New Client Cookies.

Does anyone else’s employer do this? Every time we get a new client, there’s an email that goes out:

[A department you didn’t know existed] got a new client!… [blah blah blah applaud all the hard work blah blah blah]… Cookies will be in the usual spots this afternoon!

FYI, the “usual spots” happen to be every admin desk which happens to be at every effing exit. There is literally no way to enter or leave the office without encountering a mountain of cookies heaped onto a plate. And they’re always delicious, perfectly gooey, freshly baked, and perfect in every way, so it’s almost impossible to resist them. Evil. They are evil cookies.

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Anyway, that happened today. I showed a little restraint, as in I had small pieces of cookie at a time instead of taking a whole one (did I mention they’re monster-sized?), but I don’t love that it happened. This does not make me want to root for new clients, and I think that’s probably the wrong sentiment.

So this is what I propose: instead of having New Client Cookies, we should have New Client Healthy Lunch and Go Home Early to Exercise. I would be out recruiting new clients all the time if we had that, and that’s not even my job! Think about it. “We got a new client! You’re going to lose 10 pounds if this keeps up!” Wouldn’t that make you happy? It would make me ecstatic. I would love to lose 10 pounds and I would love my company to be 100% financially secure. That, to me, would be a win-win.

Sometimes, though, I think I’m the only one who feels this way…

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Bad foodie, very bad.

Or maybe I’ve been a good foodie and a bad healthy foodie. Hmm. Either way, I’ve been really enthusiastic about all food-related pursuits lately… a little too enthusiastic, if you catch my drift. I’ve been back on Perricone for the past week, and while I’ve been (mostly) obedient, I went a little overboard once or twice, and worst of all, I haven’t been working out. So, naturally, I was beginning to get pretty frustrated when I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted to see.

No, these pelmeni were not gluten free. And yes, they were delicious.

So, for my August resolution, I will 1) stick to Perricone for as long as I can stand, and 2) work out every day, even if it’s only for 15 minutes. I got this app called MapMyWalk and walked a total of 5.87 miles today. I’m going to get back into this walking thing. I feel so much better about life when I’m exercising.

And, because this is a foodie blog, I feel I must share a photo of tonight’s scrumptious and healthy dinner:

4 oz. coconut breaded chicken fingers (from Whole Foods); pesto dipping sauce; grilled vegetable kabob (from Trader Joe’s); romaine salad with roma tomato, red onion, fresh basil and parmesan cheese, dressed with olive oil-balsamic vinaigrette.

As you probably figured out, I used my new grill for the veggies. It was only the second time I’ve used it, but I’m getting markedly less nervous about the smoke. I really enjoy cooking on this grill. It cooks things fast and it smells like summer.

I’m going to be better about posting, I swear. I feel like it’s the only thing that keeps me honest about what I’m eating, aside from logging everything (and that takes a lot more time).

Healthy foodie comes clean.

I will literally eat anything. Well, wait, let me qualify that a bit: as long as it can be loosely construed as food, I’ll eat it. This bodes well for my travels, but it does occasionally make it difficult to continue eating healthily.

I made it through college on a diet which consisted of two main food groups: pasta (which does include Top Ramen) and takeout. I did not enjoy cooking unless it involved using two forms of cookware or fewer and/or took less than 30 minutes (half an hour was for “fancy meals,” like the odd occasion I would decide to make spaghetti and broccoli). I always had the potential to be a good cook, but I was too lazy to tap into that potential. And I never bothered to understand or care about how unhealthy the foods I was eating were.

Of course, now that I’ve made the effort to educate myself, I’m at the opposite end of the spectrum: I know too much. To the point where I feel a little twinge of guilt when I deign to eat pasta (which, by the way, is only allowed when in foreign countries) or treat myself to a cappuccino. I’ve gotten a lot more relaxed about it lately, but it’s still a struggle to let it go for a minute without letting it go completely.

I went through a phase in February/March where I was trying – mostly in vain – to come up with healthy versions of desserts. You may have seen this more recently in my healthy frozen yogurt/healthy fudgecicle posts (these desserts are becoming gradually less healthy as I continue to make them, so it may be time to cease and desist). I’ve always been fond of baking cookies, so those were my main vehicle for experimentation. Of course, the best part of baking cookies is eating the dough, so… you can see where this is going. Somewhere bad.

Now imagine this, but applied directly to the thighs.

Last night, I was bored. I was bored and I wanted chocolate; never a good combination. I came across a recipe for oatmeal cookies that didn’t use butter – it used vegetable oil – so I decided to try it and substitute coconut oil and Splenda and add some chocolate and some strawberries… yum. It was pretty tasty, especially right out of the oven. So tasty, in fact, that I ate half the cookies. Yes, half of them. The cookies were gluten free and not that horrible for me, but did I really need to eat half of them? Probably not. There’s something compulsive about my eating habits, especially when it comes to desserts. The Splenda probably contributes to that, and I’m sure it has something to do with an insulin spike… I think I’m going to have to stay away from desserts for awhile. They make me crazy, I tell you.

Baskin Robbins ain’t got nothin’ on me.

I occasionally get these brilliant ideas. Revolutionary thoughts like, “Maybe I could add crushed Reese’s to this chocolate chip cookie recipe… and then some peanut butter M&Ms… and then chunks of dark chocolate,” or, “Maybe I could make this innocent-looking apple as calorie-laden as possible by adding a cup of crumbled butter.” I get these brilliant ideas about dessert. So it stands to reason that I wouldn’t just stop at one frozen yogurt flavor.

Clockwise, from top left: Mixed Berry, Chocolate Mint Chocolate Chip, Cinnamon Almond, Chocolate Orange Marshmallow, Almond Spice, Double-Chocolate Blueberry, Strawberry Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Almond Butter.

Yes, the original – Chocolate Mixed Berry – has been consumed, and I still have eight flavors. Eight! I blame extracts for at least three of these. Today I discovered the wonder of almond, orange, and mint extracts, which each pack a big flavor punch with no nutritional impact. So far, based on numerous taste tests, the chocolate orange marshmallow is my favorite. It would even be good without the marshmallow fluff. The double-chocolate blueberry is also amazing, but probably the least nutritious – hello, double chocolate? That should be a hint.

I’m going to be really exceptionally good tomorrow, because I have been doing quite a bit of “taste testing” today. Of course, I’m also running on four hours of sleep for no good reason and I had absolutely no desire to work out. Hopefully tomorrow is better!

Oh, and before you judge me for my gluttony, take a look at what my coworkers were eating today:

A little marshmallow fluff isn’t looking so bad now.

Back to Perricone.

So, I was really bad yesterday. The holiday was my day off from Perricone and I took full advantage – I ate sushi with the white rice, I ate a BBQ pork hom bow, I ate cheesecake, I ate chips… not to mention the Russian feast and even more cheesecake later. And chocolate. Don’t forget the chocolate.

I’m resuming a normal eating schedule today, fortunately – all the less-than-healthy food yesterday has made my stomach not very happy. It was worth it, but I learned that I can’t/don’t want to eat the way I used to. The rice in the sushi rolls, which I used to believe to be integral to the sushi experience, seemed extraneous and a detraction from the delicious raw fish. I could’ve gone without the bread on the hom bow and just eaten the BBQ pork filling. The mini cheesecake from the market, while thoroughly delicious, proved to be too much sugar and rendered me useless for about an hour while I tried to get over the jitters (seriously – not cool). I can’t say I regret the kulebiaka, though. It wasn’t all that healthy, what with all that sauteing in butter (and let’s not even touch the puff pastry), but it was too amazingly delicious to have any regrets.

The point of all this? I needed a day to eat badly to realize how much better I feel when I eat well. So today? I’m mostly back to Perricone, and will be completely back when I eat the rest of my leftovers from last night.

Are you kidding me?

I’m starting to think they’re trying to kill us…

…or at least make us all resemble blimps.

I just Googled unhealthy food at work and came across this article: Junk Food at Work: How Innocent it Seems, and Yet, How Bad It Is. Yes. This is exactly how I feel. I doubt my workplace would endeavor to ban unhealthy food right away (any kind of change is typically an uphill battle around here), but as far as I’m concerned, it’s worth pursuing.

Of course, the article made me wonder whether any other employers in the area have implemented a similar policy. In that search, I stumbled across a blog post asking how people would feel about a junk-food-free workplace. The answer? Probably not great. Something about taking away the freedom to chow down on 5,000 calories a day.

I’m somewhere in the middle on this issue. I’m a proponent of personal responsibility, for sure – I chose to educate myself about my own health and I took control of my diet, and I continue to do so every day. I didn’t used to, however. It wasn’t lack of education that was stopping me from making healthy choices, it was laziness. Living this way is a lot of work, but I’ve learned that it’s worth the effort. I wish I’d known years ago.

However.

You’ll notice I said that it was laziness that was causing me to make the wrong choices. I’ll expound upon that. I say “laziness” because I’d look around the office and see candy and chocolate and donuts, and not a piece of fruit in sight. “Sure, I could walk to the store and picked up something a little healthier if I was hungry, but that would take me away from the office, whereas this delicious-looking confection is conveniently located five feet from my desk…” The other problem? Frugality. I’m not a frugal person by nature – I excel in consumerism – but I see free food and contrast it with the option of paying for food, and suddenly the former becomes that much more appealing.

I don’t think banning junk food altogether is a good solution. People should have the freedom to choose what they eat. I also don’t think it should be an uphill battle to make the right choices. So, either institute a policy that encourages the sharing of nutritious food in addition to or instead of the junk food, or simply discourage the sharing of junk food. I don’t care if one of my coworkers brings a cupcake with her lunch, but did she really have to buy twelve and set them out where everyone has access? That should be banned.

We are all taught the fundamentals of sharing early on in life. Share Legos, share Barbies, share crayons… but sharing these sugary snacks is like sharing the flu: you’re just perpetuating an unhealthy cycle, and you should probably just be keeping it to yourself.

You know this is just making it worse, right?

You may have seen my post on Monday about life in the cubicle, where I discussed my coworkers’ tendencies to oh so kindly share their junk food. I was able to obtain some photographic evidence of that this morning:

Now, let’s discuss the contents of this photo.

Those gummy bears have been sitting there since yesterday and are a common feature on that table. Gummy bears, also known as gelatinous sugar shaped as innocuous little teddy bears,  seem harmless enough until you realize that each serving of 15 pieces contains 18 grams of sugar – that’s 1.2 grams of sugar per piece. Considering the American Heart Association’s recommended daily allowance of sugar is 25 grams for women and 37.5 for men, even eating a handful of those chewy little candies seems excessive.

And the pastries? Are you serious? Well, first, there’s the sugar. I didn’t get exact numbers on the sugar content, but even a lemon poppyseed muffin from Whole Foods contains 26 grams of sugar. That’s right, it comprises the entire day’s sugar allowance, and then some. And don’t even get me started on the detrimental effects of all the gluten.

In comparison, those bananas look like the healthier choice – but they’re not much better than that pastry. One medium fresh banana contains as many as 20 grams of sugar – nearly as many as that muffin. It’s slightly better due to its relatively high levels of fiber and potassium, but it’s still not great.

Obviously, you shouldn’t be eating the Kleenex box or the paperclips, but they probably have more nutritional value than anything else on that table…