Friday, November 30, 2012

The Glass is Half Empty....And so is my Wine Bottle

...Actually, the wine bottle is totally empty.  Along with my hopes of getting down to my goal weight and transforming into my teeniest, tiniest self via Tracy Anderson's Dance Cardio and Metamorphosis workouts. 

It's been the worst week I've had in a long time, lovelies.  And I mean, baaaaaaaaad.  Pour me another (or third) glass of wine and hand me a Vicodin kinda bad. 

Minutes after leaving work last Wednesday for the Thanksgiving holiday, I was at a complete stop on the highway in traffic, when a truck-- towing another truck-- came barreling into me from behind.  My car was totaled and my left knee got majorly effed up.  The ER doc told me to make an appointment with an orthopedist ASAP.  I was expecting the diagnosis of a torn ACL which surgery can fix pretty quickly.  But it's worse....

I have articular cartilage damage under my kneecap from the impact.  Surgery very rarely can repair cartilage and the body does not regenerate new cartilage or heal old cartilage easily.  "A lifetime of pain" is how the ortho explained it.  Awesome.

I am absolutely beside myself...I've cried. I've cursed the universe. Then I cried more when I had to pull out my Size 12 pants this week.  New meaning to putting on my "big girl" pants to deal.  FUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK.

I had been making such great progress with my weight loss and my workouts!  I did my dance cardio and Meta religously on my vacae and didn't make a complete pig of myself daily, despite the utter insanity of delish that found it's way onto my plate EVERY night. 

Right now, my anxiety is through the fucking roof--  a week and counting of no workouts, not to mention extreme discomfort, waking up every hour on the hour and hobbling around the TV station in a big ass knee brace with crutches...and, well, a BIG ASS.

I know I'm sounding like a Drama Queen, but the Mistress of Mishaps is having a moment.  Forgive me.

Thank you to all of my friends-- real and online-- who have reached out with positivity and advice and good energy.  Keep it coming.  I need all I can get! Despite my Negative Nancy rant above, I truly refuse to let myself wallow in a carb and wine induced pit of despair.  The only thing that did for me this week was pack on 6 pounds.  (Thus, the size 12 pants.)'s my plan for now.  LAWD....

I'm already working with an excellent attorney who expects a sizeable settlement in my near future.  Although I would give every cent of that big check to just have my knee working normally again. 

Usually swimming is a good option for injuries like this-- but the articular cartilage damage is under my kneecap, which is actually aggravated by the kicking motion of swimming, so that's out.  Fortunately, Bikram Yoga is apparently great for this type of injury.  The founder of Bikram Yoga, Bikram Choudhury, healed a debilitating knee injury with regular practice, which makes me feel encouraged.
Long before I discovered TAM, I practiced Bikram and loved it.  I gave it up when I found Miss Anderson, but have missed it the last few years, so perhaps this will be a positive thing, returning to the hot box! (For those of you who don't know, Bikram is the most popular form of hot yoga-- practiced in a room that's around 105 degrees for 90 minutes.  Sweating your ass off is an understatement.)

As far as diet, well, I've been rather unmotivated in the kitchen, as you can imagine.  Badmuthafucka has taken it upon himself to help me out, bless his heart.  I sent him to the grocery store to pick something up that he can prepare without my help and he came back with wine, blue cheese, mushrooms, onions and rib eye steaks.  "It's the only thing I can cook, baby."  It was divine.

Now that I'm getting zero calorie burn from exercise, I have to be vigilant about eating clean.  I'm making green smoothies daily and trying not to snack.  I know I need to give the wine up again, but it's been the one thing that has relaxed me at the end of painful, uncomfortable days at work.  Thank God they're only shooting my on-camera work from the waist up!  (Hides the leg brace and the ass-- BONUS!)
I know I've promised you all recipes, and I WILL post them soon....
In the meantime, Mistress of Misery, here, *sniff, sniff* is only too happy to receive your love and affection....(or a gift basket with wine and cheese would be fine. The glass is half empty?  The glass is half full?  Whatev.  Just pour me another glass. Oh wait, that's not helping with the ass factor.  Nevermind.)


The Mistress


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Plate Lickin' and Lip Smackin' My Way Through Paradise...

Member of the Clean Plate Club...EVERY night.

This picture pretty much sums up my culinary experience here in beautiful Hawaii!  Jess, my Hostess with the Mostess Mah-velous meals turned me into The Mistress of Plate Lickin' and Lip Smackin'.  In fact, the gutteral sounds elicited from my inner foodie sounded like a combo of Deliverance Meets Debbie Does Dallas.  Cover your children's ears, Puleeze.

WARNING: Vegetarians may be converted to bone sucking carnivores... (Life is better with bacon, people, just sayin'.)

Check out the GORG beer braised baby back ribs drenched in a sticky sweet and spicy homemade BBQ sauce....served with a combo of Yukon gold and sweet potatoes mashed with caramelized onions, creamed spinach, bacon and just a touch of goat cheese.  Food-gasm, anyone????


Notice the plate on the left with twice as many bones and the emptied bottle of wine....That would be, moi.  

Get in my mouth, RAWT NAW!

I just did an episode for Georgia Traveler about the best BBQ in Georgia (my segment starts about 10:30)....and my girl Jess wins, sticky HANDS DOWN!

With all this gnawin' and noshin'-- I have been especially vigilant about doing my workouts.  EVERY. DAY.  Seriously!  I knocked out Meta Level 6 and Dance Cardio '08 Every. Single. Day.  (Well, one day I did Meta cardio.)  Jess' patio was the perfect outdoor workout studio!  Here's the proof-- I snapped this yesterday after dance cardio-- excuse the window distortion!

One thing that's helped with my muscular structure work is to write down the leg moves and then do them on my own.  I do 30 reps and combined with the abs/arms, it takes 45-50 minutes.  A bit longer than the 30 minute video, but I find I get better results when I can just concentrate on the moves and not continually looking up at the screen.  Tracy Anderson even admits she's not good at counting reps on each side, so the consistency of 30 reps works better for me. (And I think I'm seeing faster results!)

I have promised recipes--- and I plan on posting them over the next week....Here is a teaser of pics:

Turkey Florentine Meatballs with a Walnut Sage Pesto Topped with Asiago Cheese Sauce

Raw Walnut "Meat" Tacos in Cabbage Shells with Fresh Pico de Gallo, Tomatillo Salsa and a Nut Cheese Duo: "Dorito cheese and Creamy Chipotle Cheese"

Thai Coconut Shrimp over Rice Noodles with a Mango Basil Salsa

Homemade Dark Chocolate Dipped Pecan Pie Balls (Made with a Gluten Free Crust)

Multiple Food-gams, anyone?


The Mistress


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Few of my New Favorite Things...

Look closely and you can see a bride and groom just after saying their vows!

Beyond the absolute paradise that is EVERY moment here in Hawaii, I am gleaning new and fabulous insight from Jess about all things domestic.  Girlfriend not only throws down in the kitchen, she keeps the most spotless, organized house I have ever seen.  (That's with 2 kids, mind you-- including a very precocious toddler who is into everything!)

Now, for those of you who've been following my blog for some time, Mistress of Messy here, has a bit of a problem, um, keeping house.  I'm so untalented in domestic duties, that Badmuthafucka actually begged me to stop doing his laundry because I was turning all of his white wifebeaters various shades of pink.  Not a good look for BMF, by the way.  My mother once said, "Sweetheart, it's a good thing you're such a good cook, because your house keeping skills would drive any man out the door!"

So, I've taken the opportunity to ask Jess about how she gets-- and stays-- ORGANIZED.  She also has a ton of nifty little tricks-- from the best smelling laundry to the perfect soap that will clean your veggies and your makeup brushes.

Let's start with laundry:

RULE #1: NEVER dry on high.  Little Miss Impatient that I am, has never used any other setting!!!  No wonder I shrink and pill every piece of clothing I own.

RULE #2: Put 3 tennis balls in the dryer with pillows and comforters.  The balls will fluff the pillows and linens!

RULE #3:  ALL Free and Clear + Ultra Downy (April Fresh or Clean Breeze scents) + Downy Unstoppables Scent Boosters = The Best Damn Smelling Laundry EVER.

I have been burying my nose into my shirts like a motorboating sonuvabitch ever since Jess did a load of my laundry with her magic combo!

Jess also organizes everything into these neat little baskets so there's no clutter in the laundry room.  She even made this bad ass little curtain to hide the hole in the wall where the utility plugs go by using hem tape on some cute fabric.  Martha Stewart should take some notes-- seriously cute craftiness going on.

We've been starting our mornings with the decadent coffee I described earlier this week, with one heaping Tablespoon of sweetened condensed milk, also known as, sweet, creamy, delicious goodness in my mouth rought naw.  After the coffee has kicked in, Jess has been making us smoothies.  OOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEEEMMMMMMMMMMGGGGGGEEEEEEEEEEE.

I have been having majah Vitamix LUST.

Here are some of her divine smoothie recipes which make between 2-4 servings.  Just add some ice and blend.  You can put the leftovers in the fridge for the next morning, by the way:

Goshdernitsgood Green Smoothie (pictured above)
3-4 cups spinach
handful of parsley (no stems)
1 1/2 inch slice of pineapple
1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries
1 banana
1 apple
1/2 English cucumber
1 Tb chia seeds

Blueberry Pear Perfection
1 1/2 - 2 cups frozen blueberries
2 pears
2 bananas
3-4 cups spinach
1 Tb. chia seeds
1 tsp spirulina powder
1 cup coconut water

Mango Coconut Paradise (my FAVE so far!)
3-4 cups spinach
2 cups frozen mangos
1 banana
1 tsp spirulina powder
1 cup coconut milk from the can
1/2 cup coconut water
1/4 tsp cayenne

I've never had Spirulina before but it's good for the pooper, has ideal anti-aging benefits and you can't even taste it in the smoothies.  I'm stocking up on this before I leave!

Here are some other tips from my new fave Domestic Goddess:

1. Put Castille soap in a foamer pump and use it to clean fruit, veggies and your makeup brushes.

2. For those of you on the Apple Cider Vinegar kick, fill up a water bottle with filtered water, add 2 Tb. ACV, a packet of stevia and 2 Tb chia seeds.  The stevia makes the ACV palatable, and the chia seeds expand, so it's kind of like tapioca when you drink it--- and it keeps you super full.  OK, so it kinda looks like you're drinking a bottle of dead bugs when the seeds expand, but who cares if you're not hungry 2 hours later!

3. Need a gluten-free substitution for regular flour when you're baking?  Use quinoa flour!

4. Fastest, yummiest scrambled egg ever:  Beat one egg and put in a microwaveable container (uncovered) with a little pad of real butter.  Microwave on high for 30 seconds, stir, then microwave for another 25 seconds.  Fluffy, eggy perfection.

And I haven't even gotten to our dinner collaborations yet.....Holy Shnikes.  Ya'll are in for a treat when I post our recipes later this week.  Serious, mouthwatering, fabulousness.


The Mistress


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Aloha! My Own Personal Hawaii Detox...

Greetings from Paradise!

I am currently enjoying the best vacae of my life in the most beautiful place I've been to on Earth....visiting with my 'sistah from anotha' mistah!'  My besty Jess is someone who started commenting on my blog months ago during my cleanse-- and since then we started texting daily-- sharing recipes, videos of her adorable kids and inducing fits of long distance giggles with snarky, sassy comments!  Fast forward to a few weeks ago, her incredible hubby decided that the perfect birthday gift for Jess was a round-trip ticket for ME to come visit her IN HAWAII-- when does that happen???

You should have seen us meeting at the airport for the first time when she came to come pick me up.  We were jumping up and down like school girls!  Her son summed it up when we finally got into the car:  "YAY FRIENDSHIP!"  Yay friendship, indeed!!

We have 9 incredible days to spend together and after 2 full days, I am soaking it all in-- from Jess' scrumptious smoothies (frozen blueberries, pear, banana, chia seeds, coconut water and spirulina) to some of the most gorgeous views on Earth of the Pacific.  Mistress of Mucho Vino here, hasn't even been boozing at all-- and I'm not even missing it.  We have been eating super healthy-- aside from one indulgence at a local joint called Maui Mike's-- see evidence of the carnage below....BEST dang rotisserie chicken I've ever had.

Carnage from Maui Mike's Rotisserie Chicken Platters

Jess has also introduced me to the most luscious coffee I've ever experienced....Dulce de leche meets Java....ooooooooohhhhhhhhhheeeeeeeeeeeeemmmmmmmmmmggggggggggggeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. She stirs sweetened condensed milk into coffee. I will never buy Irish creamer again.  Jess' coffee actually has fewer calories because you only need 1 tablespoon to turn regular Joe into "Te Quiero Jose, para siempre!"  (I love you Joe, forevah!!!)

Dulce de Leche DE DELISH
Our days have been so packed, we haven't even really thrown down in the kitchen yet--  so stay tuned for brilliant collaboration from two of the best cooks I know, LOL!

And in the midst of the funnest slumber party evah...(she's turned me on to American Horror Story-- we're both huge horror movie fans!) I have gotten a workout in every single day!  We took our yoga mats outside yesterday and did our Meta MS work-- then I rocked out Dance Cardio '08 and I'm feeling nice and sore this morning.

We're heading to the beach today so my white ass can begin transformation into a bronzed Goddess by the time I fly home and start my new job at CBS....


Mistress of Maui


Monday, October 29, 2012

Bubble of Bliss and Bodacious Stuff Going On...

Have you ever had a moment when every single thing in your life was going JUST according to plan?  I feel like I've been floating in a very delicate bubble of perfection and the second I start blabbing about it on the blog, the bubble will burst and my reality won't seem so fabulous.  That of course, is a ridiculous fear, because todo es bueno en el mundo de la mistress (everything is good in the Mistress' world, for all ya'll non-spanglish speakin' folks!)

It's SOOOO good, that I, of course, will now blab to all of you lovelies and brag on my life for a minute or two:

1. I'm starting a new job with CBS Atlanta

Quite unexpectedly, I was contacted by the TV station I worked at when I first came to Atlanta about an on-air opportunity...turns out, it's a great fit for me and I'm starting with them on 11/19!  It will be an incredible boost from my radio salary and I still have so many friends at the station that it feels like coming home....I'm psyched!

2. I'm shooting a cooking show pilot for Georgia Public Broadcasting

How many times does the head of your company ask you what your dream job is?  Well, that actually happened to me a few weeks back when I scheduled a meeting with the lady who runs the whole joint. I responded with, "Hosting my own cooking show."  Unbelievably, she suggested that I come up with a cooking show concept for GPB and run with it-- giving me all of the resources I need to make that happen.  Not only is this incredible lady (who shall remain nameless!) giving me the opportunity of a lifetime, but despite the fact that I'm leaving the radio side of GPB, she wants me to continue putting together the cooking show pilot. AND she also asked me to be a part of a new political round table show they're putting together.  AND I'll continue co-hosting the TV show Georgia Traveler. Count 'em....1, 2, 3, 4.  That's 4 TV gigs! I'm beside myself, I'm so ecstatic!

The cooking show concept I'm working on is a farm-to-table styled show where in each episode, I travel to several Georgia farms, meet with the farmers in the fields to talk about their harvest, collect the fresh "Georgia Grown" ingredients, and then cook up a bad ass meal in the farmhouse kitchen....I'm still working out the details of the format, but I'm planning to end each episode with me serving the meal to the farmers and their families who contributed the fresh ingredients.  It's a conservative, older audience who watches GPB, so I think that fits in well with the demographic, while also allowing me to interact with people and show my personality (and my majah culinary skills, of course!)  I personally hate watching cooking shows where it's just a chef cooking in a sterile kitchen.  I need other people's energy to vibe off of!

More details to come...Over the next month, I'm shooting a 3 minute sizzle reel to highlight the show concept!  SUPER's hard to believe I'm so close to achieving my cooking show dream!

3. I'm going to Hawaii to meet one of my favorite people in the world!

Yup.  The Mistress is Hawaii bound!  The 10 days before I start my new job at CBS, I'll be relaxing in the tropics, haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!  One of my besties in the online world, (we've never met in person) is someone I text back and forth with every single day...We share recipes, videos of her kids, you name it, we're discussing it...but due to the fact that, um, 4,500 miles separate us, we haven't exactly been able to grab coffee together. Her incredible husband surprised her by buying me a round trip ticket!  I am beyond thrilled!  We're going to do our TAM workouts, cook up a storm, drink some wine, hang with her kids and finally meet in person!

All of this came together in the span of a week.  No joke.  I feel like I'm about to sprout wings and fly!!!

I'm seriously pinching myself.  Is this my life???? FINALLY....

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Interview with Easy Tasty Clean Cookbook Author Janice Cumberlidge

Janice Cumberlidge with her new cookbook, "Easy Tasty Clean"

Cookbook author, Janice Cumberlidge shares her clean eating journey in her new cookbook, "Easy Tasty Clean," and is now offering the Mistress and all ya'll some insight into an Easy Tasty Clean lifestyle!  

You can check out her website and purchase her e-book....take it from Mistress of Mah-velous Meals, it's my new Go-To cookbook for healthy recipes!

What inspired you to write Easy Tasty Clean?
My desire to write "Easy Tasty Clean" arose for two main reasons. The first was that I wanted to make clean eating more exciting to people who thought that eating clean meant consuming dozens of egg whites, oats, plain chicken and a heap of broccoli every day. When you look at meal plans that bodybuilders are using, these ingredients feature highly, but to be clean I knew it didn't have to be tasteless. Secondly, I wanted to create a resource that not only had many clean eating recipes in one place, but also provided a little education about nutrition in general and also gave some insights into the ingredients I use in the book, so people know what all these healthy food items are and why they might be beneficial to their bodies when consumed. I felt that people WANTED to eat clean but they just didn't quite know HOW to put everything together, so that's where the ideas behind "Easy Tasty Clean" came from.

Can you talk a little about your personal weight loss/fitness journey?
I suppose I've always been interested in food, I mean, I LOVE food. I've never been an overeater but my weight has crept upwards a couple of times when I've probably been indulging in the wrong types of food a little too often. It happens when you meet someone and you're happy doesn't it?! Having said that, the most I've weighed is one stone heavier than I am now, but on my small frame (5 ft. 2") a stone can look like a lot more!

It was only in my 30's when food & diet came more to the forefront as I started having issues with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). I would get terrible lower abdominal throbbing pains that often left me totally incapacitated for half an hour, and would linger for up to 24 hours. It was like having someone give me a Chinese burn but on the inside. My friend said it sounded just like the contractions of childbirth. It sure felt like it! 

So from that point, having learned that eating the wrong type of diet can cause IBS, I became more conscious of what I was putting in my mouth. I first started to change it by having one of those little probiotic drinks every day, and making fresh juices in my shiny new juicer. I knew certain foods would set off my symptoms more than others but even with the new regime and eliminating some of the foods I thought were triggers (such as pasta and bread), this didn't stop it. What I needed was a complete diet overhaul but I just didn't know it. I lived with a permanent packet of anti-spasm / muscle relaxant tablets in my bag for around 8 years. 

At around 38 I also found out I had an under-active thyroid, which might’ve explained some of the tiredness and weight issues I’d had for the past few months. I started taking daily tablets to improve my symptoms and slowly I felt human again. I lost the extra few pounds I’d put on too, however I was still a prime example of ‘skinny fat’ and still had the IBS issues.

In my late 30's I became more interested in exercise again, and started a home DVD program (Tracy Anderson Method). I didn't do the diet that came along with the program as I've never been into diets, but after finding 'Oxygen' and 'Clean Eating' magazines online, my interest in this concept of 'clean eating' grew, and I challenged 5 friends to eat clean with me, just for 3 weeks. So we swapped white, refined items such as bread and pasta for their wholemeal counterparts, we avoided processed meals, cut out added salt & sugar, and gave up all chocolate, sweets and alcohol. And surprise, surprise, after just 10 days of this I was down 4 lbs, which seemed like a miracle as I'd been the same weight give or take a pound for around 15 years (apart from the couple of periods of a few months I mentioned earlier)!

So with this newfound motivation and enthusiasm, I took these habits forward and continued to eat more and more clean foods, and learn as much as I could about this healthy new lifestyle. And guess what also happened? The IBS subsided so that I was no longer living in fear of an attack, and I could start to relax about it more. After a few months I was virtually pain free and today I rarely get any IBS issues at all, but if I do I can pinpoint it to one of the foods I ate in the last 8-12 hours. For me my only triggers now are very dry (acidic) white wine and high fat cheese, none of which feature very often in my diet in any major quantities anyway.

While improving my diet I also continued to exercise 5-6 times per week, which I believe also helped ease my IBS symptoms. On Facebook I later met Nancy Reinhardt, who had transformed herself from 200 lb mom of 5 with degenerating discs into the fit & healthy woman I saw in front of me, and I was in awe of her. We got chatting and she persuaded me that moving from a home DVD program to lifting weights would help me improve my body even further. And sure enough, within a few months of beginning my weights program with an even better standard of clean eating, I was down 2 dress sizes. In doing this, my weight still stayed around the same point, proving that muscle gives you better shape than the shallow fatty layer I’d been carrying around for years. Things had tucked in and shaped up and I was happy with what I saw, happier than I’d been in a long time. And the best bit, I was now buying clothes 2 sizes smaller! At first I was convinced the shops has re-evaluated their sizing charts but in shop after shop I could now fit into clothes that felt and looked good on me. I only wish I'd discovered clean eating and regular exercise in my 20's!!!

More improvements in my body have actually come whilst writing “Easy Tasty Clean” and in the month or so afterwards. Due to cooking and photographing every single recipe for the book at least once, this ‘forced’ me to eat clean in a way that previously didn’t have the same motivation or structure. I lost another 4 lbs whilst writing the book and it has stayed off since. I’m actually now looking at providing meal plans based around the recipes in the book, so that other people can easily see that if they eat what I suggest, then they too can make things. I think people sometimes need to be spoon fed before they’ll do something, so if I can say, “Look, eating this and this will help you with your weight issues”, then as long as they stick to the plan then it WILL work! I’m excited to finish this little extra project that has been on my mind since the book was released. These meal plans will all be a free resource but obviously you’ll need a copy of the book to get the recipes from.

What kind of advice can you give to those of us who are super busy and often find that in a time crunch, we don't make healthy decisions regarding food?
Everyone CAN make healthy decisions on what to put into their mouths, time constrained or not! No one forces you to grab that bar of chocolate or eat those fries!!! It’s all about your mindset but there are two main keys to helping yourself succeed at this and the first is preparation. If you pre-make meals in bulk and freeze them, and if you make a healthy 'cake' or your own fruit & nut bars once or twice a week, you will always have something to grab even if you only have 5 minutes to spare. People say they don't have time to make healthy food all the time but if you make healthy food SOME of the time, why not just make MORE of it and freeze some or refrigerate it for later? I regularly cook twice as much dinner in the evenings than I need so I can take the rest to work the next day. I also bake a 'cake' at the start of the week, which will also provide one of my snacks every day at work too.

The second key to not making the wrong choices is to just not have the wrong choices available to you in the cupboards! We trick ourselves into thinking, well, just one won't hurt, I'm in a rush, I'll get something better later, but the truth is we are kidding ourselves and no one can make these choices for us. Just don't have the bad stuff around and you're a lot less likely to eat it! And if you're out and about, the least you should do is take a piece of fruit and/or some nuts with you, just in case you're out longer than planned and are in danger of snacking on the wrong things. I don't mean to sound harsh but we are our own worst enemies and we have to take responsibility for our decisions, we're big girls & boys now!!!

Some of your recipes include chia seeds, which have been recently touted on Dr. Oz' show.  Why is it important to incorporate them into our diet?
I love chia seeds! They're natures little miracle seeds, full of proteins and Omega-3 essential fatty acids, and pound for pound they provide twice as much protein as any other seed and up to ten times the amount of healthy fats!

When you put chia seeds into water, they absorb up to 10 times their own weight in water, producing what is known as 'chia gel', a jellified liquid that you can add to cakes instead of butter, or use in your smoothies to make them extra thick & delicious! The seeds hold so much water that they are the perfect companion for the digestion process, easing the way through the intestines for the rest of our foods, and holding onto water and nutrients to make sure we absorb the most goodness from our foods and ensure we're not constipated too. 

Chia seeds are an all round winning ingredient. I think everyone should try to add a tablespoon of them to their daily intake - add them into porridge, smoothies, yogurt etc. You won't know they're there but you will reap the benefits.

Many people cut out carbs when they're trying to lose weight, but your breakfast recipes often include complex carbs, like quinoa and oats.  What is the benefit of adding complex carbs into our first meal of the day?
First of all no one should cut out carbs completely, without them your body will NOT function properly, you will find yourself tired, irritable and unable to think straight, and guess what this will lead to… energy slumps mid-morning/mid-afternoon and poor food choices for the rest of the day because your body is craving a quick fix of energy, i.e. sugary snacks. 

The best way to avoid this self-inflicted cycle is to give your body what it needs when you start the day. When you've been asleep and not eaten for 7 hours or more, your body has gone into 'fasting' mode, and to break that fast you need to give it exactly what it needs, in order to get the most back from it later. Complex carbohydrates such as oats or quinoa break down more slowly during digestion, which keeps our blood sugar levels on a more even keel and reduces our risk of developing diabetes. Oats are a great added to your morning meal because of the amount of soluble fibre they contain, which helps to keep our intestines hydrated, lowers cholesterol levels in the blood and avoids insulin spikes that simple sugars would instigate. 

Complex carbohydrates provide the body with stored energy, as opposed to the instant one-off energy hit of sugary snacks. This means that you're less likely to get an energy slump later in the day if you fuel yourself up with complex carbohydrates earlier on in the day. This stored energy is accessible by the body for 24 hours and then will expire. If you do some sort of exercise during the day, you will have some of this stored energy to get you through it so no need for that high-sugar energy drink on the way to the gym! If you want to restrict carbohydrates at all because you feel you can manage your weight better without them, I would suggest only leaving them out of your evening meal, but definitely not your breakfast! This is the time to replace the energy you used or lost since yesterday, to start a fresh!

What are the benefits of using coconut oil to cook with, as opposed to olive, canola or vegetable oil?
Coconut oil is another of my favourite ingredients, not only for it's subtle and creamy coconut flavour but also for its amazing properties and health benefits. For a start, coconut oil has a very high smoke point, so we can safely cook food in it without the oil breaking down and causing free radicals to form, which are thought to cause ageing. The other benefit of using coconut oil is its structure, it is made from Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT), so although coconut oil is technically a saturated fat, it behaves differently once consumed than other saturated fats because of this MCT structure. The great thing about this is that is immediately turned into energy by our liver, rather being stored as fat in our cells. Coconut oil is actually said to help LOWER cholesterol levels and therefore we have no extra risk of heart disease when using this oil. However, we mustn't forget that coconut oil is a fat, and therefore has a certain amount of calories associated with it, so use it in small amounts when cooking and you will gain the health benefits and can still watch your weight.

Other benefits of coconut oil include use as a hair conditioner, as an all-over moisturizer, as toothpaste and to soften hard skin!

Each of your recipes includes a breakdown of carbs to protein to fat.  What ratio is healthiest?
That's a difficult one to answer, as there are so many schools of thought about what the 'correct' ratios are. In the UK the national guidelines are to eat approximately 60% carbohydrates, 20% protein and 20% fat. In bodybuilding or fitness circles you may find those macros nearer to 40% carbohydrate, 40% protein and 20% fat. What is for sure is that all three of these are essential items in our diet. We need carbohydrates to give us energy and sustain us throughout the day, protein to build and maintain not only our muscles but also our hair, skin, nails and digestive system, and we need fat to ensure we are able to absorb certain vitamins, to stop inflammation in the body, to prevent skin conditions such as eczema and to give us lovely shiny hair! 

In the book I provide the macronutrient breakdown for every recipe, so you know exactly how much of everything you are consuming. It’s always best to check with a doctor or registered dietician or nutritionist if you’re not sure what are the right proportions for yourself. Everyone is different and there’s no one-size-fits-all here, only guidelines.

What are some easy meal suggestions to pack for work each day?  Salads get soooo boring!
First of all, I don’t think salad has to be boring! I know what you're saying, you get sick of seeing those leaves peeping up at you every day. But what if salad didn't just mean the same old leaves with a bit of dressing thrown over them? What if we broaden our ideas of what salad contains to include multiple vegetables, for example roasted in balsamic vinegar. And what about adding some beans? A can of 4-bean mix in water is a great option and can be used for other meals once opened too. Or how about tossing in a few nuts & seeds for extra crunch, added protein and healthy fats? Or maybe add a few wholemeal pasta shapes? And then there's the dressing. You can create some really tasty and healthy dressings just using a few simple ingredients. Always try to use oil + acid + flavour in the ratio 3:1:1, such as extra virgin olive oil + balsamic vinegar + wholegrain mustard. There are plenty of salad dressings online you can find, so spice up those salads, mix them up and don't be bored by them again!

If, however, you want something hot instead of salad and you have access to a microwave at work, why not take a small sweet potato and cook that, and have it together with a portion of pre-cooked fish or chicken or a bean salad? Or instead of sweet potato, try some wholemeal cous cous mixed with some spices such as paprika, turmeric, cumin and coriander, you can simply add boiling water and let it stand for 5 minutes, before serving with your favourite protein accompaniment.

How do I get the whole family on-board with clean eating?  (Husbands and kids can be so picky!)
You're right there! I think people can be even pickier if they think you're trying to 'make' them eat healthy foods. It's natural to want to rebel because it sounds boring. But what about if you treat your husband to a nice romantic night in, and make something that he would never know was clean, such as my Lemon & Coriander Lentil Chicken from Easy Tasty Clean (see recipe below). I think men appreciate hearty food and this is certainly that. He will be satiated and will love the flavours in it, so much so that when you tell him it's actually clean he'll be so impressed he'll hopefully ask you to cook him something clean again! Extra candles and cuddles might also do the trick ;-)

For kids I think it's important not to give mixed messages. If you give them MacDonald’s one minute then try to force fruit & veg down their necks the next, you're sure to come up against resistance. I fully believe in educating your children on the good and bad of food - simple ideas can be taught if it's done at a young age using stories they can get involved in, such as using a story of a magical creature that maybe gets sick when they eat fries (they can tell you how they would feel if they'd eaten fries) or come to life when they eat an apple for example (you can all do a dance when this happens!). If you make cooking and learning about food fun and let them choose their own ingredients from a selection you decide upon, they'll be on side from the start and will be more interested in eating the results of their choices. You can also have fun making fruit smoothies with them, let them choose 3 fruits each to make their drink with and then let them try each others if you have more than one child. You can join in too and all decide on a winner of which one tastes the best. They will all want to win of course so they will be proud of their own and be more likely to drink it up.

I definitely think parents need to take the initiative and try to educate and nurture children towards healthy choices. Kids are all unique and no one method with work for all of them, but if you've got their best health in mind and lead by example then that will give them a great start.

Here is a delish recipe from Janice's cookbook!

Lemon and Coriander Lentil Chicken
Serves: 4-5. Prep: 10 mins. Cook: 30 mins.

1 cup red lentils
450g / 1lb chicken breast, cut into half inch thick slices
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp. freshly minced ginger (the squeezy tube or fresh tubs of minced ginger are ideal
for this)
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. ground coriander
½ tsp. turmeric
½ cup coriander leaf (cilantro), finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1-2 tsp. coconut oil for frying

  • Rinse the lentils then put them in a pan to simmer with two cups of water for around 12-15 minutes, or until they are soft and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Some varieties of lentils can take up to half an hour to soften so check the recommended cooking instructions.
  • While the lentils are cooking you can get on with the rest of the dish. First take the chicken pieces and fry them in a little coconut oil, until they are starting to brown on all sides. Remove chicken from the pan and reserve in a bowl.
  • Fry the onions, chilli, garlic and ginger in a little coconut oil until softened then add the spices and fry for another minute. Finally, add the cooked lentils & chicken back in to the pan and stir in the chopped coriander and lemon juice.
  • Simmer for another 10-15 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked. Add a little extra water if it becomes too thick.
  • Serve with steamed cauliflower sprinkled with a little ground cumin.
  • This dish can be refrigerated or frozen and reheated later.

One portion of lemon & coriander lentil chicken gives:
283 calories, 38g protein, 27g carbohydrates, 2g fat (1g of which is saturated fat).

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Banished from the Kingdom of TAM...

So let's get all the negative stuff unloaded first....As most of you know from Facebook posts, my TAM alias, "Parker Tam," got banned from the main Tracy Anderson Facebook page.  There was no snarky comment, no egregious post-- just simply a suggestion that the TAM team offer an online option for detox week for those of us who can't afford the $3,000 price tag.  I thought it would be a brilliant marketing move for them.  Apparently I was wrong.  Not only were my comments removed, I was blocked from posting anything further on the page.

Banished from the Kingdom of TAM
I was hurt.  I was surprised.  And most of all, I was disappointed.  I felt like thorns had suddenly spread around the Palace of Princess Tracy.... And little 'ol me, banished from the Kingdom of TAM!

All this, after I just finished taking the time to reach out to thousands of TAM'ers through Facebook and compile a comprehensive list of suggestions on how the Method could be improved-- from customer service to editing to online access and pricing.  This was at the request of the main PR company overseeing the last detox week, who is now in charge of revamping the website and online community.

I guess no good deed goes unpunished.

But, I'm not going to make myself a martyr here...I am simply OVER and ABOVE the drama.  This workout method initially attracted me because of the 1. Results and 2. The community of support.  I am still getting results and I still have a community of support from the incredible women on TAM facebook fan groups-- dozens who came to my defense online and even sent angry emails to TAM customer service, demanding to know why I had been blocked.  Some women even canceled their subscriptions.

I am not encouraging anyone to stop doing the Method.  Hell, even after all this dramz, I still get my Metamorphosis workout on!  But I will no longer be a public advocate for Tracy Anderson or her Method.  I will simply continue doing my workout, and of course, continue to share my results with you all, but ---  I canceled my Parker Tam account and I will soon be changing my blog to reflect the changes as well.  You may have already noticed I deleted Tracy's picture and all reference to her Method.  The truth is, Tracy inspired me to begin with, but I've been getting ready to make a break for some time now.  It kind of feels like escaping from a cult dumping your long-time friend who's been getting toxic.  Sorry girl, but I gotta let you go.  But, I will give you an hour of my day, six days a week to tighten up my ass.  (She'll get back at me by making my thighs and arms ache daily, I'm sure.)

And, come to think of it, while "Mistress of the Method" was started to document my TAM journey,  "the Method" doesn't have to be about Tracy's Method, right?

I'm totally open to suggestions....Unfortunately, Mistress of Mayhem, is already taken!  Boo!

Perhaps, this is a chance to re-brand myself-- and for the better!  After all, I'm working toward getting a cookbook and a cooking show off the ground....Mistress of Many Muffintops?  Mistress of Mucho Food?  Mistress of Make Me Another Meal?  LOL!

Mistress of Mucho Awesome Food!
I have lots of good things to share in the coming weeks....including loads of delish recipes, interviews with women who inspire me, and of course, some raucous and raunchy stories that must be told with as many profanities much provocative language as possible!

So until then, my lovelies, enjoy these beautiful fall days and thank you for being my rocks of support through all of this.

Much Love,

The Mistress


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Muffin Tops and Your Inner Bitch

 Mirror vs. Minds-Eye: Miss Muffin Top

The above pic is what I've been seeing every time I look in the mirror.  And that's not such a pretty sight.  The problem is two-fold: My exaggerated minds-eye has been playing tricks and distorting my view of myself.  (Don't get me wrong, Miss Muffin Top and her nasty ass sister, Gutty McFatty are lounging on my waistline like it's some kind of island retreat), but the negative image I'm creating is absolutely sabotaging my progress.  I'm convinced that having a negative body image is literally like a magnet for fat.  The longer you hate yourself for your diet failures and that extra 5 or 15 or 50 pounds, the harder it is going to be lose the weight for good.

You've been on this journey with me and you've watched me yo-yo through one diet fix to the next and what's been the end result?  I gain it back (and more) every time.  And the more I gain, the worse I feel and the more horrible that Muffin Top looks in the mirror.

Intuitively, I know that consistency with both diet and exercise is the only long-term solution, but I'm impatient and cranky and pissed that I can't seem to find a foodie lifestyle that works for me.  I'm practically a professional Chef, damnit!  How is that I don't have the ability to come up with a low-fat menu that is delicious and can help in my weight loss efforts??!!

There I go....beating myself up again.

For the first time in my entire life, I'm literally trying to channel a different, kinder inner voice.  You know the voice that is the bitch on your shoulder telling you how much cottage cheese is on your thighs in the dressing room mirror when you're bathing suit shopping?  Or the tramp who calls you a fat ass when you eat that fourth slice of pizza and then urges you to pull out the ice-cream since you're on a calorie bender anyway?

You know her.  We all do.

Lookout, cuz I'll cut that bitch!  She is also on my persona non grata list along with Muffy and Gutty.

Lately, I'm trying to coax the nicer, gentler inner voice of compassion and encouragement who says, "Come on, honey, it's time to wake up!" when the alarm goes off at F*ck You 5am in the morning....The voice who says, "You did great tonight by not drinking any wine or going back for seconds!"

The voice who says, "YOU CAN DO THIS, GURRRLL."

Whenever Badmuthafucka decides he needs to change something in his life, he calls it using his "Jedi Mind Trick"....basically psyching yourself into believing whatever it is that is going to help you improve, learn, get better, concentrate, etc...  So I am officially Jedi Mind Tricking myself into believing:

1. I will eventually reach my fitness goals-- it just may not happen as quickly or easily as I'd like it to.
2. I am strong, intelligent and capable.  The only person standing in the way of my goals is ME.  So getthefuckouttatheway and MAKE IT HAPPEN. (That was said in my NICE inner voice, by the way.)

I am not going to give up the scale, but I'm not living and dying by the number either.  One day of eating like shit and drinking a bunch of wine can set me back 3 days in weight loss, but I have to accept that I simply don't have the metabolism I used to.  I also realize that I've got to make sacrifices in certain areas.  Want wine?  Pass on dessert.  Want seconds of dinner?  Do extra cardio.

Lately, I'm incorporating some interval training into my TAM routine.  A girlfriend who is a trainer explained that this isn't HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) because the rest periods aren't longer than the bursts of exercise, but this is what I've been doing. I make up 10 exercise sequences of 2 minutes each with a 30 second rest in-between.  You name it-- jumping jacks, cheerleading jumps, (Oh yes, the Mistress rocked that cheerleading skirt back in the late 90's, haaaaaaay!!!)  and even 2 minute sequences of my favorite dance cardio routines.  So, basically 10 sequences (2 minutes each with 30 second breaks) averages out to 25 minutes.  I am literally soaked with sweat after one of these routines.  I do it out by the pool in my backyard where there is a cement patio with lots of space.  Here's what it looked like yesterday:

Skip sideways (alternating sides) 2 minutes
30 second rest
Jog 2 minutes
30 second rest
Dance Cardio routine #2 from DC '08 for 2 minutes
30 second rest
Jumping jacks 2 minutes
30 second rest
Touch ground- jump up high - touch ground for 2 minutes
30 second rest
Hamelin style grapevine with high knees up for 2 minutes
30 second break
Step up/Step down off diving board for 2 minutes
30 second break
Dance Cardio routine #4 from Beginner Dance Cardio for 2 minutes
30 second break
Sprint 2 minutes
30 second break
Bootcamp Dance Cardio #1 for 2 minutes

It goes by sooooo fast and really gets your heart rate up!  I love it and it's a nice break from the same ol' dance cardio I'm really sick of.  I like incorporating a few of the dances into the sequences-- it breaks it up enough to not be bored and yet I still feel like I'm getting a little dancing in.

It also, well, makes me HAPPY.  One of my fave FB girls recently reminded me that exercise should make you feel good, lift you up emotionally--- not the opposite. I'm looking forward to my workouts again.....and I have a sneaking suspicion, I will start to see results again because of that connection.

Sweaty and Happy after my Interval workout!
As far as diet goes, I've actually been doing pretty well this week.  Instead of munching on gluten-free chips, (which are delish) but also calorie dense, I've been bringing baggies of baby carrots. It gives me the mouth feel I love as far as crunchy and sweet, and they keep me filled up between meals.

Breakfast has been alternating between pineapple cottage cheese with berries, a few crushed pecans and cinnamon or a protein shake.

Better than the cottage cheese on my thighs!
I made this dish for BMF, which I dubbed the "Freggin' Awesome Breakfast"-- 2 sunny side up eggs on corn tortillas with jalapenos, cherry tomatoes and cilantro.  (I had a plain hard boiled egg with a piece of gluten free toast!)

FrEGGin' Awesome!

And this has been lunch most days-- grilled chicken on butter lettuce with cherry tomatoes, cucumber and a bit of balsamic vinegar.  Not the most exciting lunch, but not horrible either.  I made some of the Beauty Detox Solution's Probiotic & Enzyme salad which is basically rotting, fermented cabbage a healthy topping to your regular salad but haven't tried it yet.  It's, um, still fermenting....
Grilled Chicken Salad

So, I leave you with a reminder to be kind to remember that we must have patience and self-love to truly get to that "happy place" with our bodies and that "sweet spot" with our diets....(Although that sweet spot on my body is a happy place for Badmuthafucka, but I digress!)

Lots of Love,

Mistress of Many Voices in her head....Master of the NICE one.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Scattered, Smothered, Covered and CHUNKED.

Even if you don't live in the South, ya'll probably know about Waffle House's famous hashbrowns...You can have them scattered (on the grill), smothered (with onions), covered (with cheese) and/or chunked with hickory ham. Well, lovelies, the Mistress has been all 4 the past week....and Miss Muffin Top and her nasty ass sister Gutty McFatty are tucking into another roll on my belly as I speak.

Scattered, Smothered, Covered and CHUNKED.  Just like me.
No, I haven't been late night binging at Waffle House!

But I have been....

Scattered:  Tons of stressful deadlines recently that I have under control, but my scatter brain has been even more scattered, making it tough to concentrate and get shit done.

Smothered: By my own negativity and self-doubt...I feel like as soon as things start going well for me, I end up sabotaging myself.  WHY?!?  I want so much to make things happen in a productive and fabulous way--- for me, for my career and for my personal and professional fulfillment.  So let's DO this, Parker!  

Covered:  In hives.....and more hives.  My new nickname is "Scratchy McBumpy."  I have developed some very serious food allergies since getting off all my medication and this is what happened when I had gluten this week, in the form of a cookie and some bread:

And this is what happened when I had peanut butter:

Mistress of Many Rashes

Badmuthafucka is convinced the breakouts are stress related.  He could be right.  I have an appointment for a full battery of allergy testing on September 10th, so hopefully I'll figure out what's going on.  

And lastly, I have been further CHUNKED.  In the form of an additional 5 pounds.  I'm not even going to utter that number.  You do the math from my last post and you'll know why I'm freaking out.  I actually took a pregnancy test yesterday, thinking that MUST be why I've put on more weight.  Negative.  (Which is a good thing right now!)

It's times like this when I really don't get ME. I am the same crazy bee-atch who abstained from all food for 17 days and subsisted on lemons, water and laxative tea.  And that girl can't be moderate and simply EAT CLEAN and EXERCISE like a normal person?!  There has to something I'm missing.  And yes, I'm being hard on myself because there are simply NO MORE EXCUSES.  My inner fat girl is screaming at me and I'm shoveling Boursin cheese stuffed salami in my mouth!!!!

Seriously, folks.  It's time for some action.

I've been pretty good about my workouts--- almost done with level 3 of Meta. (OK, well, it's taken me 2 1/2 weeks to get through 10 days...) I've also been much better about waking up to get my MS and 30 minutes of cardio finished before work.  But there's a disconnect somewhere, because my results (and the scale) are moving in the wrong direction.   MAJAH problem.

So what now?  Muffy and Gutty are urging me to throw in the towel and just resign myself to join them and be known as "Chubby"....Can't ya just see the three of us-- Muffy, Gutty and Chubby on a road trip to the Kingdom of Pudge. "That's how we ROLL," would be our favorite saying!


I can't fit into any of my clothes, so I went to Goodwill yesterday and bought a double digit size (let's just say it wasn't a 4, 6, or 8) so I could have something comfortable to wear.  I figure, paying $3.75 for some fat pants certainly won't commit me to that size-- and in a few weeks, when the single digit clothes fit me again, I can recycle those big ass pants back to Goodwill.  Everyone shopping there yesterday had about 100 pounds on me, so it wasn't as mortifying as it might have been, had I been shopping at Nordstrom's next to some anorexic soccer Mom.

I know some of you are rolling your eyes, thinking, "OMG.  She's shopping at Goodwill?!  That's for poor people!  And aren't those clothes dirty and used???"  Well, girls, they are all of the above.  But, when things got really bad for us financially, Goodwill was awesome for cheap (and often cute!) clothes.  Go to a Goodwill in an affluent neighborhood, and you'll find insanely expensive labels-- and some clothes that have never been worn.  I've discovered Gucci, Prada, Guess, Lilly Pulitzer, and even Chanel at some of these thrift stores!  They are also great for finding gently used kitchen wares, like sets of china and cool wine glasses.  I even found a new juicer that I bought for $15 that retails at $70!  Goodwill is also where I bought my rebounder-- for $22!  If you haven't checked out a Goodwill before-- do it!  One woman's trash is another woman's treasure....Just sayin'!

So, anyhoo-- it's time to get serious, Mistress of Many Promises, here....I don't have time to blog every day about a 30 Day Challenge right now, so let it be known that I am committing to giving up booze for 2 full weeks.  I love drinking wine while I'm cooking, but it's gotta go, if I'm going to make any traction here with weight loss.  Whenever I've gone without it in the past, after a few days, I forget about the great buzz the empty calories and it always leans me out!  I'm also giving up my beloved morning joe with Irish creamer and sugar.  Not sure I can stomach it black, but I'm going to try.

I have another huge TV opportunity coming up (more details later!) and I have to get my ass in check-- literally....

I posted this pic of me on FB while doing a sound check for my radio piece.  Thank the LAWD the weight gain doesn't show in my face....But consider this the official proof of my promise to KISS Miss Muffin Top and Gutty McFatty goodbye, FOREVAH!!!!

Kiss Off Muffy and Gutty!  And don't come back, ya'll hear?!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Day 2 of 30 Day Challenge: *&^%$#

MOTHERFUCKER.  That's what came out of my mouth when I got on the scale this morning.  JP popped his head in, "Honey, did you call?"  

"I said MOTHERFUCKER!  Not Badmuthafucka!"

How could I have GAINED a pound since yesterday kicked off my clean eating and workouts??!  Muffy and Gutty were cackling as I got off the scale in a huff of frustration. WTF?!? When I started TAM Bootcamp back in January, I lost 4.2 pounds after the first day! 

Then my friend Jess put things in perspective, telling me that I had encountered "Gutty and Muffy's evil cousins, Greedy and Impatient."  Well said, my dear. TOUCHÉ

OK, enough of my moaning.  Let's talk food.  I made a culinary collage of leftovers with my steak from last night.  This morning I made a 1 egg/1 egg white omelet with 2oz of leftover steak, 1/4 cup of roasted corn and a sprinkle of mozzarella.  

Steak & Eggs, Baby!
 Lunch was the rest of the steak on top of romaine with the rest of the roasted corn, caramelized onions/mushroom medley, cucumbers, a few sliced almonds and the most flavorful dressing I've made in a while!  Thanks again to my girl Jess for the base of the recipe which I put my Parker Spin on...I think the title itself should convince all ya'll to make it!

No-Oil Smack Yo Cowboy's Mama It's So Good Smoky Maple BBQ Yogurt Dressing
1 single serving carton of Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup BBQ sauce
1 Tb worcestershire sauce
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 Tb maple syrup
1 Tb hot sauce or chili sauce

Steak Salad with Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms, Corn and the Best Salad Dressing EVAH.
This was one of those days at work when I was wishing I was home in bed snugged up with the doggies watching a marathon of Say Yes To The Dress and Lifetime movies....I just felt tired, cranky and snacky.  SO much so, that I decided around 2pm that I needed a little 'pick me up' in the form of chipotle flavored gluten-free chips and liquid Satan Diet Coke.  I'd already snarfed down my ensalada del dia and my *yawn* blueberry snack.
Better than a candy bar...but notsogood.....
I've decided that sitting at a desk job is the Mistress' undoing.  SO much time sitting, taking calls for stories and editing on my desktop computer gives me waaaaay too much time to think about snacking and eating.  When I'm on the job for TV reporting-- it's gogogogogogogogo all day, and I rarely have time to even let the thought of a Chipotle Rice & Bean Snack Chip cross my mind!

With visions of snacky snacks in her head...
No joke, this this is the, uh, action pic that NPR snapped for my bio....Chasing down chips leads and following the trail of chocolate corruption. Yupper.

I got home and set my laptop up outside by the pool with old school Dance Cardio '08.  I love that sequence of dances and my white ass actually figured out the choreography after all these years!  I sweat buckets and really tried to "perform" the routines, as Tracy herself emphasizes.

Dinner was a total triumph.  Badmuthafucka picked up 2 rotisserie chickens from the store and I made a scrumptious peanut curry sauce with rice noodles.  Holy Shnikes, it was good.  I made up the recipe and I really suggest you make it-- it is seriously one of my faves that I've come up with:

Spicy Peanut Curry Sauce with Chicken over Rice Noodles with Sauteed Garlic Spinach

Peanut Curry Sauce
1 Tb canola or vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves minced
1 heaping Tb red curry paste
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 can coconut milk
1 Tb fresh ginger
1 chopped jalapeño
1 Tb soy sauce or Tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
1 Tb Thai Chili sauce
1 Tb brown sugar
Juice from 1/2 a lime
Spring onions for garnish
Chopped chicken

In a large saucepan, saute minced garlic cloves in the oil for about a minute on med/high heat until they start to turn golden.  Add the heaping Tb of red curry paste and stir for another minute until fragrant.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until blended.  Simmer on medium low heat while you prepare noodles and spinach.  Add the chopped chicken last before you serve it.  (This would be a fabulous vegetarian dish as well!)

I tossed the rice noodles into boiling water and boiled for about 3-4 minutes.  They were the really thin ones, so it didn't take long to soften them.

Sauteed spinach
1/2 bag of fresh spinach
2 garlic cloves minced
1 Tb olive oil
pinch of sea salt

Sautee the minced garlic cloves in the olive oil until they start to turn golden.  Add fresh spinach leaves and stir until they begin to wilt.  Add salt and serve immediately.

Now, I'm just getting to my Meta MS work....ugh.  I'm tiiiiiiiiiiired.  But I'm going to finish this workout, damnit.  I did have my 2 glasses of wine, but I resisted seconds for dinner, so I'm doing well tonight.  Let's hope the scale is friendlier tomorrow.....