Friday, July 29

The Return of the Prodigal

Before coming to South Africa in May, I had sent the preceding 6 months or so sticking to the principles of French Women Don’t Get Fat. I have spoken about it on this blog and discussed this simple plan for enjoying life to the fullest and not depriving oneself while simultaneously staying healthy.

If interested in learning more about the French Women Don’t Get Fat lifestyle, visit the author’s website at

Anywho, upon arriving to South Africa, I began taking advantage of the leisure time and readily available food, chowing down on anything gluten-free in sight. Ironically, the culmination of my bad habits (I think) happened in France on our honeymoon (go figure), where I found myself eating massive amounts of bread and Nutella by the ladleful (not that I didn't LOVE it.).

Rather recently (as in, the last three days), I have told myself that enough is enough. It’s not that I think I am fat by any means. In fact, I think I look better than I did when I was a little too thin. But, now that I am at this happy body place, I want to keep it this way. So I’ve finally come back home. Back to the place where I know I feel good, look good, and live good… well. Mirielle’s tips and principles are so easy to follow. It’s definitely not a diet, but rather a way of living and eating so as to extract every bit of pleasure and enjoyment from every experience in life. Sounds perfect, right? Yeah, I think so too.

So, over the past few days, my eating habits have been back on track. No more sitting in the kitchen pouring bowl after bowl of granola with milk. No more eating cold food straight out of the refrigerator because I feel like it. I’m back to respecting meal time again and only eat while sitting and savoring every morsel. And I love it. On top of it all, I feel awesome at the end of the day knowing that I ate exactly what I wanted, drank what I wanted, and still feel guiltless. Ahhh, sweet freedom.

Here are some of my Franco-style eats from yesterday and today.
Sardines on rice cake with a salad
My new love= persimmon/sharon fruit. This amazing little fruit looks like a yellow tomato and tastes like jelly in a firm little casing. Uh-May-Zing.
Persimmon with carrot for a mid-afternoon snack
Breakfast of champions: black coffee with cinnamon and oats with smashed butternut squash (basically pumpkin pie oatmeal).
Salad beast: spring greens, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, 1/2 cooked potato, boiled egg, peas, and yogurt herb dressing. Yowsa.
Salad beast was followed by brie cheese, a pear, and a glass of red wine. Don't mind if I do.
Another delicious breakfast made up of yogurt with oats, a mineola (like an orange... sort of), and black coffee with cinnamon
Tomato basil soup, toast, and a slice of cheese
Greek burger (feta cheese, cumin, coriander, rosemary, thyme, and pepper) topped with caramelized onions, potato wedges, salad, and a glass of wine. I could not eat the second half of that burger due to the massive amount of grease. I could, however, eat about 10 more of those wedges. This delicious meal was followed up by some dark chocolate. is a great resource for recipes, wine and cheese tips, lifestyle guidelines, clothing suggestions, and a plethora of other things. When I am feeling uninspired, browsing its pages gets me feeling motivated again. Besides, who doesn’t want to eat what they want, drink wine every day, and not over-exercise? Not me, and probably not you. The bottom line is, make your body happy and your mind happier.

Why did I ever stray?

Sunday, July 24

Life Update #2

Hello friends! Sooo, I’ve been trying to get back into my photo-taking, blog-writing routine, but it just hasn’t seemed to be working. This is probably due to the fact that no one wants to see a plate of 5 rice cakes slathered with Nutella or a Goliath-sized bowl filled with granola and milk. Kidding… not really.

There have been few things worth blogging about lately, so I figured rather than writing 5 paragraph-length posts, I’d combine them into one. I've decided to label this type of post "Life Update," because often times, the subject matter is entirely to broad to create a cohesive title. What a smarty-pants I am, right?

So, here'goes. Life Update #2. Over the past few days I…

Got coffee with my husband.
Artfully-presented coffee and sexy husband. What more could a girl ask for?
 Went to see the last of the Harry Potter series! Finally. It was… magical. How I’m going to miss that attitudinally-challenged, circular-spectacle-wearing wizard!

Had a lovely dinner out with my hubs.
Lamb shanka (of which I was only able to eat one), onion rings (of which I did not eat any), baked potato, and measly salad. The meat was falling off the bone and roasted in a red wine sauce. Oh, My, ggggaaaawwwwsh.
Went to a cooking class. 
 That was yesterday, and it was awesome. The class was put on by my cousin-in-law who sells a device called the ThermoMix. I’ve raved about this Holy Grail of cooking appliances before on this blog, because it is definitely the most amazing gadget ever created! For our wedding gift, this cousin-in-law of mine got one for us. I will be receiving it soon and getting a personal demo on all the magnificent things it does. Get ready to see some dazzling creations soon!

Back to the cooking class… The guest chef was the owner of the Green Peppercorn, a fancy schmancy restaurant in Sandton. His passion for food and mind-blowing combinations were inspiring. In the span of two hours using the ThermoMix, he made 10 different dishes that served 8-10 people. I would have taken photos of the food, but who wants to see bites of food in mini Styrofoam cups? Not me. Not you. But I can tell you what he made:

Fig and raspberry daqueri
Raspberry and rosemary smoothie
Broccoli and zucchini soup
2 ciabattas, one plain and one sundried tomato flavored
Butternut polenta
Curry butter chicken
Gluten-free chocolate cake
Vanilla custard to top the cake
Raspberry frozen yogurt

The food was amazing, but a total tease. Enough to get a good taste but keep you wanting more. Gah. Afterward, SAM and I got a creamy cappuccino. Perfectly delicious. I wasn’t disappointed.

Today is a chill day. This morning, SAM and I walked. Then I soaked up the warm winter sun, after which I was informed that we would be getting another cold front soon. Curses! Now, I am gladly recapping the interesting bits of my life for you wonderful people. And later, I plan to Skype my madre, work on some job possibilities, and possibly nap. Sounds good to me. 

Wednesday, July 20

A Good Day

Yesterday was a good day, a productive day—a commodity that has been few and far between for me lately. The day started off with Zumba Flat Abs, a twenty-minute video that actually makes you sore afterward. However, my poor, decrepit knees were screaming by the end of those twenty minutes, and shot down my hopes of doing squats and lunges. Gah.

So I figured I’d forget it (not hard for me to do when it comes to working out) and go about my day. Since yesterday was a month since the wedding (we made it!), we decided it would be a good idea to get these pictures rolling. So SAM and I headed down south to visit my photographer and give him honeymoon pictures and music for the DVD. While there, I had the pleasure of playing with his 8-month-old yorkie puppies, A.K.A. the cutest things in the entire world.
This photo explains everything. The one on the right is Rascal- calm, cool, collected. The one on the left is Pixie-psychotic, crazy, and unable to sit still. She was literally running circles around Rascal.
Made. My. Day.

Following our short-lived meeting, to Pick-and-Pay we went to gather the goods for the night’s meal—Creamy Tuna Pasta. After returning home, I did a bit of leisurely reading and baked some good ol’ corn bread.

I got the recipe from Gluten-Free Mommy, but adapted it to suit the ingredients we had in the house. I replaced the rice flour with GF cake flour, replaced the milk with butter milk, and used 3 eggs instead of 2.
This cornbread was beyond amazing. It was moist, fluffy, and totally divine. 
Cornbread with Brie. Talk about a mix of cultural food...
 By the time the night was over, only half of this baby was left due to my soccer-player’s extreme hunger upon arriving home from work. 

I am currently enjoying some for breakfast as I write...
Cornbread with milk
 Later, I chatted up my Biff for an incredibly long time. She kept me laughing throughout the conversation, which is something I was desperately needing. Thanks Biff. Love you!

Then it was time for some chow. Master Chef Australia and dinner in front of the boob tube is an integral part of the nightly family routine, so I wanted to make sure to be done with the cooking by 6:30 PM sharp.

No pictures were taken of my delicious dinner because, well, I forgot. But it was a hit. A unique dish, and something very out-of-the-ordinary. The flavors were out-of-this world and the whole nature of everything made it possible to taste and appreciate every ingredient in the dish. Can you tell I loved it? See recipe here.

Halfway through dinner and a mouthful of tuna pasta, everything went black. Welcome to Africa. We had a general power failure. Candles were immediately lit and placed around the house, and Miguel and I finished our dinner by candlelight. How romantic ;). Then we spent the next hour trying not to go crazy as Miguel and my father-in-law try to understand something about my sister-in-law’s school, listening to my father-in-law chat up the girl at the power company, and otherwise entertaining ourselves in the dark.
The living room with only candles for lighting. Obviously they weren't working very well.
Are you afraid of the dark?
I was mildly disappointed when the lights flickered back on. There’s nothing like free entertainment during a power outage. I am certain it brings out the hilarity in everyone’s nature. Fantastic. Good day... good day.

Sunday, July 17

Non-Routine Routines


Recently, I’ve fallen into some non-routine routines. What I mean is…

1.      I have been applying to jobs like a mad woman- since I have an inability to “legitimately” work here in South Africa at the moment, I have been applying for every freelance job I can find. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t need to work, because I have a wonderful soccer-playing husband. However, for my sanity’s sake, I need a project to keep me busy. My fixation on getting a job now has me up at 3 am, sending out my resume, writing samples, and knocking on virtual doors. No luck thus far…
2.      Blogging has been on the back burner. This has been the case since my family came out, and I can’t seem to get back in the groove. I attribute this to non-routine routine #1.
3.      Sleep has been intermittent and inadequate. This is also due to non-routine routine #1.
4.      Photo documentation of my life has been non-existent. This isn’t because I’m lazy, but rather that it simply slips my mind. Real routines have fallen by the wayside.
5.      Get ready for this one… I haven’t been helping cook dinner every night. Gasp! (I know). Skyping the fam often takes place during prime dinner preparation time, so I end up tidying up the kitchen after we’ve polished off the nighttime eats.
6.      Although I don’t always cook dinner, I have become the official salad maker in the house.
7.      I’ve been working out… whenever I want and doing whatever I want. This means Zumba-ing, walking, and doing body-resistance stuff.

I’m finding it very strange not to have some sort of plan or direction for the next phase in my life. For the past 10 years (give or take) I’ve had future plan, knowledge of what I want to accomplish next. There are no projects to be completed, no papers to be written, no deadlines to be met, or professors to answer to. So for now, I am an unemployed, post-grad newlywed…

Anyone looking for a freelance writer??