Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Staying power

First of all...my new job is not excessively involving - hopefully I'll be able to make good use of the twiddly thumb time and write on my story! (Thanks, Ryan, for the excellent suggestion at discount prices.) It is also my first position at the University of Toronto...and I'm not sure what that says about working for the university. On the other hand, I know the position I WANT (Departmental admin...ideally for an English or Theatre dept, but I'm open to whatever...except maybe business...because I find people who major in business to be entirely too unacademic) is equally demanding and interesting. So here's to making the most of this experience and crossing my fingers for the "real deal" at a later date.

Second of all...my best friend Tina and I have committed to eat healthy, exercise and encourage each other so that we can lose some pounds. Neither of us are our "ideal body weight" and we both love good food...so this shall be a difficult challenge. I've never, ever, EVER tried to diet before...and I don't really want to make this a diet - because diets don't work and they don't last. Instead, I want to gain more knowledge and better eating habits. The knowledge...well that's the "easy" part - the habits...those take practice. The real crunch for both Tina and myself is that we are both on serious budgets. So some of the really good things are just impossible. We can't afford to spend the extra money on whole wheat pasta all the time, etc. Any suggestions for eating healthy on a budget that basically means you're taking carbs and adding to them?

Here are the current dishes I make on a regular basis:
Pasta with red sauce & cheese
Pasta with red sauce, veggies & cheese
Pasta with red sauce, meatballs & cheese
Pasta with red sauce, shrimp & cheese
Steamed rice stir fried with veggies & soy sauce (usual veggies are: green onions, green peppers, garlic...)
Steamed rice stir fried with shrimp & curry (and onions, etc.)
Mashed potatoes with sour cream, chives & bacon
Spinach or red leaf lettuce based salad (sometimes with a cream dressing, sometimes with a vinegar based one...veggies are basically seasonal - sometimes with a poppy seed dressing and mandarin oranges.)
Steamed cauliflower or broccoli
Frozen pizza
Salmon with rice
French toast w/real Canadian maple syrup
Pancakes w/real Canadian maple syrup
Tea, Coffee & Hot Chocolate
Air popped popcorn w/butter, salt & a little pepper

I use real butter, 2% milk and light sour cream. I don't typically like the "fat free" versions of things and I am allergic to aspartame.

So, now I need more "healthy" ways to cook these things...or other things that I can cook (some things I can't make because of limitations on pans, etc as I had to leave much at home when we came to Canada) on a budget of both time & money.

But, really, I think the best and biggest motivator for me will be the knowledge that I'm responsible to Tina and she's responsible to me. We're coming from a similar place in life and in appetite (why I couldn't do this with my mom!) and we're going the distance.

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