Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Learning Process

After shoveling a big bowl of pasta last night I hit up the library for the first time to rewrite some notes using colored ink. The library is surprisingly small for one affiliated with a large teaching hospital.

Anyway I must have done something wrong again yesterday because around 6pm a headache set in. It didn't stop me from 4 hours of notes but OW. Dislike. I had a few corn chips and hummus before bed to try to alleviate the pain some, thinking it was again blood sugar related. Then I slept for 10 1/2 hours. I guess I really am still recovering from this URI.

So this morning I made a big bowl of tomato and egg around 10am, my preferred breakfasting time. Ate another of those yogurts around 2.45 then after lecture had a few chips with salsa, my last slice of that GF bread with balsamic vinaigrette, and two kosher coconut macaroons. Damn, if that doesn't keep my blood sugar up I don't know what will.

Spent the past three hours making note cards and studying in my favorite local Starbucks (29th & Park.) Gave in and spent just over $4 on a tall soy chai. Plus at 8ish I had another hummus and red pepper sammich. So today was a FAT day, it seems, considering I didn't wake up early enough to go to the gym, like I said I would. Oy.

That's ok, I'll have my last yogurt for breakie tomorrow, the last helping of my Super Awesome GF Vegan Pasta (TM) for lunch, and do something with that avocado for dinner. I'd lie and say maybe I can squeeze in some gym time, but let's be honest. I'll be at the library rewriting my notes until late.

For now: more reading of my medical terminology book.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

When It Rains ...

This weekend was a little on the crazy side - though still fairly sick, on Friday night I split a bottle of wine (Bordeaux) with my new roommate Brittney at a cute little French restaurant (Cosette, 163 E.33rd St.) Then on Saturday night I went back to Caracas Arepa Bar with a friend from out of town. Sunday morning saw a large group brunch with new friends in Williamsburg at Mesa Coyoacán - très yummy - followed by an early evening cocktail and cheese & fruit plate at some random place by Herald Square (the name escapes me) with another friend from out of town.

But that's not what you want to know. You want to know just what I'm doing now that this budget has got me by the neck.

Well. Yesterday was a slight fail. I didn't eat breakfast, which is how I used to roll when I was working but after a month of eating when I was hungry (plus the 12 hour time difference) my body is on a very different (read: messy) food schedule. This means I was starving by the time "lunch" happened at noon. I'd also forgotten something at home so running back there meant scarfing two slices of GF bread for a total of 240 calories.

This got me through the rest of my early day (lecture until 3) when I had a coconut milk yogurt (So Delicious brand, 150 cal) to last me through 2 hours of reading & assignments - I chose to stay in the classroom and finish. The low blood sugar headache sets in.

Then the grocery store: veggies, hummus, avocado, mushroom. Aren't you proud? I ended up making my favorite brand of GF pasta (Tinkyada) and in place of bottled pasta sauce I sauteed (in evoo):

garlic (minced)
onion (diced)
zucchini (chopped)
Thai eggplant (chopped)
tomatoes (diced, canned)
pinto beans (canned, drained)
random spices & herbs

It came out SUPER awesome! Plus vegan bonus points for all of yesterday.

So far today: I skipped breakfast again (oops) but only because my 7am go-to-the-gym alarm didn't go off. At lunch just now I had a sammich with the garlicky hummus I bought yesterday and sliced red pepper. Nom! I have another yogurt for my afternoon snack (~3pm) and leftover pasta for dinner (plus the other half of a bag of salad I ate last night.)

I've also realized that I'm going to need to update this almost daily if I'm going to be super diligent about budgeting/recording. I like to think that doing so will keep me in check. In terms of a lot of things.

Ah, glad to get this written on my lunch break!

Friday, March 26, 2010

So It Begins

Well, it will begin. On Sunday. I think I'll cook some Dal followed by a basic mid-week pasta. Also I want to try my hand at making some tasty bean spread for my inevitable sandwich lunches (yogurt will be breakfast, maybe an occasional tomato & egg if class starts a bit later.)

Tuesday night Jon made some diverse, tasty food - salmon with garlic and ginger, super spicy bell peppers with chili peppers, and cauliflower with leeks, bacon, and cheese. Plus his cousin/roommate goes to cooking school so we had good food talk in the kitchen, we three.

On Wednesday I tried my hand at Thai curry. It went fairly well, considering the fact that I forgot my GF soy sauce had no stopper and WAY too much got in my curry. No photos due to my camera still being in Thailand. Grabbed a beer with some of my new classmates that night to try to dispel some pre-orientation jitters at Peculier Pub (they only have Red Bridge, but still.)

Splurged for dinner with Andres last night at Rosa Mexicano (the one on 1st Ave) which means once I finish this post I am most definitely going to the gym, despite this nasty head/chest cold I'm fighting.

SO here we go. This will be it. After this weekend no more "oh, what the hell, sure we can do dinner." I will be on a super strict budget. Keep smart spending vibes and tasty food vibes coming my way!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Step 1: Groceries

OK, this is for serious now.

Yesterday I hit up both Whole Foods (the one on Union Square, since I was in the neighborhood) and Bangkok Center Grocery, the tiny Thai store in Chinatown, where I grabbed some specific curry ingredients and some Thai eggplant (mild obsession.) Also between the two I got some of my own basics: rice, GF pasta, GF bread, yogurt, tempeh, eggs, canned beans, GF soy sauce, and for the first time agave nectar (exciting!)

I think yogurt will become my standard breakfast/lunch, mixing it up some days. Then a few staples plus fresh produce and herbs and other extraneous ingredients for Cooking Day (which will be Sundays - Saturdays will be spent studying) and viola! Theoretic Eating Plan in place.

Before all this kicks in, though, I'm busy building up my cabinet/fridge, making room on the already crammed kitchen shelves (two roommates), and playing catch-up with my NYC friends. Which, of course, translates into food/drinks out. Last night my dear friend Holly and I tried Caracas Arepa Bar in the East Village. Incredibly tasty. It has made me determined to improve my own arepa-making skills. And tonight I'm being treated to a home-cooked meal by another dear friend, Jon, at his Brooklyn home. Sweet deal!

Countdown: 2 days until orientation. Yikes!

Monday, March 22, 2010

What's this Real Life thing?

Last Wednesday I returned from my month of awesome in Asia (Beijing, Thailand, Cambodia.) A very large part of me wonders why I got on that plane home. Ah, that word. Home. Once again I find myself questioning its meaning.

But I digress. The food. Bless my taste buds, the food in Thailand. I used to tell people that if I had to choose only one cuisine to consume for the rest of my life it would be Thai food. I now have definitive proof that this is beyond true. This is true and a half. Cambodia also has some very tasty dishes.

Chinese food I've never liked - all the oil, MSG, and soy sauce (not gluten free.) The only Chinese food I enjoyed was the food I made myself in the cooking class I took in Beijing (off Nanluoguxiang.) The key to any Chinese dish: leek, garlic, and ginger.

I also took a Thai cooking class in Chiang Mai, and though I spent a delicious day there I can't remember the name of the school for the life of me. I am now no longer afraid of trying my hand at making my favorite dishes. Thai cooking is quick and easy, it's just a matter of getting all the ingredients together.

I have no recipes or photos for you today. My camera is sort of still on Ko Phi Phi (a story not relevant to food) for the time being. However later today I'll swim downtown in this rain to check out the Thai grocery store in Chinatown. I haven't really started to think out a cooking or grocery shopping schedule. Or found a gym/rock wall/yoga class within my price range. But I do still have a little less than half the money I started with 2 months ago. And I will be updating here.

Oh! And one of my mother's best friends gave me a goodbye Boston gift: a book of 1,000 gluten free recipes. I don't see myself wanting for recipe inspiration anytime soon.