Cutting Carbs

It was not my idea but my household is carb free for the time being. I have no idea how long this will last. Bread and pasta are my favs but I can’t think about that now.  I accepted the no carb challenge.

Grocery shopping was easy.  Here’s what we have eaten so far.

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Seafood Soup

Some days I wake up with multiple meals on my mind. Those days make my week easy. Meal planning, done. On other days, I know I want to cook but have no idea what. Those are the days I wander the grocery store aimlessly waiting for something to jump out at me.  Well today a seafood medley jumped out at me.  It was in the frozen food section; a medley of shrimp, scallops, calamari, and mussels.  Instantly I thought, “soup!”

This would be my first attempt at a seafood soup that wasn’t Maryland Crab or cream of crab but really soups are easy.  As I headed towards checkout I made a mental list of what I would use for the base.  Well today is the day and below are the results.

I have to say, I wish I made a bigger batch.  This soup turned out perfectly.  I started with butter and flour.  Once blended I added my garlic and onion powder.  Next, i added vegetable broth and tomato paste.  I stirred until it was a smooth consistency.  Then I added a generous amount of old bay seasoning.  Lastly I added my defrosted seafood and let it simmer.  The result was a smooth and flavorful soup.  I will definitely be making this again.

Yummm!

I started the year with two of my favorite things; food and art.  I recently escaped to the American Visionary Art Museum where I took in the Yummm exhibit.  I love trips to museums.  They allow me to reset and just be in the moment.  I occasionally need that calm.

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This trip did not disappoint.  The exhibit was both entertaining and informative.  I explored peoples relationships with food and discovered an artist I was not familiar with prior to this visit, Ramon Alejandro.  He is now a favorite.  Below are pieces by Ramon that pulled me in.20170104_14311820170104_143023 20170104_143053

Before I found Ramon, I found humor in these contemporary pieces…

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…emotion in these…

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…and me in this.

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If you have the opportunity to see this exhibit, I highly recommend you do.

 

Effortless Weightloss

Every Fall I decide that I will start working on my Summer body  in the Winter.  This Fall I put together a detailed workout plan.  That’s about all I did.  I never actually started.  Last month I noticed that I was losing centimeters around my waist.  Of course I was not complaining but I did wonder how.

I spent days off mostly in bed.  The dropping temperatures made my bed irresistible.  I wasn’t working out.  I wasn’t stressed.  Sometimes stress will cause me to lose weight.  That wasn’t it though.  I was actually unusually content.

I continued to go over my actions and  inactions in an attempt to figure out the cause of this welcomed weight loss.  Then it hit me; breakfast.  That’s what I had been doing differently.  I was eating breakfast mostly every day.  Some days it would be as simple as fresh fruit or cereal.  Other days I would prepare a hot breakfast but I ate breakfast mostly every day and I lost weight without an exercise plan. Imagine what I could accomplish if I actually start my exercise plan.  I am still working on that.  In the meanwhile I am thrilled with my effortless weight loss.

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Mexicano Square

My day was saved by a food truck. I have not decided whether it is healthy to get this level of comfort from food but there are worse things I could be doing. The day started off pretty well until I ran into one of my enemies, traffic.

On this particular day I had a shoot in Washington D.C.  It is probably best to navigate the city by train or Uber but I drove.  I arrived in plenty of time despite traffic only to face my other enemies; restricted parking and construction.  My call sheet alerted me that there was limited parking and listed two parking garages as options.  Street parking was permit only.  I didn’t want to risk a ticket so I proceeded to the first parking garage which turned out to be a parking lot that was also permit only.  Frustrated I proceeded to the second garage.  I was turned away.  The second garage was solely for government employees.

I ended up parking in a garage I found about a half mile away from set.  I was still making good time though.  Then it happened.  I exited the garage at Patriot Plaza and walked right into Mexicano Square.  There was a row of food trucks but Mexicano Square stood out.  I am happy to say I chose the right truck.

I ordered a burrito and in changed my entire mood. How good was it? So good that I couldn’t put it down long enough to get a good picture.  I did however get a pic of the social media handles.  Mexicano Square sells tacos, quesadillas, and burritos; pretty much exactly what you’d expect.  If this truck is near you, you have to treat yourself to this fresh, fast, and authentic Mexican Cuisine.  You will not regret it.

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Modern Market

So yesterday I was introduced to a little place called Modern Market….Where has this restaurant been my entire life? It is a casual homestyle restaurant with options for nearly everyone.   The meals are prepared on site from scratch.  On the paleo diet? No problem.  Gluten free? No problem Dairy free? No Problem Vegan? Vegetarian?  You get the point.  I was excited to see the half and half menu.  Everything looked so good.  I thought I would start with a half pizza, gluten-free of course, and a half salad.  Then I saw the soups.  I changed my mind three times in sixty seconds but my cashier was so patient.  Everyone was really.  In fact my companion went back and changed her order minutes after we paid and it was no problem at all.  With that menu I imagine they get a lot of indecisive customers.

I went to the Bethesda location which had only been open for two days.  Outside of the balloons outside, you wouldn’t know.  It fit right in like it had been in the community for decades.  The staff worked together like family and the already huge customer base raved about the grand opening and of course the food.  I met several people who had already visited Modern Market multiple times in the two days it had been open.  After I ate, it was very clear to me why.  After getting over my indecision, I decided on the Flat Iron Steak salad.  The salad consisted of mixed greens, flank steak, roasted potatoes, carmelized onions, gorgonzola, and a balsamic vinaigrette.  That salad haunted my dreams last night.  I woke up wanting to get back to Modern Market to try breakfast this morning.  Unfortunately I knew I wouldn’t pass one in my travels.

I am anxious to get back and try other menu items.  I didn’t take a picture of my salad but it looked identical to the website photo. ( www.modernmarket.com )That rarely happens.  Next time I go, I will slow down and take a picture before I dig in.  I couldn’t help myself.  Go see for yourself.

Healthy Decor

Fresh flowers are one of the easiest ways to brighten a room. Nearly five years ago I made the decision to always keep fresh flowers in the house. Not only did the flowers transform every room they were in but they also put me at peace.  Even the upkeep relaxed me; changing the water, trimming the stems and leaves.  I kept this up for a while.  Then life got in the way as it tends to do.  I didn’t always make time to purchase flowers.  When I didn’t I could fall back on bouquets that were occasionally gifted to me as well as my garden; depending on the season.  That too came to a halt.

That’s when I realized I could get the same satisfaction from something that is always in the house, fruit.  I filled my crystal with fruit and put it on display.  Just like the flowers, the fruit brightened the room and improved my mood.  Red or green apples, tangerines, mangos, lemons, or limes; whatever was in the fridge went out on display.

Additionally, the decor encouraged me to eat fruit rather than cake.  For me it was a win win.  There are no candy dishes in my home.  However, my guests are welcomed to whatever fruit is on display.