Monday, August 16, 2004

Back on the road again (to fitness)

On Friday in the training seminar the conversation outside of class turned to first time home ownership. One of the younger techs had just bought a house and lamented the impact the stress of closing took on his diet.
“I’ve gained 30 pounds since,” he shook his head.
My mouth dropped and I put my hand to my breast.
“Oh – My – God! Me too!”

So, yes, this is my way of admitting that my fitness habits have slipped in the past few months. No one ever warned me that home ownership would cause the size of my ass to inflate. I don’t think that I’ve actually ballooned back to my former weight; however, I will say that I can bearly fit into those size 6 jeans I bought early last year. The past few months, if you haven’t been reading, I dedicated myself to week after week of culinary debauchery. I possessed no fear of carbs or cholesterol and I modeled my lifestyle after a hedonistic Roman, except the Romans in my idea of history would have delighted in the butter and bacon drenched cuisine of the South.

After deciding that I was getting a little plump last week, I decided to get back to my old routine of going to the gym. I spent most of Sunday morning in the downtown branch which is always harder because the people there are already incredibly thin and fit. These people are the ones who religiously particpate in the downtown Marathons or bicycle races. They are the Hood to Coasts warriors who get a high off of fitness. So in the midst of these would be Olympian gods… I must toil on the tread mill and huff and puff as I attempt to re learn the mat exercises I’d mastered last year. Shame, shame, shame pulses through my veins. I move forward, with my face to the floor or treadmill belt. I can’t play that comparison game in here.

Her arms jiggle more than mine
My ass is smaller than hers
No, way… I’m not that big

Of course when you play this fat scale game you always think of yourself when you were at your thinnest.

Since, last Monday, I’ve been to the gym a total of 5 times. Slowly getting back into my regular cycle. I may seem to be slipping into that overly zealous fitness mindset…or worse allowing myself the get back on the roller-coaster of weight loss, but I have discovered that I feel less like biting anyone elses head off if I’ve done at least 20 minutes of heavy cardio every day.

And diet? Never fear… I will not totally discount the value of cooking with bacon grease or realizing that dumplings and biscuits are an integral part of loving life. However, I will spend more energy on my repetoire of tofu recipes. Please, note I am not a fan of soy milk… as I discovered that I experienced some torrents of hormonal mood swings after a daily in-take of 2-3 c of the stuff per day.

Baked tofu sticks (based on Moosewood New Classics recipe)

1 16 oz block of tofu cut into strips (3 inches long)
1 large egg white beaten slightly

3 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp red chili sauce (you know the kind in the squeezy bottle)
½ tsp salt
1 tsp sesame oil
2 cloves of garlic minced

Mix the above ingredients and pour over the tofu. Make sure all the slices are coated evenly. Allow to sit for at least 20 minutes. Pour the egg white into a small dish and coat each stick. Roll the sticks generously in the breading below.

1 ½ c unseasoned bread crumbs
1 tbsp black sesame seeds
1 tbsp white sesame seeds

Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve with the following sauce.

Dipping sauce
3 tbsps light soy sauce
3 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sugar
2 green onions chopped fine
2 tbsp cilantro chopped


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