Rocked it out! (plus…gazpacho + excess skin)

by Christine on August 11th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates, General Information

Yup, major score. It went great. I was prepared. I had good answers. I think I said the things that she wanted to hear. The job as she described it was different than I imaged; it apparently involves a lot more business development and client management than editing. That’s all good with me. Plus, it involves some really fun travel. She said she just got back from a trade show in Alaska.  Could this be my dream job? Needless to say, I’m totally excited about it, and I definitely look forward to learning more at my in-person interview on Thursday.

I felt so good about the phone interview that I was blasted with some serious energy afterwards!  I dove into the kitchen and tried my hand at making homemade gazpacho. It turned out really yummy, but the recipe needs to be tweaked; it was way more olive oily than I would have liked.  But the soup was close, really close.  I was a little clueless about how to guesstimate the calories. Aside from the olive oil, it’s all fresh veggies, so it must be very low in calories. I blended 3/4 of the veggies in the blender, then put the veggies through a seive and eliminated the pulp, leaving a really light, watery broth. (Delicious, too!)  What are the calories, in say one tomato or one cucumber, if you eliminate all the pulp? The sugar and juice is still there. I can’t figure out if it would still keep a substantial amount of its calories or if it would be substantially reduced in calories; I can make an argument either way. Hmmm. It looks a little something like this, but not quite as chunky and more watery… (EDIT TO ADD: My Ph.D. scientist replied to my question above about the calories in juice-not-pulp. He says that you’d lose half of the calories, if not more, by juicing the fruit/vegetables, even considering the residual sugars. So if a tomato has 30 calories, assume that by juicing in you’re only consuming 15 calories.  Limitations of this analysis: my friend a stem cell researcher and not a dietitian, but he did ask around the hospital for me to ask about this question.)

I’ll post the recipe when I work out the ingredients properly!

Then I went on a cleaning frenzy. I scrubbed my laundry room from top to bottom, until the floor was gleaming and the washer/dryer (oh my, they are so old!!) were sparkling. It felt fantastic to make that room so shiny and new!

Then our honeymooning friends called to say that they were back in town, and did we want to get some ice cream? Hells yes I wanted some ice cream! I went, and I indulged. I had way, WAY more than I should have (I ordered a small and ate it ALL — normally I’d eat a third and stick the leftovers in the freezer), but it was hot out and the ice cream was delicious.  What a treat! Now, I need someone to remind me of this ice cream if, in a week from now, I start bitching about the scale not moving.  No shit sherlock. It might have something to do with your eating choices.  I don’t think it’ll be a major problem, especially if I can make it to the gym tonight, but I also need to take responsibility for my actions and own up to them, you know? In this case it was worth it, but I also don’t indulge like that very often.

Now onto my last point for the day: skin excess.  This is what has been bothering me for the last few weeks. My husband is bothered a lot by my droopy boobs (he brings it up several times a week and tells me he wants me to get plastic surgery on them), but it seems that I’ve been far more pre-occupied by this leg-skin. This isn’t fat people, this is excess skin. I’m THRILLED to have lost almost 90 pounds, and I wouldn’t take it back for anything in the world. But this is one of the consequences that I either need to live with or deal with.  If anyone is out there that has had surgery to tighten up skin…is this “serious” enough that insurance might pay for it, or no? (Sorry everyone…I would have taken a pic of my droopy boobs but I didn’t want to horrify you guys more than I already have.)

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Walking a marathon in NYC…

by Christine on August 9th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates

This weekend a good friend of mine, Peter, and I went to NYC for a relaxing weekend away. We had a hotel reservation and that was it…no plans, no destination, no schedules to adhere to. I love that kind of weekend!  I guesstimated that we walked a marathon over the course of the two days. That’s 2,349 calories burned (walking at a pace of 3.0 MPH)! Poor Pete’s legs were killing him, and my feet were acutely aware that I was on them for two full days. It would have been much, much worse if I were 90 pounds heavier. I remember dreading weekends like this when I was heavier. I knew that no matter what shoes I wore, I would be sore and in blistery and in so much pain.  This trip was so much different. I wore sneakers and although my feet were weary yesterday, I wasn’t in pain. What a great feeling!

On Saturday we checked into our hotel in Midtown, a block from Times Square. We went to check out the new planetarium building. (Pete is an architect, and I used to work for architects, so architecture is one of the commonalities that we both enjoy.)  The new planetarium building isn’t exactly unique (after all, the Apple store is a glass box. And EMPAC at RPI has the suspended/interior theater-in-a-circle thing going on as well) but the building was quite beautiful nonetheless! I bet it’s is amazing lit up at night. I’d love to see the nighttime lighting design sometime.

Afterwards we went to the Guggenheim. I had never been there, and Pete wanted to show me the circular exhibit space inside. It was indeed a really cool floorplan, although the stark, cold whiteness left a little to be desired. Plus, it just kind of felt old and outdated. I didn’t enjoy the art inside — modern/contemporary really isn’t my thing, although they had a nice impressionist exhibit that I liked, but it was a delight to see the building!

We did a lot of walking through Central Park! We walked from one side to the other, then zig-zagged our way down. We saw one of the lakes, the castle, the Bethesda fountain, Strawberry Fields, the Rambles, watched the sunbathers and baseball players in the field, etc. It was a perfect, beautiful day, and we walked for miles and miles!

We “grazed” all day long. We had a short lunch, and I had tomato soup that was so light and delicious! it wasn’t like condensed tomato soup — this was pure and authentic tomato juice, with some cucumbers in it. Unfortunately it lacked calories, so I was starving a few hours later. We found an Italian bistro later, and we had two appetizers: a shrimp dish and some mozerella and tomatos with pesto. Both were delicious!  In the evening we got another fish appetizer, but I didn’t enjoy the fish so I ate a few potato chips. Not healthy, but that’s the way it goes. That was pretty much all I ate all day, but we drank (alcohol) all day long, including a 2-am bender at a few Irish pubs, so I consumed my fair share of calories. It just wasn’t very healthy, you know?

Sunday I wanted to shop a little bit! I had never been to SoHo, so we decided to check it out. I loved Soho! It was a great combination of cute boutique stores and name-brand stores. We went into Hugo Boss and gasped at the $600-for-one-shirt price tags, then dived into a no-name boutique store where shirts were $12. Much more in my price range! I bought some cute headbands with feathers and sparkles, a cheap bracelet, some Lush Karma soap, and two baby presents for my expectant cousin.  I could have shopped more, except that Pete’s legs hurt.  We had lunch at a little bistro and I had the gazpacho soup that was out of this world! I loved it!  We sat for a while in Washington Park and watched the kids play in the fountain. Then we braved the Times Square crowd (there was some Puerto Rican pride parade going on that was INSANE…trying to get our car and get out of there was a nightmare) and headed home.  I doubt I ate more than 400 calories all day yesterday.

On Friday I zoomed up to Lake George (upstate NY) to meet my husband’s company for dinner. My husband works for a great little company. They are small and family-sized, and the boss really cares about the work my hubby puts in. For instance, for Christmas he gave us a 60-something inch plasma TV and a Sonos speaker system w/remote. One day we woke up and boom, there was a ginormous tv! It was just a little bonus, a way to say “thank you” for all my hubby’s work. In the summertime they take a day off to get together, play at the lake house, go for boat rides, etc. This year they did an extreme challenge ropes course (with zip lines, copes course, etc), then played on the lake afterwards. Check it out at Adirondack Extreme Challenge. I can’t wait to try this course myself and see how far I get!

A few short years ago they bought two adjacent properties on Lake George. They tore down the waterfront property and built a house. I don’t want to call it a mansion, but I’d certainly call it a “great house.” It’s in authentic Adirondack style, and it’s absolutely beautiful. My favorite features are the smart windows that know when it’s raining and automatically close; the home theater in the basement with the staggered/elevated seating; the patio area and two-story boathouse and deck; the wood elevator that brings wood logs from the basement up to the fireplace on the first floor; and, oddly enough, the powder room sink that has a hand-carved rock and countertop to look like a running stream. It’s quite beautiful! (The last picture is their neighbor’s house.)

Anyway, I zoomed up north after work and fought the ridiculously bad New Jersey drivers. It took twice as long to get there as it should have. The traffic was awful! However, I still beat them there. I had a cosmo at the bar while I waited. For dinner I got the “queen sized” prime rib. I had about four bites and I was done. I still have 14 ounces or more left over in my fridge!  It was ridiculous! Look at the size of this “King size” prime rib!

Prime Rib

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