Sunday, February 26, 2012

Episode 54: Starbucks Sunday

It is a beautiful day today.  The sun is shining, leaving golden streaks of light across the floors, there is soft music playing over the loud speakers and the woosh and swirl of coffee drinks being made fill the air as well as the chatter of my fellow diners.  My keyboard clicks pleasantly, and the cares of my week sort of melt away.  It is Starbucks Sunday, and I sit in my neighborhood Starbucks, typing up a new blog post and enjoying the companionship of AM.

It's funny sitting here, drinking my Grande Skinny Cafe Mocha (which we figured at 4 points) and eating my Noah's Everything Bagel Thin with Garlic Cream Cheese and Lox (7 points), for a satisfying, healthyish breakfast.  AM really fell into my Sunday morning routine pretty quickly, and nearly every other day of the week, is trying to feed me healthy foods like vegetables (gasp!) and fruits (swoon!) and even... even.. some Pho soup, which he makes pretty well! 

The last couple of weeks haven't been entirely good for my diet though.  My birthday came and went with two different chocolate cakes (I totally *don't* recommend the Chewy Fudge Bistro Cake from Safeway if you aren't prepared to die in a decadent chocolate heaven and want to eat the entire thing in one evening... which I did with the help of a few of my friends) and Valentine's Day as well as one of my students selling Girl Scout cookies.  Thin Mints are evil little minions of the diet devils!  AM finally hid the box of cookies for me on the top shelf of our kitchen storage in a place that I can't get to unless I use the foot stool. So, they are safe for now.  

So, we are rededicating ourselves to the idea of tracking points again, reading articles on the Weight Watchers website, and doing Wii Fit and walking to melt off the weight.  It is just as easy to buy and eat healthy food as it is to buy and eat junk food. There is a sign at the Weight Watchers that says "If you don't buy it, you can't eat it" and I was looking at that sign and thinking about how that is so true. If I don't buy the healthy foods, I can't eat healthy foods and get myself better.  If I don't buy the junk foods, I won't eat them because they won't be at my house.  I think that's a fairly good idea.  And with time, I will start to look at the vegetable aisle more than the cookie aisle; I will start to scope out the flavored waters instead of the Monsters; I will make a berry cobbler rather than a whole tray of cinnamon rolls.  I will be a healthier, happier person... and I will love myself more for it.

I have been eating a lot healthier than I was before, and amazingly enough, I am seeing the rewards.  My skin is clearer, my moods aren't fluctuating nearly as rapidly, and I can almost say that my bipolar disorder is a thing of the past.  I still get sad, and I still get happy, but everything seems so much more controllable. 

I am happy... and that is the best thing in the world.  Thank you to all of my friends and family for helping me to take care of myself.  Thanks most to AM who is helping me be a better person.  

Love, lollipops and hugs!


P.S. I do plan on posting more often.  Hopefully I can get back to nearly daily updates.  I have a lot to think about and.. Spring Break in 2 weeks! Woot woot!!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Episode 53: Super Sunday

I am at a loss for words today.  My life has been great lately, and I have nothing to complain about and I haven't been following the WW lifestyle (though I did do some point counting at the beginning of the week), but I didn't do nearly enough and I am sort of glad that I have gone to a  biweekly weigh in.  I have enough motivation to eat right at home, right now.

Today is the Superbowl, and honestly, I couldn't really care.  The only team I care even vaguely about (since I'm not a huge football fan to begin with) got kicked out with the NFC Championship game.  So, I think I will spend my time grading during the Superbowl.. aah.. an old standby.  You will all let me know about the awesome commercials, right? So I can look them up on YouTube later on this week?

Actually, I  love SuperBowl Sunday just for the ads.  They give me a great lesson plan that my students really get into.. they let me show my students the way things are marketed and let them look at how media influences their lives. It's actually a pretty fun lesson plan, if I do it right.

I have been pretty exhausted lately, fighting off an ear infection which has evolved into a sinus infection of some sort.  I could totally go back to bed for a few more hours, eat some sub sandwiches and just sit back and enjoy life.  With the CAHSEE coming up, as well as two three day weekends, and the greatest holiday of all (also known as my birthday), February is going to be a busy month.  I can't afford to be sick!

Ok, so, I'm kind of rambly today, so I will get to the point of the post, which is this picture!  AM and I went to a great Dim Sum place called Fu Yuan (where Louis' Chinese food used to be for those who know Stockton) and we didn't have any Dim Sum! What the heck!  What we did have was a great recommendation from the waitress!  Just a tip, when you go someplace new, completely ignore the menu. Ask the wait staff what is the best food on the menu and order that. You get to try something new, and they usually have great recommendations, and will ask you about your own culinary tastes as well.  So, what you see in the picture is the shrimp dumpling soup, which was the first thing that she recommended. We got ours with Yau Choy (what our waitress called Chinese tender greens), but there were a few vegetable options for the soup.  The broth was tasty, and didn't need any extra salt, and the dumplings were perfectly soft and filled with delicious shrimp.

The next thing that she recommended was Pot Stickers.  She proudly told us that these were handmade in the restaurant, not frozen like many of the area places make, and when we tasted them.. we could taste the love!  These Pot Stickers were filled with tasty meat mixture, folded in a tender wrapper and offered with a very flavorful sauce. Altogether, they were wonderful!  

I did not get my usual Sweet and Sour Pork, but instead tried for fried wontons.  I originally was going to get the thin crispy fried wontons that come with the sweet and sour dipping sauce, but the waitress recommended cream cheese filled wontons. (I asked for half and half, but they couldn't do that, but they wer still yummy!)  Bad for the diet.. so tasty on the tongue!  (Those are the fried triangles you see in the picture.)  The filling was hot and I burned the roof of my mouth a bit, but they were incredibly tasty. Where I had kind of expected a sort of savory, perhaps a bit garlicy taste, the filling was sweet and almost honey tasting.  Once they cooled off a bit, the filling was complimented by the traditional sweet and sour sauce for a delicious dinner pastry.  It was almost desert like!  Very good food!

We finished our meal with something sweet. My companion had asked if they had any black bean cakes, which he described as sort of rice type patties with sweet black paste in the center.  Our waitress brought us sesame balls, which he said were similar, but sticky and round.  As I had had neither before, I didn't have anything to compare it to, but these little balls were delicious (and not shown in the photo).  They were covered in sesame seeds, which made them not sticky to the touch, but the insides were soft, sweet and sticky in the mouth.  The dollop of what I have to assume was black bean paste added an almost raisinlike flavor to it, but without that edge and tongue feel like you get with raisins. (I dislike raisins because they feel like the coat the tongue a bit and the fact that they are desiccated grapes always bothered me).  Tasty little dumplings, these were, and AM and I split the last one.  They were incredibly delicious. 

It was late afternoon when we went for lunch, but the restaurant was deserted, which was unfortunate, since the meals were delicious.  I wondered if there was more of a rush with the dinner hours later, or a lunch rush for the dim sum earlier.  We went at an odd time.  I would hate to think that this wonderful restaurant, with the very nice waitress, would eventually close because they don't get enough business. I didn't try the sweet and sour pork, but the food was excellent (we actually cleaned our plates at a Chinese food place!) and the service was wonderful (probably because we were the only ones there, but still!) 

Food: Totally Five Stars. It was yummy, and well prepared.  I loved it!
Service: Three stars.  She didn't bring us the Dim Sum menu until halfway through our meal, but she didn't push food on us and actually recommended that we not order more, since we had ordered enough for a full meal.  
Cleanliness: Four. They had lovely white tablecloths, but they also had plastic sheets on the table. Easier to clean, but not as classy. It was a nice place to eat though.
Final Rating: Four stars.  Food for 2 was about $29, with a tip, and the food was good quality and very tasty.  If we weren't on a culinary adventure, we would definitely be returning there again and again... if only just to try the Dim Sum!  

I hope your culinary adventures are just as fun! If you have a blog that you think I should read, or that I can put in my blog roll, please leave me a message with the address! I'm always looking for interesting things to add to my reader!

Love and lollipops,

Tory (geez, I'm rambly today) Lynn

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