Sunday, September 27, 2009

No 500 Calorie Diet, No Cry

I MADE IT!!! 43 days later, people. Forty-stinkin-three-days! Here's what I've learned:
  • Gum is good, but it doesn't replace a meal. So Willy Wonka coulda had something there if he had 1, really existed, and 2, really invented a gum that tasted like roast, potatoes and gravy.
  • People are nice to you, even if you are on a diet. But some people give you weird looks when you say that d-word. It's like saying "I have lice" when you say, "I can't have pizza." Hmm.
  • Breakfast should not be skipped. Not just cause it's good for you, but cause it tastes so darn good! Those trainers on TV are for real! Oh eggs and orange juice, how I love thee.
  • Drinking 2 gallons of water a day is great for the skin, bad for your comfort. What I mean to say is I now have empathy for people with that weak-bladder-disease.
  • Looking at foodie blogs while being on a 500-calorie diet (especially ones like Bakerella and Pioneer Woman) has shown me how much strength I really have. Sheesh!
  • Imma be a gooooood cook when this is done. I've discovered lots of good flavor combinations (minus the butter and oil, booyah!) that satisfy my empty tummy quite nicely.
  • One more thing: send some chocolate my way please!! YAY! I mean...send me some chocolate in a month when I'm really allowed to have it. Also, I'm proud of other members of our family who are doing this diet! Don't give up! It gets easier and you will be so happy with the results when you're done!
  • P.S. this post was written yesterday but the internet was dead so I didn't get it up 'til today. So I have officially been eating nuts since yesterday. Oh glory!
here's a link to the everything-hcg website, for those of you who have no idea what the heck I've been talkin' about this whole time:

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Gimme Some o' Dat!

Every night I have certain food cravings, and they're always different (except for the constant craving for chocolate that I have even when I'm not on a diet). Here's some of what I've been dreaming of:
  • BLAT sandwiches (Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, Tomato)
  • Banana Oatmeal Pancakes
  • Lemony Baked Pasta
  • Guacamole...? I know random. And Pico de Gallo.
  • Black beans, preferably mixed with guacamole or pico de gallo.
  • Mom's homemade rolls
  • Pad Thai
  • Cauliflower Soup
  • Pita chips
  • Bolthouse juice
  • Homemade tortillas (which I've never had before but dang do they sound good!)
  • Bananas, peaches, watermelon, and pears
  • Cold cereal (this is my number one weakness)
Alright, so....enough about food. I know I've been talking about food wayyyy too much on this blog. That's not what it's for, dangit!! You guys can deliver a virtual slap to the face for that one. Here's some updates from this two days of it so far. I left my house at about 6-ish on Sunday night thinking I would get to Rexburg at 10. Good timing, right? Enough to unpack all the goods (ahh, clean, coin-free laundry) and go to bed. Too bad I got slammed with a major traffic jam...uhh...TWICE! Ay ay ay. I decided I'd be better off driving in the morning instead of in the middle of the night, with my music all the way up and my zombie-eyes drooping. I got to Grandma Bonnie's at around 10 and boy was I exhausted. And I'd only gone two hours! Yowza. Grandma, being Grandma, offered me some (and by some I mean lots of) food which I couldn't take (except for the beans, mwahaha!!) and stacked it up on the desk. I left the next morning with more than I came with, but I'm not complaining. I think the first thing I'm going to eat on Saturday after scrambled eggs is a side of black beans.

Classes have been excelente so far--especially New Testament and Spanish Literature. First of all, I always love religion classes, but this one is really forcing me to dig deep into the scriptures like never before. We're studying all four Gospels at once, the Bible Dictionary, and the N.T. manual, which are all awesome resources. I feel like my testimony of the Savior and His Mission is growing every day! It feels really good. Spanish Literature is easier than I thought it would be, but then again, my last Spanish class felt like a session of study abroad in Spain if you only knew phrases like "Hola!" and "Hasta luego." Ouch! But in this class, all we do is read poetry and short stories (in Spanish of course) and then talk about how they apply to our lives. Cool, huh?

I feel like I've been blogging for myself lately and not for the readers. I know that part of the blog thang is so that the writer of it can have an outlet/journal/muse/etc., but I also want you guys to keep reading, and you won't do that if I bore you with all of this stuff. To make me (and you) feel better, here's a recipe I found on my recent food-blogging exploits that I will try as soon as the diet is up. Go make it and see how it makes ya feel! Oh, and I realize that I said I would stop talking about food. But really now....can you blame if I divert? Oh dear.... I promise I'll only blog about this 500 calorie thing one more time....just one more. Expect another exciting post this weekend! Mucho amor from Rexburg!

p.s. I plowed through not one, but two packs of gum today. I think a pancreas transplant may be in order. If those even exist.

This recipe (and the photo) is from another of my favorito blogs, Annie's Eats. Ch-ch-ch-check it out!

Oven Baked Chicken and Shrimp Spring Rolls
1 small boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked and roughly chopped
1 cup cooked shrimp, peeled
Napa cabbage, enough for 2 cups shredded
1 medium carrot, peeled
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tsp. fresh grated ginger
1 tbsp. oyster sauce
1 tsp. fish sauce
1 cup bean sprouts
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1 package egg or spring roll wrappers
1 egg white, lightly beaten
Cooking spray

Combine the chicken breast and shrimp in the bowl of a food processor. Mince with brief pulses until chicken and shrimp are finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl; set aside. Replace the blade of the food processor with the shredding attachment. Shred the cabbage to yield 2 cups. Shred the carrot. Transfer the cabbage and carrot to a bowl; set aside.

Heat 2 teaspoons vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Cook garlic and ginger just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the shredded cabbage and carrot and sauté just until the carrot is slightly tender, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken and shrimp to the pan. Mix in the oyster sauce, fish sauce and bean sprouts. Stir until well combined. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped cilantro and hard-boiled egg.

Preheat the oven to 400° F. On a work surface, orient an egg roll wrapper with a point toward you. Place about 2 tablespoons of filling near the edge of the wrapper. Flip the point up over the filling, rolling away from you to cover the filling. Fold both sides in and continue to roll. Use a dab of egg white on the loose point of the wrapper to help seal the roll completely. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling. Spray the rolls lightly with cooking spray. Bake until golden brown and slightly bubbly, about 15-20 minutes.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Late nights in AF and the ultimate gum-testing machine

So herrrreee's the thing: I decided this morning that I was coming home for the weekend. I know.

And we only just finished the first full week of schoolio. I fe
el lame-sauce to the max, but then again I counted up the times I came home last Fall and it was once a month. I figure I can count this time for September, come again in October, come for Thanksgiving, and then I'm home-free for December. Right? This thought process makes me feel not-so-lame. Please validate in comment section. Okay. That's off my chest now. Sorta. But now I'm faced with a predicament, as I sit on the comfy leather couches on the middle floor of my parent's house. I mean MY house. It's still my house! I don't like it when we have to start calling the houses we live in for free "our parent's houses." It makes them sound like some kind of hotel or something. No bueno. Back to the predicament: I do not miss Rexburg. AHH! I thought I was ready for this! I knew it was going to happen as I drove the four hours here and pulled it to my lovely town of American Fork. I knew it would happen as I saw my mom and little sis waiting for me in the driveway, and as I opened the pantry/freezer/fridge to lots of food. And as I saw how clean the kitchen was! Be still my heart. Be still. Wow, okay, so I'm venting majorly on you poor fellow bloggers. Forgive me. But I know that this experience is good for me.

This morning as I got ready for school, I put
on my favorite shirt (worn only once before) and RRRIP! It shredded. This is what made me decide right then to come home for the weekend. I could return the shirt to the store (they don't have one in Rexburg, duh!), retrieve things from my (long) list of forgotten items, see my wonderful amazing family that I love, watch the BYU football game IN Utah, and sleep in my air-conditioned room. Once it was decided, nothing was stopping me. Except for the few zillion traffic jams clogging up Utah on a Friday night. There sure are a lot of those! One more thing: in the past few weeks, being on this diet, I have been chewing a lot of gum. We're talking pancreas-killing-5-sticks-a-day gum chewing. My jaws are pretty much the strongest in the world. I don't know how you'd measure that, but I'm almost positive they could pull a train or an iron fence or something. And because I chew so much gum, I have learned which flavors are DA BEST. Or the ones that go hard in about 10 minutes or lose all of their juicy-ness. I think it's only fair that I share my findings with you, because then you won't have to agonize over which brand/flavor of gum you want when you're buying your groceries. Instead of buying all 5 brands (I did, but I have my reasons. All 500 of them.), you can just get the verrry best ones.

So here's what I've discovered...and I know this is ultra-random, but as always, for your entertainment only! Wooo!
Best Minty Gum: Stride Peppermint (new and improved! So good. Any flavor of gum by Stride is good, though.) Chewiness: perfect Flavor: lasted so long I got sick of it Texture: didn't get dissolv-ish. You know what I mean? Best Fruity Gum: Orbit Piña Colada
Chewiness: This gum is pretty hard at first, but if you have the jaws, you can work it, baby.
Texture: Great
Flavor: oh yummm!
Runners-Up: Extra Fruit Sensations Melon (I would only recommend this flavor of Extra because frankly, Stride is the neverending flavor champ. Sorry Wrigley peoples!), Orbit Sweet Mint, Ice Breakers Mint Cubie-thingies. They're just so dang delicious and minty!
Worst gums: 5 brand (ick), Extra (cept for the melon one), Eclipse...course, this is all my opinon. But remember...I am the gum-chewing expert of the world. That's a fact.

Wow. I can't believe I just did that! I just admitted that I came home after the first week of school, I chew almost a pack of gum a day (ack!), and I miss my parents a whole lot. Oh wait...did I say that? Guess it was a "between the lines" kind of a thing. Wink-wink.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Harshness of College Life, Part One

Ok, so maybe I should've called this post "A Day in the Life of ______ (insert catchy title for your alter ego here)." But that's too cliche for me and anyway, who wants to hear about cliches at this time of night (if you happen to read this right after I write it...close to midnight)? I thought I'd better update erebody on the stupendous craziness of Rexburg and my first full week here, even though I've only been to classes twice (school started Thursday...ultra-random!!).

the rundown
  • number of packs of gum I have consumed in the space of seven days: 3 (In case you're wondering, I only have 14 days left on this gum-chewing, 500 calorie diet. Go ahead and mark September 26th on your calendar as "McKenzie Can Now Eat Cheese")
  • number of pages that need to be read/have been read already before Tuesday: I'm going to say ballpark of 70
  • number of trips to grocery store for broccoli in one week: 4....wait, did I just admit to that? FOUR TIMES?! I can't even believe it's true. Now that it's in tangible form I still want to deny it. And guess what else? I bought more than one head of broccoli in each of those trips. Sigh.
  • number of realizations that I really really really really (now just googolplex that and divide it by a jillion) REALLY miss not paying for laundry: TWENTY ZILLION! Dear basement laundry room that was adjacent to my own, I miss your endless stash of Cheerios and toothbrushes (I know, weird how you can miss toothbrushes for no good reason) and especially your coinless washing capabilities. The End. And Amen.
  • number of times I have wanted to call my parents just 'cuz but decided not to and then changed my mind again: 12-ish
  • number of times I have wondered where all of the hot water is going when I'm the first one in the shower every morning: 7 (one for every day of the week)
  • number of times I have refused a cookie, ice cream, mashed potatoes, a granola bar, cheese, or Bajios from well-meaning roommates (combined): 30
  • number of times I have said a gratitude prayer for the opportunity to be at this school: countless
  • number of times I have thought "this semester is going to go by so fast" and then realized that it's already the middle of September: 40
  • number of times I wondered when I would get a calling: 0, because the Bishop came over on Friday and two days later I was sustained as Relief Society Secretary....betcha didn't see that one coming! Well I didn't. :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

And Blessed Are the Peacemakers, for They Shall Shout Pure Hilariousness

Scenario: Last FHE before I go back to college (Wednesday...Wednesday...).

Lesson I'm giving is on the Beatitudes, mainly, being a peacemaker.

Mom tells the story of when I got my baby blessing and how dad blessed me that I would be a peacemaker. Then she asks the chilluns to guess which member of the family it is.

Caleb: "Ooh ooh I know! It's ME isn't it?"
Mom: "Nooo.."
Ellie: "ME!"
(everyone laughs, understandably)
Cal: "Dad!"
Mom: "No."
Cal: "Isaac!"
Mom: "No."
Cal: "You?"
Mom: "Noo!"
Cal: "McKenzie!!"
Mom: "YES!"
Cal, getting a little excited/exasperated/worked up/climbing up onto the arm of the couch (check thesaurus for more adjectives):
"That's because she's so uh...she's so...uh-uh-uh....Book of Mormon-like-ish! She's so Jesus-like-ish!!!"

I will take this with me for the next three months, Caleb. And if I'm ever having a bad day, I'll remember that...