What I’m Reading | vol. 1

Weekend Reading

While I still figure out where I want this blog to go, I wanted to share a few things that happened this week.

Last weekend the status of my sinuses deteriorated rather rapidly. By Sunday night, I was in pretty rough shape and knocking back Tylenol Cold & Flu as frequently as I could. At one point in the middle of the night, during one of my coughing attacks, I rolled over to my phone and scheduled an appointment at the Walgreens healthcare clinic closest to my office and trudged into the office while maintaining a steady mouth breathing routine.

Sickness aside, I was able to share a little bit of a health tip with my nurse, which made me feel pretty good regardless of my inability to breath from my nose (spoiler later, it was just allergy induced post-nasal drip. so hot.). When she went to take my blood pressure, I joked that it was likely to be high. I like to warn people so they aren’t so shocked that this seemingly healthy person before them puts out some semi-ridiculous number. It came back in the high 130s, which is actually high for me, but whatever. She and I got to talking and when I stated that I’m not on any medicine and that I basically treat it with diet and lifestyle, and that my GFR is only 84-ish… she asked what my secret was. She has two teenage sons who both suffer from kidney disease; one has already had a transplant and the other is on dialysis. When I mention food, my number one tip for making sure you’re making healthy choices throughout the week is meal prepping, and in particular, my failsafe roasted vegetables. I told her about how I usually roast up 2 sheet pans worth of veggies each weekend and portion them into individual containers to eat at lunch or dinner throughout the week, pairing them with pasta, grains or proteins for a complete meal. I told her that even though it’s just me, there is no way I’m going to cook every night. It has to be easy. And it has to taste good. Roasting vegetables is the best way to go for me because steaming leaves veggies flavorless and soggy – in my humble opinion. I can’t help but hope that this weekend, she tried it out based on my tips (she’s not into the brussels sprouts, but I can see that) and maybe she can help her boys get on track with their eating. As hard as it is in your 20s and 30s to be healthy, I can only imagine what it’s like to be so restricted in your teens when you’re already just trying to fit in.

What caught my attention:

Keeping a food diary: This is something I’ve been struggling with, but have been “doing” for years. About 5 years ago, I asked for an actual food journal for Christmas and did a really good job of writing down EVERYTHING I ate. I lost 10 pounds that spring. But since then, it’s been a struggle. I’ve used MyFitnessPal and now I use LoseIt. Both have their pros and cons and I wish someone would mash the two together. The things I love about MyFitnessPal (recipe URL importing) and LoseIt (burned calories don’t automatically equate to an increased daily allotment, you have to burn A LOT to get a bonus!) are mutually exclusive. Also, it’s really easy to NOT track something that was “bad” because if a tree falls in the forest….  My goal this week is track all of my meals and every unfortunate trip to the candy drawer in the office.

Hosting Your Own Brunches: Brunch is such millennial thing and can get really expensive! I try to always order something that I wouldn’t necessarily make for myself at home (like avocado toast) and since I don’t eat out that often, and breakfast foods are my favorite, brunch is something I’m not likely to say no to. My friends and I were out last Saturday and one casually mentioned that we should do homemade brunches more – now that we’re older and are spending more time in the kitchen, it gives us an opportunity to flex our culinary muscles, while still hanging out with our friends (and hopefully still in our pajamas, or some sort of spandex pants) and spending a fraction of the money. This article came across my Facebook timeline this week and I agree with everything mentioned here. Another thing to note is that hosting your own gives you more control over what you’re putting in your body – over salted restaurant hash browns are the worst!

Ugly Delicious on Netflix: I started this last weekend and was happy to see that I still had one final episode to get through! I love food documentaries and can binge them in one fell swoop if you let me… and this one did not disappoint. While I love other food/travel shows (I’m looking at you Parts Unknown), what I loved most about this show as that David Chang did deep dives into one specific cuisine (pizza, tacos, dumplings, etc.) and traveled the world with those things in mind… Culminating in an episode putting Asian dumplings and Italian stuffed pasta head to head in a battle of who stuffed it first.