemed like the easiest solution for simply creating dairy-free dishes that my whole family can enjoy while I’m abstaining from dairy for the duration of the breastfeeding. You know the wonderful thing about cooking from a vegan cookbook when you’re not actually vegan? The freedom to incorporate meat or animal products into any recipe you’d like. For real, people. If someone goes through all of the extra trouble it takes to make a delicious complete meal without meat, adding meat really takes it over the top.

Anyway, I’ve found a vegan cookbook that I really like. My whole family enjoys the dishes I make from this book. Especially when I add meat. If you’re vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian, or just a regular meat-eating foodie, check out Appetite For Reduction. I love it, and in the next few months

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CSA Disappointment

This year we participated in our first CSA. It was a vegetable CSA, though we also got eggs. Overall, it was a whopping disappointment. Before it began I would spend roughly $30/week at our produce store. After it began I spent around $25/week. Our CSA cost 460, and lasted for 20 weeks. I’ll do the math for you, that’s $23/week. While I was happy to get organic produce, and thrilled to support our local agriculture, this just really didn’t work for me. I got too many ingredients which I had no use for and a lot of the produce was bland. The real eye-opener was when my own green bean plants were producing dozens of delicious beans and i got a small handful of mediocre beans as part of my haul from the farm. If I could grow tastier produce, with my minimal gardening experience, what was I paying for? Also, being on a rather strict budget, I was very disappointed that I wasn’t able to save much money on my weekly grocery trips after having made what I felt to be a sizable investment.

We picked the least expensive CSA around. It was close to home and $300 less

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Chunky Pasta Sauce For Cheaters

I like my pasta sauce chunky. Mighty chunky. Chunkier than any jarred sauce could ever provide, yet I’m too lazy and pressed for time to start completely from scratch. My sauce is a hybrid, using fresh ingredients to bulk up a good store-bought jar of sauce. On this particular day I forgot to buy mushrooms, which was disappointing. Don’t be like me. Use mushrooms.

Chop up 2 sweet bell peppers.

And a few tomatoes. This is 6 Roma tomatoes.

Make sure you have some basil. Basil brightens up the whole dish.

Saute the peppers and maybe some onion in about 1 tablespoon of olive oil, until they brown and soften a bit. Add some garlic in there, too. I didn’t because I was using a sauce that started pretty garlicky. While they’re cooking, brown some ground beef if you’re into meat sauce. I am very into meat sauce, so I use 1-1.5 pounds per jar of sauce.

Add your tomatoes and basil.

Cook over medium heat until the tomatoes break down most of the way.

Grab your sauce…

And pour it in. If you’re using meat, add it now.

Cook the sauce for a few minutes to get it nice

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Fruit Salad

I know, I know. You’re thinking, “Fruit salad? Who blogs about fruit salad?” Well, I do. Why? Because I’m a picky snooty bitch about my fruit salad. I’m very opinionated. In my opinion, there is no place for apples in a fruit salad. Nor pears. Some other things that don’t belong in fruit salad? Bananas. Oranges. Most grapes. I’m sure plenty of people would disagree with me, but I’ve never had a complaint about my fruit salad, and in fact I get raves.

It all starts with the strawberry. This salad is easily half strawberries, mostly because I had so many of them in my fridge. It’s berry season and I really can’t get enough of them. I cut the tops off and slice them into heart shapes.

Then there’s a bunch of blueberries.

Cherries are a great addition. But what about the pit?

This cherry pitter is tits. Seriously, it’s one of my favorite and most-used kitchen utensils all summer long. If you don’t have a cherry pitter, you should get one. It’s an awesome tool that I would never want to be without.

It makes the task of removing pits from cherries simple and fast, and makes

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Dairy-Free

Before going dairy-free I thought my only real option would be soy everything, which is not something I was willing to do. Soy is a phytoestrogen, and can cause hormonal problems. In fact, some doctors recommend that menopausal women drink soy milk for its hormonal effects. I am leary of messing with hormones, which is why I will never take birth control pills. I’m especially wary of soy while I’m nursing my daughter. She’s doesn’t need an estrogen boost at just 9 weeks old.

When I learned that my daughter was sensitive to milk proteins and that I was going to have to go dairy-free, I basically decided that I would simply go without things rather than find some strange tasting alternative. I’ve had soy milk before, and it was not good. It was sweet and grainy and nothing at all like milk. Rice milk seems to only come in some sweetened form, and almond milk just sounded odd to me. Vegan cheese is just about the grossest thing ever. Margarine, while cholesterol free, is nasty stuff and is nothing at all like butter.

It’s been almost 2 weeks, and I was missing coffee even more than I was missing

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