Wednesday, January 7, 2009

a couple things

1)  I enjoyed reading Mark Bittman's heavily emailed NYTimes piece today on how to stock a pantry.  THIS is how I want to cook and think about food.  Food, and cooking, should be fun and inspiring and fresh and delicious, and if occasionally there's butter involved, oh well.

2)  I watched the Biggest Loser last night, feeling conflicted.  Part of me despises the show from an entertainment perspective--it does not need to be two hours long, and the product placements are ridiculous.  (Find amusing recaps of the episode here and here.)  I also have serious reservations about the message the show sends--perfectly encapsulated last night when the Biggest! Contestant! Ever! lost 30 pounds in the first week and made a statement along the lines of "In the past, I tried to lose weight and it took me four months to lose 32 pounds--now I'm doing it the right way."  NO!  That is not the right way!  That is the insane way, and expecting you can maintain that pace, and suggesting to viewers that working hard for four months and losing 32 pounds is not an accomplishment to be proud of is hella dangerous.  On the other hand, I'm such a sucker for triumphant moments when they see how much they've lost.  Also, I like the exercise montages, and when I was riding the bike in the gym yesterday and tempted to get off after 30 minutes, I did think to myself, "On the Biggest Loser, they stay in that gym for hours.  Come on now, you can do this a little longer!"

3)  On a related note, I stayed home today because it is rainy and nasty outside and I'm still nursing a bit of a cold.  However, I recently heard that On Demand has some free workout videos, so I checked them out.  I went into not expecting much because my impression was that these things are way corny.   Also, I have about a two foot square space in front of the TV in which to maneuver, and when you jump up and down in that space, the whole house shakes.  I tried a Biggest Loser cardio workout led by Bob, and something called a Boost walking workout led by a very giggly and annoying woman.  I have to say, I enjoyed the workout.  Bob's workout had me doing all kinds of aerobic movements I'd never have come up with, and it made me seriously sweat.  The walking one was verrry corny, and more of an ad to sell their Boost products (handheld weights, elastic belts) but I just used my two cans of Goya beans and kept my heartrate up for another 20 minutes.  I don't know that I would want to do the same workouts regularly, because the "impromptu" mugging for the camera would get really old, but it's good to know these are available for, yes, a rainy day.


  1. Hi! I just stumbled across your blog through your comment on smitten kitchen. You are funny and sound like you doing a great job! Keep it up.

  2. Ditto what MoJo said. I also loved Mark Bittman's piece on Minimalist - tomato paste in a tube? How have I missed this bit of technology!
    Good luck - it looks like you're doing great so far!

  3. Thanks for the encouragement! I live in a very Italian neighborhood, so the tomato paste in a tube is not new to me, but I was glad to see his endorsement of frozen shrimp and canned coconut milk (not the lightest ingredient, but so delicious).