Sugar Ache

It turns out a week without bread isn’t as different as I thought.

I’m not a frequent sandwich eater, or pasta eater (as of recently), so what I missed the most during Passover was baking! Something about cutting complex, bready carbs makes my body craaave sweets and although I filled my diet with plenty of nuts, fruits, veggies and proteins, I was reaching for any Passover sweet I could find all week long.

The holiday officially ended last night and my friends Kathy and Ashley wanted to celebrate with bagels! The ultimate in bready goodness.

Me? Well I obviously don’t do moderation when it comes to sugar and couldn’t wait to dig into the chocolate and melty goodness my buddies Ben & Jerry’s are known for.

Between the three of us and my little sister – but mostly me – we dominated the now-empty carton.  And my stomach is definitely feeling a little off this morning because of it. Like “Ohh.. forgot what THAT feels like! Help.”

Oops.

But to be honest, my health habits have been all sorts of crazy this month. Some weeks I’ll find myself eating very clean, starting with a filling breakfast, prepping my usual salad and fruit/nut combo for lunch, and keeping appropriate portions during dinner with a treat thrown in.

But for a good 2 weeks I’ve been doing great from 8 am – 5 pm and then blowing it when I come home from work. By this I mean just totally overeating even after feeling full. The food TASTED so good – but it’s not normal to have 5 dinners in a row. Although it felt OK at the time – it all added up and left feeling like quite the sloth.

I love everything about this sloth picture. SOURCE

Once upon a time I didn’t mind the feeling of being overly stuffed to the point of still waking up full in the morning. I didn’t really notice the weighed-down feeling. Over these past few months, though, I’ve tried to gain control of my appetite and have just felt better for it.

I think the reason for my recent failure comes from skipping the gym after work. Without the accomplishment of a good work-out pulsing through my body, I’ve felt more inspired to grab fistfuls of any food in sight.

So today, I’m resolving to get back on track.

I will challenge myself at the gym instead of driving home. I will eat my delicious veggie & protein packed salad. instead of ordering Chinese with every one else. And I will tell you all I’m doing it so I’m accountable.

As always, thanks for hanging in there for me.

What’s your favorite food to celebrate with? How do you keep yourself on track?

Passover 2011

Soo..I’m Jewish.

For some reason, I haven’t quite mentioned this on the blog yet.

Though it’s really no secret to those who know me in real life.

But Monday at sundown marked the beginning of a very special Jewish holiday – one that will impact me and my blog for 8 days. Passover!

Passover is the celebration of the Jews’ exodus from slavery in Egypt. It’s the story of Moses, 10 plagues and a parting of a Red Sea.

You know, the time of the year where ABC plays “The Ten Commandments” with Charlton Heston

For an AWESOME digital retelling of the story, see this video:

As I mentioned, the reason I’m especially excited to talk about Passover is because the next 8 days will mean a diet change for me.

During passover you’re not allowed to eat chametz. Chametz includes anything made from the five major grains (wheat, rye, barley, oats and spelt) or food that was commonly used to make bread, like rice, corn, peanuts, and legumes. Additionally, any pots and pans that comes in contact with chametz during the year must be put away!

This means NO to: bread, rice, pasta, many packaged candies, chocolates or sweets, some yogurts, lentils, corn, oatmeal, black beans, peanut butter, most alcohol, corn starch, white/wheat flour,

They say we do this because when Jews were leaving Egypt, there wasn’t enough time for their bread to rise so we honor the tradition by eating unlevened bread aka MATZAH. (Source)

Needless to say, it has been craziness in the house cleaning and preparing.

Our fridge – which was bare and cleaned out – is now filled with food that is Kosher for Passover and looks like it exploded:

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Part of the explosion is because Passover is initiated with 2 nights of a symbolic, traditional meal called a Seder. This is a 12-step process that uses a book called the Haggaddah to tell the Jew’s journey from slavery to freedom via biblical excerpts, 4 cups of wine, symbolic food, singing and a “festive meal.”

The Seder is my absolute favorite tradition – probably because it is most comparable to Thanksgiving! It means family, good food, feelings of gratefulness, and lots of laughing.

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The first night’s Seder on Monday evening, was spent at my father’s house with my dad, step-mom and little sister.

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Here you’ll see my cute little sister, our cups of wine, the Haggaddah and our Seder plate, a showcase for all the representative foods.

The symbolic food I keep referring in our meal and Seder includes:

  • A green vegetable to represent spring
  • A bitter herb to represent tough times
  • Charoset, a sweet mix of apples, raisins, wine, cinnamon and walnuts, to represent the mortar and bricks
  • Matzah to represent the unleavened bread

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Two years ago when I was studying abroad, I visited Italy during Passover and knew I had to have a Seder. For the first time, I made my very own Seder for a bunch of friends in Rome and improvised the Seder Plate by using shot glasses.  Quite innovative, right?

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Monday’s feast was delicious and traditional – meatloaf, beef and potatoes, chicken, asparagus, broccoli, 2 soups and baked apples.

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For dessert, we busted out my father’s favorite: Rainbow cookies!

Tuesday’s Seder was at my mom and step-dad’s house and also included my 3 step-siblings, step-grandma, and step-aunt. It was a full house and that meant a wholeeee lot of food.

There was quinoa, turkey, spicy brisket, chicken matzah ball soup, salad, baked cauliflower, mashed sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, potato kugel and knishes, and a ton of yummy desserts.

Leftovers much?

The Seders go lateee and needless to say, I’m quite exhausted today.

The good news is my lunches and dinners for the next few days will be amazing leftovers!  Afterward, get ready to see some pictures of matzah pizza! Bring it on, Passover.

What would you do without bread for 8 days?

Back and Better Than Ever

Hiiiiiiiii!

Don’t worry! I didn’t run off and get married and start a family after my Las Vegas trip.

I guess I’ve been wanting to come back to Mmm Stories for a long time but as every day passes I felt it harder and harder to get back on and explain myself.

But just as with anything, sometimes you just have to quit making the excuses, stop analyzing every word, suck it up and just get back on the horse.

I figure the best way for me to ease back in is to tell you all some of the fantastic ways my life has actually improved in my one month of active blogging. I never could have imagined the positive spin blogging would have brought to my life – not just personally, but to those around me as well.

Benefits of the Blog:

  • I now get texts on a regular basis of my friends and family eating their veggies
  • Writing after work was a mental and therapeutic release that actually kept my bedtime at a normal hour
  • I started finding and reading about new interesting ladies across the world who shared exciting things about food, life, fashion and travel. Their tips I now throw into daily convos, making me sound more worldly than ever 😉
  • It’s challenged me in the kitchen and given me the confidence to tackle more intricate recipes – which has begun to impress others
  • My families have been inspired to experiment with new and healthy foods in their diet like spaghetti squash and oats in a jar
  • It’s renewed my passion for creating and designing web content, which is a strength I can take with me in my career

But in short, maybe I needed a break to help redefine where I want my blog to go and be. I can now say my blog is about making the most of what life throws at you and finding the adventure and beauty in it. It’s about appreciating the daily lunch and the soothing practice of putting it together. It’s an outlet to reach out to others with similar interests or who may know more. Because I’m not the best baker out there, I’m not an experienced runner, and I’m not THE social media expert.

But I am made to find the “mmm..” in each little piece in the story of my life Smile

For now, I won’t bore you with crazy recaps. But I will fill you in on some things that are new.

Like a new car.

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This beautiful, silver 2010 Toyota Camry aka my first big, scary, grown up purchase!

And new running shoes, that are supposedly designed by Brooks to give feet like mine optimal positioning. More to come on easing into running and ankle problems I believe I have.

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And new foodie finds. Upping the ante in the kitchen!

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And new love interests. Meow.

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And yeah…some new baked treats.

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I missed you guys. Really. A lot.

Group hug?