Category Archives: eat

What I’ve been eating, and also, PICTURES OF PUPPIES!

I have the cutest puppy ever.


The following is a brief photographic recap of what I’ve been eating (mostly) over the last few weeks.

Grilled veggie cheese bagel thin. Yum.

Parmesan cheese grilled into the outside!

Butternut squash soup on the side. I love this stuff. A small salad completes the meal.

There have been a few times when I’ve had to resort to this kind of meal too:

Thankfully, not *too* much of that.

I also made the yummiest soup ever.

I know it doesn’t look like much, but Mulligatawny is the definition of warmth and comfort on a cold winter night. This, too, was paired with a salad and also a dinner roll.

Methinks a puppy is lurking….

And for your viewing pleasure, more puppy pictures!



Leave a comment

Filed under eat, The Puppy


Happy 2012!

The day started off with a workout at the gym. I’ve been feeling poorly for the last couple of weeks & haven’t been working out as much. First, I caught a bug that developed into a pretty disgusting sinus infection. I felt so miserable for about 10 days that even thinking about going to the gym made me want to take a nap. Right about the time I was finishing up with my antibiotics, I developed an especially painful ovarian cyst. As expected, the Saturday morning run was less than fantastic. I made it through, though, and felt better for having made the effort. Later on, The Boy & I took The Dog for a walk to visit J’s folks.

Last night The Boy, The Dog & I enjoyed a quiet evening at home. I made Boeuf Bourguignon  served with a salad, baguette & lovely bottle of Bordeaux. Several hours later I baked a couple of Chocohotopots. I could eat that stuff raw! We celebrated the turning of the year with a bottle of cava.

We stayed up pretty late (for me), and I got to sleep around 1:30 a.m. Still, I managed to wake up shortly after 9:00 a.m. this morning & made it to the gym for an easy 2 mile run.

When I got home, I made a special New Year’s Day breakfast.

It was special because it featured a mimosa made with the cava we couldn’t finish last night (pathetic, I know).

Otherwise it was a standard bowl of rolled oats cooked with pumpkin & topped with homemade trail mix & a luscious dollop of Justin’s Maple Almond Butter to give the oats some staying power.

I paired it with a sunny dish of Clementine slices.

Isn’t that a cute little bowl? It was a holiday gift from a friend who always manages to find unique pottery. I’ve benefitted from her keen eye & generous spirit in the past.

The Dog, waiting for his special New Year’s Day “Mommy dropped this from the table so it’s MINE” treat.

Yeah, that didn’t happen. Every morsel of food went straight into my belly.

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about things we accomplished in the past year, things that went unfinished & things I’d like to work on in the coming year. Some notable milestones in 2011:

I went to the gym an average of 3x/week from the end of January until the end of December.

I started running for the first time in my life.

I finished 7 races.

We got a new water heater.

We had our chimney rebuilt.

I survived New Orleans in late June.

We got a new refrigerator.

The Boy installed a new faucet in the kitchen.

I started therapy and began the long process of finding & maintaining balance in my life.

The Boy and I went dancing at a club for the first time since we’ve been together (strange, considering how much we both enjoy dancing).

This year was packed with happy times, long walks with The Dog, as well as some sad times, some unforeseen family illness & a few loved ones lost.

So what’s coming up in 2012?

For me, this will be the Year of Mindful Eating. I’ve been on a diet pretty much my whole life. I think about food all the time. Really. Either I’m thinking about what I want to eat, or I’m thinking about what I should eat, or I’m regretting something I did eat. Now that I’ve made exercise a regular part of my life (I need to exercise now to feel centered and less stressed), it’s time to focus on my relationship with food. Of course, I’d still like to lose those 20 lbs. I meant to lose last year, but my focus is going to be on having a healthier relationship with food.

In an attempt to eat more mindfully, I’d like to do more meal planning. I find that I definitely eat healthier if I plan out what I’m going to eat for the day or week. My intention is to post what I eat here. We’ll see how well I do with that.

It is also my intention to plan my workouts for the week, which I also plan to do here. For example, this week my plan is:

Sunday (New Year’s Day!): 2 mile run (done!); walk w/The Dog & The Boy (also done!)

Monday: 20 min elliptical; strength workout (legs + arms); walk w/The Dog; BONUS – 45 min yoga

Tuesday: 2 mile run

Wednesday: 20 min elliptical; strength workout (legs + arms)

Thursday: 3 mile run; walk w/The Dog

Friday: 20 min elliptical; strength workout (legs + arms); walk w/The Dog

Saturday: Rest OR 45 min yoga

In terms of eating, my goal is to not snack between meals on the days that I work, and make healthy eating choices most of the time. My eating schedule is much more erratic on the days I don’t work, so I’m not making any promises about those days.

I have some running goals. First, I want to run the Chicago Shamrock Shuffle (8K). After that, I’m not sure.

Finally, I really really REALLY need to get more rest. I absolutely need to get more sleep on a regular basis.

I have a bunch of goals related to popular culture, specifically music, but this post is long enough now. I guess that means more tomorrow. Maybe.

Leave a comment

Filed under eat, fitness, live, The Puppy


Wasn’t that the name of a gameshow?

Yep. It was.

Which doesn’t really matter. I’ve just been thinking about catchphrases, aphorisms, mottos, and mantras lately, and the purposes they serve, if any. I know some people really do find comfort, strength, or power from having a personal motto or mantra. Some of the work I’ve done in therapy this year is to repeat positive phrases to myself, like, “I’m perfect the way I am.” But adopting something like that as a mantra? Not for me.

Then I got a gift from a friend in the mail today. It’s a Road ID tag for my shoe, and the tag says, “I believe in you!”

Wow. I have been working really hard at understanding that I don’t need external validation to understand that I am worthwhile, but having someone I really care about tell me she believes in me like that, unexpectedly, felt amazing. I’ve been repeating those words to myself all day. Thanks, Mary. I believe in you, too.

So! I haven’t posted in awhile. Things have been crazy in Casa McWittmann. But also good.

Over the Labor Day weekend, we had a friend over for Cuban food and to watch a documentary we were all excited to see.


So Cuban food is super delicious and fun to make, but it takes me awhile to put a whole meal together since I don’t do it a whole lot. It’s a two day process for me. Day 1: make picadillo to fill empanadas with, and fill empanada shells. Make sangria. Day 2: make congri, fry empanadas, tostones and rice pudding.

A lot of people don’t seem to know what congri is. What it is is AWESOME. Rice cooked with beans and the water used to cook the beans, garlic, and oil. Sometimes it’s also made with bacon and other stuff, but I try to do a healthier congri. Some pics to make you jealous:

(I baked my empanadas and tostones)

Cuban rice pudding is made a bit differently than other rice puddings. It’s made on the stovetop with orange peel and anise seed.

First you cook the arborio rice with the anise seed.

They’re so tiny and they pack such a flavor wallop!

Then you cook it over really low heat for a very looooooooooooong time.

Eventually it cooks down and turns all creamy. Then you add vanilla and spread it in a pan to cool.

I may have added some rum.

It had to go in something!

It was a fun night. Then the next day we did this.

That’s right. Sangria for breakfast. And puppy hijinks.

I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday weekend! A little late.

What do you think about mantras or personal mottos?

Leave a comment

Filed under eat, live

I finished a race!

Last weekend, one of my best friends (originally from Chicago but living near Minneapolis) came to visit, and we spent Saturday together. We had lunch at the Chicago Diner, a fairly famous (or infamous, if you find stridently vegetarian/vegan places irritatingly self-righteous) restaurant in the city. While my friend is not particularly strident and is definitely not irritatingly self-righteous, she is a vegetarian and I’ve been wanting to take her to the Chicago Diner for awhile. Of course, we were so wrapped up in our conversation that I forgot to take any pictures. We shared pot stickers (ridiculously good), and we each had the Black Mamba burger (good, but a little fussy). I had the sweet potato fries with mine, which were perfectly seasoned, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. We also shared a pitcher of sangria, which turned out to be one of the best examples of restaurant sangria I’ve ever had, which shocked the hell out of me. The Boy and I are pretty big fans of tapas, and sangria is ALWAYS part of the meal. I thought I’d had really good sangria in the past, but nothing compared to this. I think it came down to the incredibly fresh fruit incorporated into the sangria. There were pineapple chunks, peaches and what I believe to be passion fruit chunks. Delicious.

After lunch, we stopped at Lululemon (best sports bras ever), The Spice House (amazing spice emporium), and a few other stores before stopping at Whole Foods. They had Mission Figs on sale and since I had never tasted a fresh fig before, I decided to give them a try. Poor Friend Who Lives in Minneapolis left without any, which was a shame because they were sooooo good.

As good as they were, though, I did not get a chance to finish them during the week. Each day when I opened the refrigerator to retrieve something that was not a fig, I eyed them and wondered what to do with them before they died a lonely and uneaten death. Then I read this post on Meals and Miles, and decided to try out a lemon fig cake. She used a Martha Stewart recipe, which I quickly Googled and found with no trouble. I made it last night. Wow. Just, oh my god wow.

SUPER easy! I made a few changes to the recipe. I decided that I would substitute the olive oil with unsweetened applesauce, and use whole wheat pastry flour for half of the flour requirement.

I decided to take another page out of the Meals and Miles playbook and add an icing sugar glaze, but instead of using lemon juice and milk, I used lemon juice and dark rum.

I *am* lactose intolerant, after all. And my mother’s daughter. It’s not good unless it has a shot of rum!

The texture of the cake is almost like bread pudding — dense, moist, and a little spongy. Since I loves me some bread pudding, this is just dandy by me. Next time I make it, though, I think I will try it with the olive oil, just to see how different it tastes and how it affects the consistency. I don’t need a crumby cake, but sometimes it’s nice.

And in other news, I finished my first race! It was billed as a 5K, but was really 4. 12 miles. I ran it with another one of my best friends and even though we came in, well, not last but almost last, we stuck together the whole time and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. It was an incredible feeling to do something I’ve wanted and waited to do for so long with one of my favorite people there right next to me the whole time. While I’ve walked well over 4 miles on several occasions, I’ve never run more than two without taking walk breaks, and while we did take some walk breaks, we ran the majority of it. I felt fine yesterday, but good god am I sore today.

Later on we’re having a friend over for Cuban food and documentary watching, so I’m off to work on the meal. On the menu: empanadas, congri, tostones, rice pudding, sangria and maybe some lemon-fig cake : )


Filed under eat, race, Uncategorized

Friday Post — Attempt The Second

Gha. I just lost the bulk my post. Stoopid computer. Because I’m sure it’s the computer’s fault : /

Recently, The Boy and I have been doing a BABYLON 5 rewatch. We’re on the fifth season and it is sucktastic. It’s been awhile since I first saw B5 and the rest of the series is pretty full of The Awesome (except for the possibly MORE sucktastic first season), but the stench from the fifth season? Complete poo.


I could not could not COULD NOT roust myself for my workout this morning, so exercise for the day consisted of taking The Puppy for a 1.75 mile walk to the dog park after work. But first!

There was breakfast, which consisted of Fiber One cereal with Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze and iced coffee with more UVAB and Splenda. I had a Luna Protein bar for a snack and then Oberweiss ice cream for a second snack (thanks, evil boss who brings delicious ice cream). I did go easy on the ice cream, though. I had a little less than half a cup. I had a Larabar for lunch and then Lean Cuisine Garlic Chicken Spring Rolls. Of course, I took pictures of none of it.

But I did take pictures of dinner!

I made roasted red potatoes. I cut up some spuds….

….added olive oil from an atomizer (LOVE that thing!), ground rosemary and coarse salt….

….and roasted it for ~45 minutes at 400 degrees.

I also made myself a HUGE salad. I cut up this….

….and some of these.

I added grape tomatoes and a bit of fat free feta cheese. I dressed it with this:

I grilled up some chicken breasts….

(I am in love with my grill pan, by the way)

….and dinner was served.

Oh, I also added some crumbled blue cheese to the potatoes. Done and yum. And just for fun, here’s a picture of the ridiculously large wheel of blue cheese I found in my freezer:

I probably should have put something next to it for scale. It’s about as big as my head. Christmas gift from the boss. I think he’s trying to kill me with food.

For dessert, The Boy and I enjoyed White Russian mix blended with ice cream (low fat stuff this time).

I’m so excited! One of my best friends is visiting this weekend from Minnesota. She’s a vegetarian, so I decided that we should take advantage of that. We’re going to the Chicago Diner. Then we’re going shopping. I can’t wait!

Leave a comment

Filed under eat

I Resisted the Nutella with crackers that night, but ate half a loaf of bread — AND the Nutella with crackers — the next day.

This morning dawned with a yet another commitment to record everything I eat and to try to make what I put in my mouth as nutritionally sound as possible. I ate two slices of Healthy Life toast with half a tablespoon of almond butter on one piece and half a tablespoon of sunflower butter on the other. I also had coffee with Splenda and a quarter cup of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze. I tracked my food on

This last week or so has been a particularly difficult one for me food-wise. It started with a binge last Wednesday. I haven’t had too many full-on binges in my life, but that’s what this felt like. Out of control eating, not really tasting the food or being hungry, and vaguely aware that I was trying to fill a space inside that wasn’t my stomach, and the knowledge that i was engaging in self-destructive behavior.

My stomach was, of course, the space I ended up filling. Before I knew it, I was uncomfortably full after eating half of a pretty decently sized loaf of Italian bread and most of a brick of cheddar cheese. I was sitting on the sofa with a mostly eaten bag of pita chips and a mostly empty jar of Nutella. I threw the rest of both away, I was so angry with myself. As I contemplated how much food I had just consumed, I hated myself possibly more than I ever have before. I lost it. I cried over my lack of self-control, over the fact that I had been trying for over a year to lose 20 pounds and “couldn’t,” over my inability to make myself throw up everything I had just eaten, and over the things that caused me to binge like that in the first place.

And here’s where it gets dicey.

I can’t really talk about that stuff right now. It’s a situation that had come out in my therapy session the day before, and my gut is telling me that the binging was a delayed reaction to the pain that I was feeling. I didn’t want to think about the issue, so I ate instead. I found something I could blame myself for. I can’t blame anyone BUT myself for eating too much, right?

Anyway, I managed to pull myself together and get on with the evening. I even managed to stop hating myself. Friday I made a nice dinner for The Boy and me to enjoy as we kicked off our mini-vacation to celebrate our anniversary. I made duck breasts and wild rice “stuffing.” I made praline bread pudding (why I had the Italian bread in the first place) for dessert. I ate a reasonable amount of all of it.

We still have the next couple of days off together and we’ll be going out to eat a couple more times. I’m still trying to forgive myself for Wednesday night, but I know I will never forgive myself if I let my issues with food ruin the time I have with The Boy. He deserves better than that, and I’m pretty sure I do, too.

Leave a comment

Filed under eat