A journey in words...

Welcome to my journey in words! A story about health, exercise, weight loss, food addiction, humor, size discrimination, sarcasm, social commentary and all the rest that’s rattling around inside my head...

I now twit, er... or tweet. Anyway, you can follow me on twitter @Aeon1202

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Social Experiment

I really want to try an experiment where I live my life as though I currently weighed about 150 lbs. (which is, by the way, my personal ideal weight).  What if I trotted blithely through life as though there was absolutely nothing the matter with me?  How would people react?

If, when asked, what diet program I was currently following I replied with, “why on earth would I be on a diet?”  Would they be shocked?  Horrified?  Inspired?

If I walked into the lunch room, grabbed a doughnut and bit into it how would the rest of the female population of my company react?  Out of kindness, they’d probably try to stop me – knowing that I, like the rest of them, consider the white flour and corn syrup additives to be something akin to consuming strychnine.  But what if I then laughed and said, “why shouldn’t I eat a doughnut?”  Would it totally mess with their heads?

I’m tempted to do it, and I would just as a sort of research project – except it’s kind of lying.  Okay, not kind of, it really IS lying.  I do follow a diet plan and am trying to loose significant amounts of weight.

However I would love to see how the world would react to a seriously heavy woman with no apparent concept that she wasn’t perfectly fine just the way she is.

Oh, and on a completely unrelated side note: Kirstie Alley was hot when she was skinnier and she’s STILL hot now.  So there.

Cookie-Bunny loves me.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Vegan Fail

In case you’re wondering, The China Study is a book by Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell II.  I have not read it, but from speaking to others about it and searching the related website it seems to be making the point that people who eat animals and animal products such as milk, cheese and eggs get cancer, diabetes, heart disease, are fat, and die.  Whereas people who live in rural China and eat vegan diets (no animal products whatsoever) are healthy for life and live past a hundred.

It’s something like that anyway.

Again I have not read the book but I personally find the concept puzzling on two fronts: one is that I always thought that rural Chinese eat a heavily fish and rice based diet, and fish are animals, ergo rural Chinese folks are not vegan.  And two, since humans are omnivores the idea of animal protein being deadly to us is kind of like someone saying that bamboo is deadly to a Panda Bear.

At any rate that isn’t my point, as I said I haven’t read the book so I cannot truly judge it, but it features heavily in today’s guest blog post so I wanted to provide a bit of info.  Research it for yourselves here, its authors are PhD’s and make their case a lot better than I just did:

On to the guest blog!


I already told you about my coworker who read The China Study.  He pretty much became a vegan overnight.  Again I say, good for him!  I know veganism (a diet of no animal products what-so-ever) isn’t for me but I happily applaud people who have vegan diets.

He brought in a vegan dish today to share with the office.  The man is an excellent cook, so imagine my surprise when the dish he brought in was barely edible.  Seriously, this is the kind of dish that gives vegan food a very bad name. 

I present to you, Chocolate Rice Pudding.  First of all, it’s not pretty at all.  A single serving in a cup with a sprig of mint would be far more appetizing.   But as this was a dish brought to the office, I’ll let the look slide.  Taste wise, it was amazingly flavorless.  There was very little chocolate flavor, but there was a flavor of something citrusy like orange.  It also left a sort of film in my mouth that was only fixed with a cup of hot tea. 

After tasting this travesty to rice pudding, I’m determined to make my own vegan version.  My first thought was of rice baked with coconut milk, some sort of sweetener and vanilla, then topped with mango.  A quick Google search returned dozens of vegan coconut rice pudding recipes – I even have everything I need already in my pantry.

Look for my results later this week.


I love that Jo took a sneak attack photo of this stuff so we could see the horror for ourselves.  Unfortunately, it really looks like something my cat might barf up.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Making a Great Day

There are a number of ingredients that go into the making of a truly great day.  I realized that one factor can be the weather.  Ted and I were blessed, we had been planning on spending today outside and as it turns out God decided to plant the nicest day of 2011 right in our laps for the occasion.

We drove up to Longwood Gardens:

Most of the flowers are not yet in bloom this early in the year, although the crocuses and snowdrops are already making valiant appearances around the park.  Still, just the opportunity to be outside without freezing or getting wet and feeling the warm sun on our faces was a welcome change.  Plus they have the huge indoor conservatory and are right now featuring about a zillion breeds of amazing orchids to stare at.

My favorite were these smurf-blue ones.
Ted and I happily wandered through the various habitats.  I was savoring the warmth and even the humidity.  We smelled the roses, we admired the huge cacti and the strange plantain plant, and we marveled over the age of the bonsai trees.  Although it occurred to me that most of the trees I know are probably older than I am, they’re just not entertainingly tiny and equipped with little signs to state what year they began “training”.

Me, waiting to be impressed by nature.
Ted meets plant.   

Afterward we simply sat on the terrace and enjoyed the unaccustomed feeling of sweet spring breezes and the warmth of sunlight on our chilled skin.  As I’ve pointed out to many people I am to some degree or another, cold, from about November until March each year.

Enjoying a moment of photosynthesis.
Ted had told me he wanted to take me somewhere special for lunch, which turned out to be a restaurant called the Half Moon Saloon which specializes in wild game.  The menu varies from day to day depending I suppose on what they can get.  Today they had a bear / elk burger which Ted ordered with a side of gator.  I tried both, the gator tastes like fishy chicken with a grainy consistency.  It’s not as bad as that sounds, it’s just a bit odd.  Bear is… earthy.  I don’t want to say gamey because it has a bad connotation, earthy and strong is a better description.

I had the most delicious wild mushroom bisque soup I’ve ever tried.  I intend to attempt to reverse engineer the recipe so I can make it at home.  Kennet Square is apparently the “mushroom capital of the world”.  I never would have guessed.

The bear burger made me wonder… is there a bear farm out there somewhere where people are raising these creatures just for food?  Strange thought.

When we left my eye caught a sign on the street corner advertizing a tea shop nearby called Mrs. Robinsons, so Ted and I walked over to check it out.  Not since my beloved Spice Smuggler here in Lansdale closed down have I seen such a wondrous variety of fun teas.  I’m sitting here right now savoring my second cup of coconut-chocolate.  I also picked up pina colada and my favorite cream earl grey, which I haven’t been able to find anywhere else in years.  Discovering that shop and chatting with the nice folks who work in it was the sweet cherry on top of my wonderful day.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Two Girls, One Car

My guest blogger Joanna is embarking on an epic road trip that will involve (among other things) some food adventures and reviews along the way. See her post below about preparing for road travel as a vegetarian, and also check out her blog about it! I was such a huge fan of Alton Brown's show Feasting on Asphalt so I really dig this kind of thing, I'd really love to do it myself one day.


On the Road as a Vegetarian

First, I want to be up front about something. I’m not really a vegetarian. I’m an omnivore who eats a primarily vegetarian diet. My mostly-vegetarian ways are entirely environmentally based. The less money I funnel into big agribusiness such as the meat industry, the happier I am. And sadly, I’m a little too poor to regularly afford locally raised and butchered meats in addition to whatever locally grown produce and dairy I purchase. (I’m also too fond of seafood to give it up entirely.) So now and again I’ll have a bite of a meat based dish on a special occasion. For instance, the Greek chicken pie my friend Crenshaw made a couple months ago? So very, very good! 

Now, that’s out of the way…

For two weeks in April, I’m going on an epic road trip with my friend Andrea. This sort of thing has to be live-blogged, so if you are interested you can check that out at http://2girls1car.wordpress.com/. There we’ll be documenting the wackiness we encounter on the road including food reviews. 

I hadn’t really thought too much about the vegetarian thing until yesterday. I was talking with a friend in Oklahoma; seeing if he would be interested in having lunch or dinner with us when we pass through town. He’s also a vegetarian and said there would be plenty of veggie options to choose from. Awesome! But it got me wondering, what happens if we’re in a less veggie friendly environment? It’s bound to happen especially once we hit the mid-west. I’m a bit flexible, but Andrea is a true vegetarian. It’s a new thing to think about.
Of course Andrea is already thinking about it. She’s prepared like that.

One of our stops will be in Denver, CO at a Mexican restaurant called http://www.casabonitadenver.com/. Check out the link; the place has CLIFF DIVERS in the restaurant! That’s just craziness that must be witnessed. Anyway, last night Andrea was looking over the menu. There are very few vegetarian options, which isn’t really surprising for a Mexican restaurant, but they exist. We can have the ‘veggie combo’, whatever that is, or a taco salad without meat. Look at that, TWO whole options! LOL

In the end this just acts as a reminder that even the food on this trip will be an adventure.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

First Love

Tonight the first band I ever fell deeply in love with will be performing at the Wells Fargo Center here in Philadelphia without me there to cheer them on.

Yes, it’s Bon Jovi. Take a deep breath and smell the sweat and hairspray.

When I was teenaged I had this amazing black suede jacket with long fringe across the back and down both sleeves – when I held my arms out to either side I looked vaguely winged. I think I got it in the men’s department at JC Penny’s, or I should say, my indulgent and loving parents got it for me. I wore it everywhere because between that and my tight, fringe-around-the-bottom skirts I looked like an extra from the Bad Medicine video.

Oh and don’t forget the huge hair – the higher the hair, the closer to God.

I’ve seen Bon Jovi three times in concert, and all three times my sister Pam went with me to make sure I didn’t get carried off by vagrants. I think she liked the music too, but mostly she went out of love for me. Back then to get tickets we would get up at three AM and trek down to the local video store with lawn chairs and sleeping bags, curling up in the cold with other fans and waiting for the ticketmaster window to open so we could get decent seats. I thought it was fun, hanging out with the rest of the Bon Jovi fanatics and singing in the dawn of a frigid morning. My sister did all of this with me too.

I truly didn’t appreciate her at the time like I should have. By way of saying thanks I intend to drag her now-teenaged daughter with me to a Tokio Hotel concert first chance I get. Of course, since Emily is a classical musician that plan may not go entirely smoothly.

I did take Pam to see Rush for her birthday one year when we were both a little older. Fifth row too. At the time you could get seats like that and they’d still be around twenty dollars each – it was all luck of the draw and how early you were willing to get up in the morning.

Ticketmaster going online has pretty much killed the tradition of sitting on street corners for the best seats at concerts. Meh to technology.

So tonight it all goes on without me: the screaming, the music, the lights, and Jon’s amazing smile which is completely undiminished by time. I feel like after all these years if I were to run into them I’d almost know them, like old friends. Either that or I’d go into a dead faint.

I’ll be there with you in spirit, guys.