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Posted on Nov 15, 2011 in Dear Diary, Food | 26 comments

It’s a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad World

I’ve been bad lately. I know, I know, I shouldn’t use terms like “good” and “bad” when it comes to food, since it hearkens back to the days when my relationship with food was, uh, less than stellar. But I’ve got to be honest with you folks (that’s kind of my M.O. here, after all) and while “bad” may not be the best word for it, it sure hasn’t been good. With all the emotional drama of the past couple of weeks, I’ve barely been cooking. And we all know that cooking for ourselves is an integral part of weight loss (and health, in general!) So, y’know. Bad Gretchen.

In order to remedy this, I made a triumphant, if belated, return to the grocery store! And yes, I do realize that for normal, non-crazy, non-lazy people, the act of going to the grocery store isn’t exactly something worth celebrating. Buuuuuut, my blog, my rules. So we’re going to make a big deal of it anyway, goshdarnit! BEHOLD!


Brussels sprouts, apples, limes, a lemon, a red onion, and asparagus. Can you believe that b. sprouts stalk?! Let’s get a closer look at that sucker:


Totally worth the extra dollar and a half I probably paid just for the stalk, haha. It’s kind of hilarious (in a sad way, not an actually funny way) that I always gripe about how much I’m spending at the grocery store for two weeks’ worth of food, when I easily will drop $10 at Chipotle for a single meal. Just another thing I’m continually trying to remedy, friends.

Almond milk, eggs, bacon, and a salmon fillet.

Now, please note that this shopping trip was also done in the wake of yet another dental visit (6 months on the dot!), so I can’t be held fully responsible for some of the things that may have crept their way into my cart.

Pretzel crisps, pita chips, hummus, garlic hummus, and a box of just-in-case Velveeta (kekeke.)

Case in point.

Evaporated milk, pie crust dough, heavy whipping cream.

Though to be fair, something epic is going to be happening with these ingredients (plus two important additional ones that aren’t pictured) this weekend. Any guesses? Prepare thyselves for greatness!

Tofu of the silken, firm, and extra firm variety, and balsamic vinaigrette.

One of the perks of being a blogger, besides the inflation of my ego and getting to meet awesome people I would never have met otherwise, is the awesome amount of coupons that I get my hands on before failing to ever actually use them. So thanks to remembering to actually try to save monies for once, I picked up the above bottle of salad dressing and not one, not two, but THREE cubes/packages/blocks (?) of tofu for FREE! Stay tuned for the amazingness that will be coming out of my recipe box (why does that sound dirty?) utilizing those puppies.


In fact, the dressing has already been used in a red cabbage dish that I made alongside the salmon (prepared in the same way as my dill-icious lemon tilapia recipe!) and some particularly beautiful swiss chard that my sister gave me from her CSA. Yay for finally getting my act together and cooking for myself! I had almost forgotten how much I like doing so!


Recipe for the braised cabbage to come tomorrow!

How do you dig yourself out of a cooking (or lack thereof) rut?

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Posted on May 18, 2011 in Dear Diary, Food | 18 comments

Shopping Trip!

No, unfortunately this was not the superexcitingsometimesdepressingbutmostlyfun kind of shopping trip. Well… maybe some people find grocery shopping fun. But me? Noooo. Grocery shopping, unless you have a buddy, is a draaaag. Good thing I didn’t have THAT much to pick up this trip, huh?

On my way home from work yesterday I stopped by good ol’ Trader Joe’s for a few ingredients. Supplies were running bare in the Gretchen Cupboard, that’s for sure. And yes, that’s right. I have a separate pantry for all my “weird” food so that it doesn’t get mixed up with the roomies’ stuff. Heh.

Aaaanyway, in my grocery bag was…


The carb station: whole wheat spaghetti, Trader Joe’s tortilla chips (with flax and chia seeds!), Ezekial 4:9 sprouted cinnamon raisin bread, and whole wheat pitas.


The fresh station: fresh basil, fresh mozzarella, organic grape tomatoes, and ground turkey breast. I have BIG plans for the first three ingredients in this group, so be sure to stay tuned…


The… round container station? 0% fat plain greek yogurt (my sour cream substitute!), 2 jars of organic marinara sauce, a container of dolmas (stuffed grape leaves–OMNOMNOM), white bean & basil hummus, and fat-free cottage cheese. I know that my sister is probably scoffing at the fact that I got fat-free this and 0% fat that when I lecture her all the time on keeping a short ingredient list but it was between nonfat or 4%! And anyway, let’s be honest, I need all the weight-loss help I can get at this point, right?

And guess what was waiting for me on the front step when I got home, too?

Nut Butter Me Up!

The jars of Justin’s nut butters that I ordered through Kath‘s Open Sky deal a few days ago!


We’ve got honey peanut butter, chocolate hazelnut butter (omggggg), and maple almond butter. I have been seriously missing nut butters in my life – they are perfect for me because I’m definitely a grab-and-go kinda gal when it comes to breakfast, but I need to make sure I have something filling or I’m ravenous by lunchtime (case in point: yesterday.) So a healthily fatty, protein- and fiber-rich nut butter smeared on some kind of whole grain something or other is kind of the epitome of perfection (and y’know, fruit on the side, of course!) I can’t wait to break into these bad boys. Oh, who am I kidding? I didn’t wait…

Hey, what’s life without a nut butter finger or two, huh?

Anyway, all in all it was a very successful shopping trip! And I know, I know, you’re probably thinking, “Girl! Where be yo’ veggies at?!” And believe me, I understand your objection! Tomatoes are a fruit, after all. But fear not, friends. At the farmer’s market on Saturday I picked up a some veggie goodies that will be making appearances in meals to come, so don’t you worry. Besides, I didn’t want to get TOO much perishable stuff, seeing as how it’s a short week for me due to…

FITBLOGGIN‘!! The conference kicks off Thursday night so I’ll be out of the house and up in (hopefully sunny) Baltimore for the weekend! This is my very first blogging conference, and I’m so excited to further my knowledge of nutrition, fitness, and the blogging industry. Most of all, though, I just can’t wait to meet you guys in person! So be sure to let me know if you’ll be there!

Have you ever been to a blog conference before? What should I expect? What should I wear?! I feel like I’m going on a date, haha. I’m so nervously excited!

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Posted on Aug 22, 2010 in Food, Weight Loss | 3 comments


So, as you may have guessed from the title, I went to see Mary Poppins at the Kennedy Center this weekend!

My mom recently came home after spending several months in Houston taking care of my grandmother, so we spent a day as a family (my parents, brother, sister, and me) and went to dinner and the show!

It was super fun, and the production quality was pretty outstanding. The set pieces alone were just fantastic! Plus, I just love, love the Kennedy Center in general. Below is a photo of me on the terrace overlooking the monuments!

As part of our family-filled Saturday, I also spent the morning at the Falls Church Farmers Market with my mom and my sister! I got a pretty good haul – some fresh eggplants, bell peppers, onions, and some new kind of green bean that I forget the name of. Rivancolo or something? Anyway, I’ll post a picture whenever I end up cooking those so maybe you can help me re-identify them.

To update you a little on the week prior to Saturday, Thursday my friend Amanda came over and we made a nice healthy dinner together. It really is more fun to cook with a friend!

We made a raw summer squash salad (yellow squash and zucchini peeled into strips and tossed with some lemon juice, olive oil, salt & pepper), and some steamed broccoli, and took inspiration from fANNEtastic food and did a Balsamic Glazed chicken (marinated a chicken breast in some balsamic vinaigrette and tossed it in a pan – it caramelizes deliciously!) It was extremely satisfying and very healthy, too!

Anyway, weigh-in tomorrow morning (!!) and I know not to expect anything close to the difference in my last weigh-in, I am still hopeful that some progress has been made. Also, it’s been hard due to my ankle and not being able to exercise. I have plans to reattempt Zumba this Wednesday though, and we’ll see if I can do some light gym time tomorrow. So that’s something to look forward to! Well, maybe not “look forward” but… you get the idea, haha. So for now, I’ll leave you with what I consider to be a hilarious picture of my brother’s and my lite grocery trip from this weekend. Note that the groceries on the left are his, and on the right are mine:

Yeah, that pretty much sums up the difference in our nutritional attitudes! 🙂 Until next time, my friends!

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Posted on Aug 12, 2010 in Food | 9 comments

You gotta spend money to make… weight loss?

Hello blogosphere! First off, let me just say thanks to all my new readers and commenters! And thanks to Anne @ fANNEtastic food for sending all of you my way! Everyone is being so supportive and helpful, this is really turning out to be a far less horrible experience than I was initially dreading! 🙂

So for lunch today, I banged out a rockin’ salad at work: spinach and mixed greens, red onion, mandarin oranges, green peppers, avocado, and goat cheese. Delish!

The killer was definitely the poppyseed dressing that I was keeping in the fridge at work from before this whole endeavor. It is REALLY bad. Like 170 calories a serving (which is only 2 tbsp!) and lots of fat. So I only used 1 tablespoon of it and it went quite a long way, which is good I guess, but still pretty bad calorie- and fat-wise. The salad was also really big, since I was trying to use up some ingredients, but overall I consider it to be fairly healthful (maybe less goat cheese next time, and I’ll try to go sans-dressing.)

I went to the gym after work (!!) and did 25 minutes on the elliptical. Yay! I also did a 3 sets of front presses – 12 reps each. Whew! My arms are sure to be sore tomorrow, but it was good. I stopped at Whole Foods on the way home and ended up spending WAAAAAAY too much money (hence the title!) Because I stayed very strict on what I was buying, but I gotta say, healthy food is EXPEN$$$IVE! Got a pretty good haul though:

And I got a huuuuge thing of nonfat Fage greek yogurt, too, only to find out that my roommate had bought the exact same thing earlier today at CostCo. So I guess there will be no shortage of yogurt in this household in the near future! And yup, that’s right: You’re looking at scallops and a piece of wrapped salmon at the bottom right there! Which brings us to the next part of the post… my super delicious and amazing dinner!!

Salmon and scallops and spinach – oh my!

I took some pictures of when I was cooking it as well, but then I realized that it wasn’t anything special, and so didn’t really deserve a recipe post. Basically I just sauteed the spinach with 3 cloves of garlic (a lot of garlic, I know, but yummm), seared the scallops and salmon with a little salt, pepper, and lemon juice all in a little olive oil.

I made double portions of the scallops and salmon, so I have enough for lunch tomorrow, too! Success, I think. I hope. Overall, a pretty good day, and I think it’s been a really great week so far in terms of my goals (it’s always easy in the beginning though!)

Tomorrow will be the real test – we’re having some friends over and my brother invited them all to come for a potluck dinner. So I’m sure there will be tons of delicious and terrible food that will be a challenge to abstain from. I’m pretty worried. What tips do you have for me to hold my resolve through tomorrow night? My sister suggested eating dinner beforehand so I don’t eat anything at the potluck. But I feel like if I eat beforehand I’m just more likely to eat my dinner and then eat MORE at the potluck on top of it, you know? Just because it’s, well, there. Ideas? Please – your input is not only valued, it’s necessary! 🙂

Thanks again for the support, love, and lessons, everyone! Keep ’em coming – I need all the help I can get!

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