Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sort of curried black eyed peas.

So I had a request for some healthy vegan recipes.  A lot of times, I cook from recipes in cook books that I have and I think I probably can't post those. BUT- Here's what I made tonight. I have to warn you, mostly I just throw stuff together without really knowing what I'm doing. It usually turns out fine.

Sort of Curried Black Eyed Peas

1 tbsp of olive oil
6 cloves of garlic, minced
A dash or so of red pepper flakes
1 tsp minced ginger (I get it in the jar thingy because it lasts longer)
1 tsp red curry paste
1 tsp green curry paste
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
some smallish shake of cayenne pepper
1 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 15 ounce can of black eyed peas

Alright- so I sauteed the garlic in the oil for a bit with the ginger and red pepper flakes.  Once the garlic was kind of browned, I threw in the rest of the spices and let them make a little paste sauce kind of thing.  I added the can of tomatoes- not drained- and let the spices kind of settle in for about 5 minutes.  I drained the black eyed peas and added them to the pot.  I turned the heat down and let it simmer for like 10 minutes.

Yummy simmering goodness

Rice cooker!

Served over brown rice

I'm no good at presentation.  Pretty much everything I make looks like this.  Brown rice with stuff on top of it.  Regardless, it was yummy!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

One Million Dollars? and other fun news

Last week, I was notified that I was one of 200 people selected as a finalist for Dr. Oz's Transformation Nation- Million Dollar You.  Luckily, they called because the email went to my spam folder.  Long story short, I had just a few hours to write an essay, fill out some paper work for a background check, and answer some questions on the phone.  Am I the only person that gets a little creeped out/freaked out when filling out background check paperwork?  Even though I know nothing will be there, I'm always afraid I'll miss a zip code or something simple and mess it all up.  *Side note- when I filled out my CORI form for the YMCA, I spent five minutes trying to figure out what to write down for "hair color". Natural? Current? Recent?*   It was a very long questionnaire involving past addresses, work places, and web stuff.

I'll spare the suspense, I did find out today that I have not advanced any further into the competition, but I DID earn an American Cancer Society Spin for Hope beach mat.  So, I think it all evened out.  I think what did me in is that I'm an actor.  I had to list any TV or movie appearances and I did have to admit that I appeared on The Scariest Places on Earth a few years back.  Plus, if you google my name or look hard enough on Facebook or any theater website, you're going to find some weird (but easily explained) pictures of me. Ah, well.

For example.  Me as Magenta in The Rocky Horror Show.  

In other news, I started my new Zumba class at the YMCA today.  It was a strange week to start (I realize now) because it's school vacation week.  I had two students. (Yes, two)  They were super sweet and had both done Zumba before, so that was great.  It's just a wee bit awkward dancing with two other people in a small room with mirrors.  Each Zumba teacher has their own style and I happen to be a huge fan of fast songs and booty shaking. The two ladies? Not such a fan of the second part and that was unfortunate considering my playlist for the day.  I even tried to lure then into it by pointing out that it's great for the core, but no such luck.  I figured I'd continue to shake my butt at them and they'd eventually give in and join, but nope.  They did the moves minus the shaking.  Ah, well.  At least they did the robot with me.

Also, I'm having a BLAST in The Full Monty at Stoneham Theatre.  I'm so lucky to be a part of such a talented, passionate, and kind group of people.  We've had some great audiences and are getting wonderful reviews.  And then there's the costumes and wigs... lots of fun!  

Fun costumes, but again, perhaps a reason to not put me on an episode of Dr. Oz

One more thing before I sign off, I was interviewed by the local paper about my work with Deana's Educational Theaer. I'm just one of many actors that are involved in this wonderful organization that strives to educate people of all ages about bullying and dating violence.  You can find the article here.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Goal! (and an eye patch)

This update is a week overdue, but you'll see why!

So, I made goal! March 29, 2012 at the noon meeting, I passed my Weight Watchers goal!  I was running late and had to weigh in during the meeting and then sneak in.  Jean (our fab leader) knew I was getting close, so she stopped for a second and asked if I made it.  The applause and congratulations felt very nice. In 12 or so years of being back and forth on the program, I had never hit my goal. It's a great milestone.  But if I'm being honest? It's not really how I pictured it.

I feel wonderful, don't get me wrong. I guess I always viewed goal as an ending.  I thought I would be completely satisfied with my body when I got to goal.  Again, I'm happy and very proud, but I'm not done. I'm not done and I don't really know when I will be done.  I'm not sure what my personal goal number is.  I know that I have fat I want to lose and muscle I want to build. I know that I want to be a smaller clothing size. But I also know that I want to be a better athlete, a faster runner, I want to have more endurance and flexibility. I'm trying to shift my goals from a number on the scale or on the tag of my clothing to something more important (like the later goals above).  I want to be healthy. I feel so much better than I used to and I want to keep feeling better.  I guess I'm learning that I'll never be "done", but it doesn't seem as frustrating as it used to.

I tried to find a "before" picture online, but I'm having some trouble finding one from almost 90lbs ago.  I'm sure I have physical pictures somewhere, I'll just have to find and scan. BUT- here are a couple of my most recent "before" and my recent headshot as an after-

This is from a wonderful trip to Maine in 2010.
I think this is probably  50-60 lbs or so more than I am right now.

This is from Halloween 2011 (Joan from Mad Men) 50lbs heavier than now

This is my current headshot from a couple of weeks ago. I don't have anything else more recent right now,
but I think I can see a big difference in my face and 

Now... eye patch, you ask? Yes. Eye patch.  I've taught and taken many many Zumba classes with no injury to myself or others.  Last Friday (the day after I made goal), I subbed a Zumba class at Vavavoom Fitness.  It's a bit of a drive for me, so I got there nice and early. I chatted with some new students, said hi to my friend Deena.  At 9:30, I introduced myself, started the music, ran to the front of the studio to start... and scratched my cornea with my thumb nail.  Yep. There's really no better way to earn the respect of a class than to accidentally gouge your own eye out.  I was double over with pain for about 10 seconds and then got it together.  I thought "I'm subbing... I can't leave... " I somehow made it through the class with only a few moments of blinding pain.

After the class I wondered if I should get to the eye doctor or maybe the ER?  I looked in the mirror and could see a scratch on my eye.... probably not a great sign.  I walked outside assuring everyone that I was totally fine and got in my car.  So far, so good. I started to drive away wondering where I should go... then realized my eye was not feeling wonderful... so I pulled into the Target parking lot and called Kevin.  "So... if I scratched my eye, should I go to the eye doctor or the ER?"  So, I went inside of the Target to wait for Kevin to pick me up (since by now I couldn't reeeeeally see) and sat at the Starbucks with an iced coffee.  For some reason, every mom that came into Starbucks decided to park their toddlers in shopping carts next to the table I was sitting at.  I'm sure that a sweaty girl with one eye swollen shut wincing in pain wasn't scary at all to them.  I went and bought some sunglasses, sat back down at Starbucks and called the stage manager (of COURSE I was scheduled for rehearsal that night).  Kevin arrived and helped me to the car.  I got in, closed my eyes, and didn't really open them about for 26 hours.

Now.... I know no one likes eye pain, but wow I hate it. Me at the eye doctors is like someone trying to put eye drops in a dog's eyes.  I just told the doctor  "I'm not opening my eye, you're going to have to just do it."  We got home and I just laid on the couch. I wasn't hungry, I didn't have to use the bathroom, it was just blinding eye pain.  I spent most of the afternoon and night lying on the couch listening to the Food Network with either sunglasses on over closed eyes, or with the comforter over my head.  Except for the few times and Kevin had to force antibiotic ointment into my eye.

The doctors and nurses had told me that eye injuries generally heal pretty quickly and I should be feeling better the next day.  I woke up Saturday morning to the same pain, more worry. I had to call out of rehearsal again and just kind of lay around with my eyes closed. (this time, I listened to the audio book "Bossy Pants" by Tina Fey.  A much better choice.

Kevin got me some gauze and an eye patch to try to keep the bad one closed and help the good one open. It worked! Not too much pain.  After an afternoon nap, I woke up feeling like I could open the scratched one.  I opened it and felt pretty good.  It was a little sensitive to light and got tired easily, so I got to sport my eye patch.  I even got to wear it part of the day at rehearsal the next day.  Jealous?

It's completely healed now, but I totally flinched at my own hands Monday when I put up my guard in Body Combat.