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That’s a spicy meatball-et-ground beef!

I didn't cook much when I lived with my parents. It didn't really make sense for me to; we had one kitchen, I arrived home at the same time as everyone else, and it wasn't much extra for Mom to make more dinner. Even for lunch, she still makes my Dad's lunch every day, a little extra for me was something she was happy to do.

So since I've moved out I've been doing a lot of cooking and food prep for myself. I lived alone for many years and cooked for myself, of course, but they were often simple, unhealthy meals, and there was a lot of take out during those years, too. So this is, in a lot of ways, new to me. And I've been having a blast with it.

I've started off making simple meals, simpler than would have satisfied my parents, and a lot of repeats, but things I enjoy. This recipe has been my starting point. A relatively low cal, chicken based dish, with lots of veg. I started off making it just as suggested, until I realized I knew the recipe, such as it was, by heart, and could play with it a bit. I used different spices, cooked some things for longer, used different veggies, threw a bit of olive oil into the mix, cooking some quinoa to make things last longer (though they sadly didn't help overly much, I can eat a ton of this stuff). But I started to want different things, so I moved onto roasting. Simple veggies chopped up, tossed in some olive oil and spices and threw them in the oven for a while. Put a chicken breast in and has a nice, full meal.

For lunches, I've had a lot of simple ones. Yogurt, a small jello, some carrots (pre-bagged on Sunday for grab and go!) and often some sort of main. Maybe leftovers from last night's dinner, though lately I've been working at getting more veggies into the mix. A cucumber, cut up, tossed with feta cheese and some light salad dressing, makes for a great lunch. I want to add a bit of heft to that one, though. Maybe some more cheese, or even some pre-cooked meat chopped up and mixed in. I find it doesn't always fill me up, and that is a concern.

For breakfasts, my go-to has often been these egg muffins. I tend to play with the recipe a lot, often using peppers in place of broccoli, turkey bacon in place of sausage. They're great for grab and go, of course, but it means I have to plan ahead and make time over the weekend, which is where I often fail. Otherwise I've been trying to make myself a small sandwich with some peanut butter and whole grain bread, an apple and some yogurt. A good breakfast is important, and I don't just mean that as an after school special. If I don't eat something decent and substantial during that time, I'm starving and tend to overeat at lunch, ducking out for something extra outside of what I bring.

A lot of the big thing for me is making it all as easy as possible, so I have fewer and fewer excuses to buy lunch and breakfast. I won't pretend there haven't been days I have, cause sometimes it definitely doesn't come together, but I work at it. It's a learning experience, like anything.

One tip, though? Be careful with cayenne pepper! I used it like regular pepper and had a batch of chicken and veg that made me cry every time I ate it.


Wine and Love: 9

So today I'm doing Wine and Love again, hosted by Suki! Here we talk about the things making us reach for the wine glass (or alcoholic beverage of choice) and the things we love this week!


    • I feel like whenever I get ahead in one aspect of my life, others fall to the wayside. I'm exercising and eating better, but now I don't seem to have time to read blogs or watch videos, or blog myself!
    • While I'm excited about moving out in a few weeks, I am a little nervous. Lots of stuff to deal with. I've lived on my own before, but never while working full time. I know it will be good for me to learn, but I'm still worried I'll leave the stove on or the door unlocked or wake up and realize I have no clean clothes or something of the sort.
    • It's hot! Although not terrible, still a little unpleasant. Though I am grateful most places I'm in have AC.



  • I have been running pretty regularly most weekday mornings. Not far, and not long, and with lots of stops for walking, but still. I've coupled this with calorie counting. It's amazing, when I realize how much latitude I gave myself and just how much I was eating. I do miss that, being able to eat whatever I want, but it wasn't healthy. I'm down around 4 pounds already since last week, which is excellent.
  • I'm excited about moving to the city for a little while. I'm still a little iffy about the idea of living there permanently, but this will be a good test of that. I'm looking forward to cooking for myself more and having more control over that.
  • Podcasts. I've been listening to some at work while doing some data entry work and, not only has it improved my productivity, but the time seems to just fly by, and I feel like I'm getting something done both work and personal-wise. Lately it's been Comedy Bang Bang and the Nerdist, but I'm open to other recommendations.

What are you loving, and not loving this week?


BEDJ Day 2: Food

Technically, day 1 was food, but I used that for my consumption post, so we're running with this topic today!

As someone who's been chubby for most of his life, I have a bit of a weird relationship with food. I like food. I love it, really. But it's always been both...enemy and friend. The bane of my existence and, you know, something required for continued existence. And existing is basically all I do!

As a kid, food was a treat. A candy, some chips, ice cream. These were things I had on a bad day, or when I was good. So, basically, unless it was just a so-so day, I got a treat! As such, I've grown up with a somewhat similar mindset, which tends to cause some problems for me. There is nothing I want more on a bad day than a meal from McDonald's, or ice cream. This lead to me being a chubby kid, which leads to more bad days, which lead to more treats. It's a vicious cycle, yeah?

I've also always lived in a household of simple eaters. My parents like boiled vegetables and simply cooked, unseasoned meat. I've only recently learned that, hey, vegetables can be cooked to be somewhat tasty! I cannot overemphasize how odd it was for me to enjoy eating broccoli, cauliflower and peppers, for the first time ever. Sorry, Mom.

For me food has always been a test of willpower; can I force down the terrible tasting, good for me stuff, and resist the terrible for me, good tasting stuff? I'm only now starting to redefine my relationship with food as a joyful one. Enjoying the taste of an apple, or some raspberries, or taking a second helping of roast vegetables.

The toughest part for me, though, is still the tests of willpower. Saying no to those tasty treats, treating myself instead with some fruit.

But I still think y'all who tell me you'd rather have fruit than a giant slice of chocolate cake are crazy. ;)

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Wine and Love: 3

So today I'm doing Wine and Love again, hosted by Suki! Here we talk about the things making us reach for the wine glass (or alcoholic beverage of choice) and the things we love this week!


  • Didn't get a job I interviewed for. Spent almost a whole day in interviews too. While it was a good experience overall, and looking back it may not have been the best fit, I still can't say I was too pleased to get that news.
  • I'm slowly getting sick. Every morning I can feel my throat aching a little more, and I'm just waiting for it to blossom into a full blown cold. Definitely need to sleep much this weekend.
  • Eaten poorly the last while. Given in to stress/emotional eating a few too many times.


  • I'm feeling a renewed passion for blogging and vlogging. Been reading and watching more and feeling excited, with some new ideas of things to do and maybe some new projects coming up. GFM's been writing some drabbles lately, which has got me thinking about trying my hand at some creative writing as well.
  • I've been trying to walk a bit. I'm aiming for just a short, 10 minute walk every day, just to get moving a little bit. I've also been trying to keep off my phone, mostly, and do a bit of walking meditation. It's nice because it's very hard to say "nah, I don't have time for that." Cause I totally do. Though the weather lately has been the biggest deterrent. But it's been nice.
  • I'm getting a handle on things at work. Saying that may be the kiss of death, of course, but I'm getting there, for now.

What are you loving, and not loving this week?