Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Karma is a Bitch!

On the IPOD "Thinking of you" by: Greg Holden

So I went with my mom to an "On the Ball" class thinking that it would be fun and a nice little stretch... I mean we bought some of those balls years ago and it was always great fun to bounce on them. Little did I know that it was going to be torture, my first clue should've been that every girl in the class was pretty ripped. I kept thinking "is this ball getting heavier? Maybe I should've gotten the smaller ball" I have never felt such intense pain in my abs, I even feel a bit nauseous this morning.

I treated myself to a concert with the girls last night. It was amazing , there is truly nothing better than live music. It creates such an amazing energy that I really think has the power to change your life. I mean a song has so much power it can make you happy or sad, it can inspire you, it can make you feel many possibilities.

I made a very interesting discovery last night when I was discussing my life with my friend Jamie while I was a bit drunk (this is truly the best way to discuss your life.) I realized that what helps me lose weight the most is to have a certain amount of anger built up. Actually the more pissed off I get the more I stay on track. And it really helps when I'm working out. Its kind of an "I'll show you mentality" I mean not really a kind of it is!! So I'd like everyone to see if this holds true for you because maybe I should develop a set of work out tapes just being mean and pissing people off. If you start to think about a person who has been horrible to you, does it help your workout??? For me it seems to be the key! So I want to take this opportunity to thank all the people in my life who piss me off... because the joke is going to be on you!! And for the record to anybody in the last 25 years who has referred to me as a "fat ass" karma is a bitch!!

xoxo chef a

Sunday, September 27, 2009

To my Daddy

On the IPOD "La Isla Bonita" by: Madonna

I want to start off by saying that I love my father. We had an amazing relationship and I miss him terribly, but I feel that there is a lot I need to make peace with. I have been wrestling with the right time to talk about all of this and it really wasn't until a friend of mine commented about her own struggle that I realized that I needed to deal with this now.

Looks were always very important in my house mainly because we were representing my father. Unfortunately for me I could never play the part. I could never fit into the right clothes and when I did they never looked right. I can't even count the number of times that I was bribed with money and clothes to lose weight. At one point I even made a deal with him that if he quit smoking I would lose weight. These bets always ended up with me gaining weight...because it wasn't about the food it was about control. My dad constantly asked my mom, "Have you discussed Amanda's weight with her?" Almost like he didn't think I knew that I was overweight... I have spent my life trying to be accepted by him. He loved music so I became a singer and a good singer at that. But he would make remarks about how I should lose weight so that I could become famous. I became a chef and worked my way up to working for the elite in the Dallas area but it was never good enough or at least I never felt like it was good enough. He made me feel like I was limiting my possibilities of being the best all because I was "choosing" to be overweight. Now this didn't stop him from making biscuits every weekend. And he didn't change his diet so that I even had a remote chance of losing weight. But I was made to feel like I was choosing to hurt him or trying to embarrass him.

When he passed away I felt extreme sadness of course, but I have to tell you that I also felt like maybe a weight was being lifted off. The summer after he died I lost about 30 pounds. The response I got from the world around me was, "Oh Amanda, your dad would be so proud he had told us how much HE wanted you to lose weight." or "Your dad must be looking down at you smiling about how great you look." These were my parents friends, people who had no clue the battle I had been fighting for 30 years. I kept wondering how they could say this stuff to me...didn't they realize that it made me want to quit trying? Why didn't everybody just say, "you look great!" and leave it at that. I wanted to be accepted for me! I didn't want to change for him, it was for me! I hate that I spent my life trying to control my relationship with him with food. I hate that I didn't feel unconditional support.

The truth of the matter is that he probably never really knew or understood the way that I felt. He thought that he was helping me with all the bribes and the constant discussion of how beautiful I could be if I was just thinner. I don't blame him for all of my weight problems so please don't think that, but I do feel like I need to forgive him. So I forgive him, I forgive him for not being there for me in the way that I needed. I forgive him for having expectations that I felt were unreachable. I forgive him for not fully appreciating who I am as a person because it was just too difficult for him to get past my weight. And I forgive him for letting the way I look embarrass him. I love him with my whole heart and I wish everyday that I could just have one more minute with him. It is hard to sit here and not just cry...cry for the battle that I face with my own body everyday and cry for the countless hours that I have wasted feeling this way.
xoxo chef a

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Don't break the ride...

On the IPOD "Feel Good Inc." by: Gorillaz

Sorry it has been so long but unfortunately when my brother Andrew is in town...It is kind of like nonstop activity. First off I want to say that my brother brought home just the sweetest girl ever and she really made yesterday at the fair fun!!

Wait, before you read all this food know that we were at the fair from 12 noon to 10:30pm. That's right we don't play around. And we only sat down for about an hour! So first off we tried the deep-fried butter, this was by far my favorite new item. It is not what you think... it is more like a round crispy biscuit with a dab of butter in the center. We got the grape flavor so there was a little grape jelly on the top. There were four quarter size balls and we split it ball each. Mike and I shared a corn dog, which means I ate the outside and he ate the dog. Don't judge me!!! We all tried the twisted yam on a stick...not worth it we actually threw it out. We all got some polish sausage with spicy mustard, well the boys got beer brats but all the same...fantastic as always. They all shared a turkey leg, i don't do turkey legs. Everyone shared some curly fries... they were ok not crispy enough for me to waste calories on. Lastly I would like to share with you my absolute favorite thing to eat at the fair... The Triple Blast Popsicle at the nestle booth. I know right, but it is truly the best popsicle on the market. Just trust me it is a must and for only 4 tickets!! Other than that we drank and drank and drank, good thing for me is that i don't drink beer so I had to wait a long time between drinks because there is only about 3 places that serve bellinis.

We went though the auto show, the petting zoo, we watched the dog trick show and visited all the creative arts buildings and then we decided to go on some rides. So I know you are all going to think I'm nuts but to tell you the truth I don't really do fair rides because in my head I think that since they are movable, the chances that my weight will break them is very high. Now I know it's silly because I'm sure there are tons of people at the fair who weigh much more than I do but I'm just being honest and that's what I think. But as usual I was forced to ride, so we went on to a ride called "crazy mouse" ("a fast-moving roller coaster with 180-degree turns -- a thrill ride the whole family can enjoy together") What they don't tell you is that you are pretty much hanging off the side the whole time and if you are a fat girl who is worried about breaking the ride it's not real fun!! If you could have only seen my face...I was in standard protection mode head down, eyes shut, and face scrunched. I made it off though. Then it was off to the swans on the lagoon, much more my speed. So romantic, mike and I just peddling our little hearts out on a big white swan... Then we watched Andrew and Natalie take on some of the crazy rides and finished our fair day with a carousel ride. All in all it was a great day at the fair. The guilt set in at I'd say about 7 pm and is still in the back of my head, but I'm just gonna move forward and work my ass off the rest of the weekend.

xoxo chef a

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fair Day!

On the IPOD "Winter Song" by: Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson

Well folks today is Fair Day! The State Fair of Texas is a Miller family tradition. To tell you the truth it was the one day that I was supported by the whole family to eat whatever I wanted to. And I assure you that most times I was able to live up to their expectation ;) ! The fair holds both extremely happy memories for me and very painful ones as well. I remember being there as a whole family and my dad being so knowledgeable about the animals and so excited about sharing the history of Texas with us. I remember how thrilled everyone was to try the new fair foods. And I remember my brothers and I fighting over who got to be in the driver seat of pretty much every car in the auto show.

But I also remember two years ago when my dad couldn't go because it was too painful to walk. And how I sort of just checked out of "real" life because I couldn't watch it. This is probably when I was the heaviest. I am very good at being strong on the outside, I would even say I've mastered it. But I broke down by myself in the car or in client's bathrooms. I was angry and hurt and I felt betrayed. I pretty much tried to take care of all of my friends so that I wouldn't have to take care of myself and then I would find something to eat... My eating is definitely my way of controlling. I couldn't control the cancer. I couldn't control when he was going to die. But I could eat whatever I wanted...

So today should be interesting because in a way you all will be there with me... I'm about to go take a dance class so I can get my metabolism going. Because I'm not gonna lie, I'm going to try some terribly awful foods today. I'm taking one for the team so that I can report back to you on whats worth it!! In a way though I'm starting to feel like I don't have that extreme urge to fill some kind of void with food. I'm not saying that tomorrow that urge won't be back but I'm hoping by confessing all my food secrets maybe Ill have to find some other way to control my life.

xoxo chef a

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Drop It Like It's Hot!

On the IPOD "What's Your Fantasy" by Ludacris & Shawna

I would describe my overall feeling today as fierce. I'm pretty much in control today and it's kind of a new feeling. I'm eating super healthy and feeling pretty freakin healthy. My Nia class this morning was amazing as usual and I'm feeling longer and leaner. Egg beater scramble for breakfast, grilled chicken and pico for lunch and sushi for dinner. Not really any snacks needed except a small spicy V-8.

I have to tell you that I keep playing this song over and over again. I know yall all think I'm joking when I tell you that I'm dancing but Oh how wrong you are! I'm trying to master the art of booty shaking (vibrating), you know what I'm talking about. Its really not so easy to isolate those muscles with out shaking everything else, see I bet right now you all want to try it, right? Don't lie you know you want to...just try it, no one is looking, its liberating! Come on hands up high, slight bend of the knees, start with an easy little hip swing and then just go for it. You might just have to play the song...I know it's a little dirty, but it won't kill you! Now for the big move...Go on "Drop it like it's hot!" ("Referring to a dance move where a girl drops her ass to the floor and gets freaky." Good times..Good times! See it's hard not to smile...

Hit a milestone today...20 pounds out the door. That makes you want to shake your booty!

xoxo chef a

Picture Perfect

On the IPOD "First Love" by: Adele

Well I had a photo shoot last night and I'm gonna be honest I was a little nervous because pictures don't hide much. It was all me, nobody else in the pictures, so I couldn't do my standard back row peek over the skinny girls move. But I went into it thinking that this would be great because I would be able to reference my weight loss so I really wasn't as worried about what I was going to look like in "not so slimming" chef clothes. Well ok maybe I was a little worried...

I was very lucky to have the most incredible team of artists helping me...
Photography: Lara Bierner of Lara Bierner Photography
Hair: Jessica Nichole of Michael Flores Salon
Makeup: Emily Smith of Tru Salon

These girls are so amazing! I actually felt pretty and sexy and ok all around. I can't wait to post the pics and I will just as soon as I can.

After the shoot we went for a bite to eat and I had a margarita, yay!! Just one, I did learn something on the sangria night last week... The whole experience was really fun, So thanks girls!

Because yesterday afternoon was so rushed to get everything done, I didn't work out until I got home last night. So there I was in full hair and makeup in ballet shoes dancing around the living room, now someone should've taken a picture of this! And then it happened, I started making out with the mirror. Well and the camera I might have taken some "facebook" photos of my sexy self too. So maybe that's the key, I'm just going to have to start getting my hair and makeup done before the gym everyday. And I'm not gonna lie I slept facing up the whole night so my eyelashes would hold though Nia class today, so ladies watch out because I have a date with the mirror at 9:45 this morning.

xoxo chef a

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Making out in the mirror

On the IPOD "Lovesong" by The Cure

Yesterday was not exactly a happy day...alright I'll admit it I pretty much didn't even answer the phone because my mood was so foul. I mean I'm hungry....And I'm so sick of people telling me that after the first week it should be better because of this so called "shrinking stomach". I call bullshit!! Its the third week people and I'm starving. So obviously my stomach missed the important phone call telling it to shut up. Ok , I should rephrase my stomach is not hungry it's pissed off because even after about 15 celery sticks it's still not happy because what it really wants is a slice of cheese pizza from Joe's Pizza in Greenwich Village, and yes I'm referring to New York. After trying to pick my third argument with Mike I decided it would be better for everyone if I just went to the gym for a little while.

So there I am sprinting on the treadmill when I notice that the guy two spaces down from me is actually making out with himself in the mirror. About every ten minutes he jumps off the treadmill and struts his way to the water fountain all the while starring at himself in the mirror. He's not a model, mind you. At first I even thought is he was doing it for my benefit but no I don't even think he noticed I was in the room. I wish I could love myself like that.... But no when I look at myself in the mirror it's more like... "really?" I don't know maybe it's a girl thing. We are trained at a very young age to know what are bad parts are. I remember looking at a "Cosmo" magazine when I was about thirteen and there they were...the boyish figure, the apple figure, and the pear figure. At that point I decided obviously I had the never wear a swimsuit in public figure! So today I've decided that I'm going to make out with myself in the mirror. If he can do it, I can do it!! I'll let you know how it goes later...

xoxo chef a

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Cilantro Lime Chicken with Mango-Strawberry Pico de gallo

On the IPOD "Ice Cream" by: Sarah McLachlan

I bought a new scale at Target today. I'm just going to go ahead and tell you that as soon as it was in my cart all I was thinking about was what everybody must be thinking... It was like being 13 and worrying about the check out attendant having to do a price check on tampons. "Attention health and beauty, price check on a scale for the fat girl in aisle 12!" Kidding, but it was one of those moments for me kind of like stepping on and off an elevator and worrying that the other people noticed how much it moved. So anyways, I got it home took it out of the box and jumped on (not literally.) What a buzz kill! #1 It was registering 5 pounds heavier than the one I already have at home, I made Mike get on just to verify that his weight was 5 pounds more too. #2 To get your BMI and water weight percentage you have to store your weight in the memory. That was the deal breaker, so its going back... I will stick to my wii fit where I can have password protection thank you very much!

I made the most unbelievable chicken tonight so I thought you might all enjoy the recipe!

Cilantro Lime Chicken with Mango-Strawberry Pico de gallo

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts

2 mangos, small dice
4 strawberries, small diced
1/2 red bell pepper, small diced
1/2 medium red onion, small diced
1/2 to 1 jalapeno, minced
2 Tablespoons or more cilantro chopped
2 Tablespoons lime juice
sea salt and cayenne pepper to taste

Marinate chicken with cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Let sit 15 minutes. Spray grill with Pam for grilling and then grill chicken over medium fire until done.

Mix rest of ingredients in a bowl and add seasoning to taste.

Serve chicken with pico on top or on the side.

I served this with Oven Roasted Asparagus and I made the pico super spicy with cayenne pepper. Everybody says it speeds up your metabolism so I'll take all the help I can get! This is the first night that I havent been starving at 10 pm. Pretty exciting!!!!

xoxo chef a

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Gift of Time

On the IPOD "Alone" by: Heart

So yesterday morning I managed to slip in an hour Nia class before starting my day of Rosh Hashanah cooking. It is weird that I am starting to look forward to it. I mean don't get me wrong working out always makes you feel good even if it hurts at the moment but for me it has always been so difficult to make it back the next day. But now that seems to be changing I mean it kind of feels like I'm giving myself a gift, the gift of time. For that hour my phone is off, I'm unreachable. It's hard because I'm the type of girl that sleeps with my phone next to me just in case there is an emergency, I freak out when my phone is running out of charge and I have literally left a grocery cart filled to the brim in the middle of a store because I realized I had left my phone in the car. Well obviously my co-dependency is coming out!! It's funny that my whole life people have referred to me as strong, tough, and independent, I have rarely felt strong, tough or independent I guess I'm a good actress.

I'm a pleaser if you haven't figured that out. I don't normally say no and I usually will not hesitate to take full blame for things just to make others happy even if it tears me up inside to not fight it. But I'm tired and I really think that I probably go to food to make myself feel better. Wow, that kind of hurt to say! So anyways not having food to go to is proving to be sort of emotionally difficult for everyone around me. I mean it's not as much affecting my relationship with mike (because I've always pretty much laid everything out there for him), but it is affecting some of my closest friendships.

I wish I could discuss what I made for Rosh Hashanah but I can't even think about food anymore... Tomorrow is going to be recipe Sunday, Ill be posting some healthy recipes I plan on trying this week. It's been a long day I was cooking at 5 am! Goodnight.

xoxo chef a

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Day of Grieving...

On the IPOD "I'm in love with a big blue frog" By: Peter, Paul and Mary

So if you read last night you obviously know how I felt this morning. Not good with a hint of Jewish guilt. The good news is that with all the throwing up I really didn't even want to look at food till about 3 pm. The bad news is that this was my menu for work today:

30 pounds of Balsamic Braised Short Ribs
27 pounds of Roasted Brisket
200 Chicken Drumettes
20 pounds of Apricot Chicken

And this is just the beginning I get to continue cooking for the Jewish New Year tomorrow!!

To be perfectly honest I'm grieving a little bit over the loss of food today. I know it's a day to day struggle, but it's the constant planning. My days used to consist of, "what time is happy hour?" But now its all about workouts and meal planning. Don't get me wrong, I love the way I feel...I just stopped writing to glance over at my shoulder which I can say even looks a bit girlie today. And I love that people are noticing the weight I've lost, but food has always played the role of a best friend to me. Its the thing that I've always had to just take care of ME. It never talked back or had its own issues for me to solve. It is always there to comfort me and hasn't really ever let me down. I wish I could say that about everything in my life... So I'm throwing myself a little pity party tonight, I might be losing a best friend but I'm gaining the control of my life.

Before you go to bed tonight please take a moment of silence for the loss of my beloved friend Food. You will always have a place in my heart but I'm hoping to get you out of my head!

xoxo chef a

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Just Say No To The Sangria

On the IPOD "Angeles" by: Elliott Smith

Note to self: When you have not being drinking or consuming sugar... Don't start off the evening with 4 sangrias, even small little kid sized ones!

So I went into today knowing that I was taking a cooking class with some fellow chefs tonight and I planned my meals according to what I thought I might be eating for dinner. I also busted my ass in the gym so that I felt a little better about giving myself the night off.
The menu for the class was as follows:

Baja Beer Battered Fish Tacos with Pickled Red Onion and Jalapenos and Baja Cream
Alambre De Bistec (Steak Tacos with Bacon, Onions and Pepper)
Chicken Tinga Puffy Tacos
Tacos Al Pastor ( Pork and Pineapple Tacos)

So what I thought was that I would definitely taste the fish tacos minus the tortilla, A small taste of the steak with peppers and onions, I would splurge on a small chicken puffy taco and I really didn't care anything about the Tacos Al Pastor. What I didn't count on was the continuous flow of very good sangria just while we were cooking. I stupidly thought "well you've been doing great have a drink and just relax." It was so good that after the first (Very small) glass I was like, screw the food!! Not realizing that my drinking abilities are not the same as they used to be. All of the sudden I was on my fourth glass (were talking about like a 4 ounce glass), I was feeling good, not really drunk just relaxed and we were just sitting down to eat. So I didn't over do it I just had a little chicken no taco shell, one small piece of fish with a little sauce and some peppers and onions. Well something happened that is just not right....

I skipped the drunk part and headed right for the sick part. It was obviously something about the mix of too much sugar, alcohol, and greasy Mexican food. Things that my body hasnt had to process in two weeks. But I learned a great just isn't worth it to drink four sangrias.

Goodnight All
xoxo chef a

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Brisket and a Workout

On the IPOD "The World Spins Madly On" by The Weepies

Today was stressful to say the least... I went into it perplexed on how I was going to possibly fit everything in: 3 clients, workout, and then a quick dinner before mahjong with the girls. My day started at about 6 am. Let's just sum up the day by saying that I fit in a 40 minute workout at my first clients while a brisket was finishing and cooling. I'm becoming quite the multi-tasker with the help of my clients, thanks Tracy!! I even managed to run (not literally) to my mom's and whip us up a lovely dinner before heading to the girl's for mahjong. By the way, I forced myself(ok maybe a little dramatic) to eat so that I would not go crazy with the normal array of goodies at the game.
Cajun Red Snapper
medley of mushrooms, zucchini, and squash
and my mom's famous tomato cucumber onion salad (just the mix of veggies with a little low cal, low carb balsamic vinaigrette)

Now for all the emotional stuff. I have gotten so many amazing responses to this blog , but I would have to say that what surprises me the most are the number of my closest friends who can not believe that this is me writing. I have gotten everything from, "I didn't even know you had a weight problem!" (really?????) to "I thought you were so strong and I thought your weight was just who you are." What I think the hardest thing for most people to understand is why? Why would I choose to be so honest? Why would I lay it all out there? Well I guess for me, I need to tell my story. I've spent years hiding underneath this body and I'm truly tired of defending my weight. My weight is not who I am, but it's time to figure out what is! You are keeping me honest, you are allowing me to take responsibility and if at the end of the day it helps you, well then I guess we both win. So thanks! Thanks for being here to listen, thanks for being a part of this.

15 down!!!!!!!

xoxo chef a

Monday, September 14, 2009

"Ms. New Booty"

On the IPOD "Ms New Booty" by Bubba Sparxxx featuring Ying Yang Twins/Mr. ColliPark

So I feel like this should be my anthem of the day!! I'm pretty sure there are muscles in my booty that are making a first time appearance. I have never been this sore in my life, I'm not gonna lie I might have even shed a little tear just by sitting in the car on the way to work this morning. Four grocery stores (Halloween candy= torture), two clients, meat pickup downtown...all in a days work.

Then the clock struck 4. What is it about 4 o'clock that makes me soooo hungry? I think it has something to do with after school snack. It's like ingrained into my brain that i deserve something and not just anything but a treat. So I broke down and had some whole grain crackers ( yeah exactly what a treat right?) What i really wanted was a Skor bar, Thin crust pizza with fresh mozzarella and tomato sauce, oreos and milk, Doritos, the list goes on and on, really just about anything over 200 calories and/or 15 grams of fat would have done the trick, but 60 calories of whole grain crackers is what I got. How depressing.... Anyways I made myself do an at home hip hop ballet class which I love because it always makes my posture better. For dinner I made my new protein specialty. I know you're gonna think it sounds gross but it's really pretty good especially after a work out and I'm starving

Amanda's Work Out Special

3/4 cup of eggbeaters

1 cup of broccoli, cut into little florets

1 thick slice of tomato, diced

1 garlic cloves, minced

1 slice of 2% pepperjack cheese, diced

sea salt and seasoned pepper

and lots and lots of chunky salsa

Ok so you gotta spray the pan even if it is nonstick, just trust me on this..

Add broccoli, tomato and garlic to the pan and saute over high heat until the broccoli just turns bright green, still crisp. Add the eggbeaters and scramble until done to liking quickly stir in the cheese and serve with salsa. Yum! You could really add any veggies I just happen to be on an extreme broccoli kick.

"Booty, Booty, Booty, Booty rockin everywhere"

Good night all!! xoxo chef a


On the IPOD "Mercy" by Duffy

Very Easy Low Sugar Low fat Chocolate Cream Pie

1 Large box sugar free chocolate pudding
2 1/4 cups low fat milk
1 tub cool whip (light, sugar free, or free (your pick))
1 low fat or sugar free graham cracker pie crust

In a bowl pour milk in first and then add the pudding mix and stir for 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of cool whip and stir until blended. Pour into pie crust and chill for approximately 20 minutes. Then top with remaining cool whip and chill until serving. You can also top with chocolate shavings if desired.

Yesterday was so much fun! My mom and one of the most special people in the world Susie came with me to a Zumba class. For those of you who don't know Zumba is a dance class that fuses latin/salsa rhythms with "easy to follow" body sculpting moves. Well listen I can assure you there is no part of my body that is latin. I mean I have always wanted to dance like this but my hips need a talking to before we go back. This class gives fast a new definition. I mean the only break in the entire hour was ten minutes in when the instructor took time to explain the best shoe for the class. This is when I turned to Susie and asked "You think she"ll talk about the shoes again?" Well we managed to get through and everything was still attached amazingly enough. Oh! and the instructor informed us that the class burns between 700 and 800 calories!!

It wasn't until dinner at my in laws that the pain set it...all the way from the bottom of my feet to my waist. I feel like someone has tried to tie me up into a pretzel. I mean honestly I need a massage. Well now its off to work!!

Later xoxo chef a

Saturday, September 12, 2009

"Nia" and Spinach Dip

On the IPOD "Like a Feather" by Nikka Costa

This weekend has been full of new experiences... Let's start with Friday night. So I was a tad bit nervous about going out to dinner. Not only because I've worked in restaurants and I know how much butter is used but also because I really don't want to be that girl who obsesses over what to order and how much butter and oil is used. So I did a little research I looked online to see if any info was given about the menu. I felt pretty smart going into it, I had already decided what I was going to get...the Wood fire Grilled King Salmon with Grilled Asparagus and I was planning on exchanging the panzenella salad for an extra green veggie. Before we left the house I drank a spicy V8 so I wouldn't be starving, but I was not planning on the boys ordering the Spinach Dip with Crispy Lavosh. As I saw the plate coming to the table I took a deep breath and repeated in my head "you will not be sucked in, you are working way too hard on this!" I slowly glanced at the ramekin overflowing with hot bubbling cheese, and then I looked around and I could feel everyone starring at me like "what do you mean Amanda, you're not even gonna try it?"(by the way this part was probably more in my head) It is just not fair, why are some people able to eat this 1400 calorie delight and I can't because my body won't even think about metabolizing it and instead has a space ready for it directly under my belly button? And to top this off my willpower is about as strong as a 3 years olds who is sitting in front of a bowl of candy. But it was a half success at least, I didn't touch the dip although I did share a piece of lavosh with my husband. I got through it!! Woohoo!!

Saturday was amazing!! I decided to try out a Nia class at the dance studio. The schedule describes the Nia practice "as a blend of an energizing, body friendly cardio workout with elements of modern and jazz dance, martial arts, yoga, expressive free movement and powerful imagery." It kicked my ass and I mean that in the best possible way. It was the most exhilarating workout I've had ... well maybe my whole life. And I would have to admit that I might be hooked. I think it was actually the way I felt after the class that hooked me, I had mixed feelings of actually having somewhat control over my own body (instead of feeling like it is the enemy) and having the desire to take up pole dancing. I then came home and took a full bottle bubble bath (this is when I give myself the treat of using an entire bottle of bubble bath at one time) and spent the rest of the evening with my wonderful husband.

Thank you Mike for the last 6,176,160 minutes. They have not all been perfect, but they have been worth it. You mean the world to me!!

xoxo chef a

Get out of the kitchen!

On the IPOD "Blister in the Sun" Violent Femmes
"Near to you" A Fine Frenzy

I've decided that there is a conspiracy and that someone is creating a magnetic field between my hands and the refrigerator door. I mean what else could be the reason that as soon as I hit the front door it is the first place I go. I don't even have to be hungry...I mean could it be that subconsciously I have to make sure nothing got away in my absence. I have to admit that yesterday it happened on average 10 times and embarrassingly enough not just at my own house. My mom's house happens to be my number one trigger, it brings back some childhood insecurities that up to this point I really haven't dealt with. It starts with a glance in refrigerator door number 1, then a little peek in the freezer, and then the golden door which is referred to as the pantry. I don't necessarily eat when I do this...most times I end up getting extremely frustrated that there is nothing new. It is almost comical if not a bit sad that I can get so truly excited and happy over a new food product, or lets be honest even new packaging.

Have you ever truly realized the intense emotional role food has in our lives? It is usually how we spend time with each other, and how we celebrate, it is there when we need to talk , it is there to make us feel better when we are sick and then again when we mourn. I hope that we learn how to teach our children how to really experience food in a different way. I mean how many of us actually taste our food on a regular basis? When I was in culinary school we had classes on tasting to let it coat our taste buds, how to pick up hints of key flavors, but normally I eat too fast or with too much conversation to enjoy the calories that should honestly be so special to me. I mean if I think back to the meals that have made a difference in my life it is almost always the meals with the smallest portions but the most amazing flavor. When did quantity become the most important thing in our life. Shouldn't it be quality??

I am happy to report that my last conversation with the refrigerator ended with me saying to myself, "WHY ARE YOU HERE, GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN!!!!

Have a good morning...Ill be back later today
xoxo chef a

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Free day!

On the IPOD tonight: "Evacuate the Dancefloor" by: Cascada
and "Be OK" by: Ingrid Michaelson

I can't explain to you the foulness of the taste in my mouth at the moment. I understand it is my body's way of burning the overabundance of fat but Ive brushed with every toothpaste known to man, scraped my tongue until it has almost broken off, I even bought the new scope thinking that something had changed in its formulation besides the pretty packaging (damn it gets me everytime my name should be "the ultimate consumer") But honestly, please God give my husband a break...In one week he has given up a sometimes overly happy wife and his precious processed foods in exchange for a raging bitch of a wife with bad breath and low carb whole grain taco shells. Its like I finally figured out why some skinny girls are such bitches at times...they are starving!!

So I took the day off today!!! Yay!! I needed a mommy and me day. After therapy this morning (best part of my week, honestly there is nothing better than someone having to listen to my bullshit for an entire hour!) I met her at the house and was informed that she had signed us up to take a yoga class around the corner. Ballet is really more my thing, but I do yoga every now and then. So we pulled up dressed in our workout attire and as we were walking in I notice that I was pretty much the only one under lets say 50 and that is really being generous my mom looked younger than the entire class, although to be honest my mom looks pretty fantastic. This is when I gently leaned over to the girl checking us in and asked "is this class for geriatrics??" Her response was simply "It will still be a really good stretch!" So after about 30 variations of downward dog and triangle pose we were pretty sweaty, I have to say, although I would have been a tad bit happier if the instructor was playing hip hop for our musical selection, I really think "Marvin" would have been too ;) !

Then we were off to the movies, "500 days of summer." I think its utterly ridiculous that all the candy is in such pretty packages. Maybe I would be more likely to want celery sticks if they came in bright lime green packages with cartoon characters on the front. Anyways I had done my research and I knew exactly how much popcorn I could eat in exchange for lunch. To tell you the truth I don't even like popcorn but its just not right to go to the movies and not at least buy one thing I mean we are in a recession people! And although it took everything I had to take two steps back and walk away from my beloved candy I did manage to make it to my seat and eat my 2 1/2 cups of popcorn.

So I really wasn't going to bring numbers into this but I'm down ten pounds baby! And I know probably 6 of those is just water weight but I don't care.... till tomorrow xoxo chef a

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Day Two

On IPOD: "Always Midnight" by: Pat Monahan

I'm just going to start off my saying that I love to dance...and in my head I dance just like the skinny perfect girls on "so you think you can dance". I'm not going to lie I am taking short breaks from writing the blog to dance around the room like I actually know what I'm doing. It is something about the music... I wish I could fully describe what it does to me. It is like I lose control of myself. Anyways back to that in just a second.

So today started off very rocky. Couldn't sleep, woke up late, and then had a massive menu for my client today.

Chicken souvlaki
Salisbury Steak with sauteed mushrooms
every imaginable veggie cut up ready to be quickly sauteed
Chicken salad and Egg salad
Peppercorn crusted Tenderloin Filets
Jalapeno cheese sausages
Winter vegetable soup
Sizzling Beef Fajitas
The Best Brisket ever

But by about 3:00 I was headed to the gym after loading much needed new music to my phone, thanks jamie for the suggestions.

When I got there, I'm going to go ahead and say, I was not too enthused. It is just something about the first 10 minutes, I hate them! So I'm going to set the stage for you...Imagine a large room, dance floor to the right, cardio is two rows first row bikes and elliptical (or "THE DEVIL") and the back row is all treadmills. Weights and such are behind. So I'm right in the middle of the back row of treadmills all by myself, just how I like it. Music turned up, headphones on, eyes closed, singing and dancing my little heart out. This went on for about two songs before I realized that I had been joined by not one but two neighbors. Nice right? It gets I do try to push myself pretty good, adding inclines and sprints. But this was just one of those monumental days when I pushed myself farther than I thought was possible to the point that by the last minute the most emotional song was on and I was having an episode of sloppy, sweaty, crying smiles. I hope that makes sense! I'm sure to my neighbors I looked like an emotional wreck. BUT I DONT REALLY CARE!!
Im sure some of you out there know what this is like but this experience is more than just being on a diet it is sort of like changing the patchwork of my soul. This body is who I have been for the last 20 years. As funny as it sounds there is a certain amount of security in it. But life is about change and I feel like I am finally ready. It is scary and there are probably a million excuses I could come up with not to do all this right now, but I'm really done with excuses...

Goodnight all!
xoxo chef a

A cure for the migraine

On the Ipod: "If it Kills me" By Jason Mraz

Well yesterday got off to a great start. I managed to make it through four grocery stores without purchasing one unhealthy snack. So i planned well, I made myself a turkey burger with a slice of 2% cheddar, no bun extra mustard for lunch and a side of frozen organic broccoli. You might ask yourself why the frozen broccoli. Well two answers: #1 it takes much longer to eat frozen food #2 I'm still trying to make myself believe that food should be looked at as a form of energy ( ya right like I will ever believe that!)

So just as the last dish was cooked and put away at my clients, I felt the twinge of a migraine starting directly over my left eye..... I tried to talk myself out of it. " Nope no excuses, you must work out today!" I drove home and walked in to this place that I'm calling my home for the minute (we are in the process of moving so I am surrounded by boxes...I'm sure we will get into this at some point) and headed directly to the pantry looking for the miracle cure. And there they were the bag of animal crackers my Mom left at the house a few days ago. I reluctantly picked up the big print it was written, "13 crackers for ONLY 100 calories!" Could 100 calories of animal crackers really cure this unbearably pain??? I've heard alot of cures in my life but I'm pretty sure that the carbs that like to take up residence on my ass are not one of them. So then the fight started. The one between my body and my mind. After hearing both parties out I made a decision. I know your waiting on bated breath right? I ate 6! My reasoning was that if it could work 6 would probably get the job done. Why I didn't just take the meds at this point no one knows... but anyways I ate the 6 crackers and headed to the gym. 30 Minutes later and halfway through my workout I was swallowing a happy little migraine pill. So at least I can check one possible cure off the list!!

xoxo, chef a

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Day One

I wish that I could say that my bed time prayer usually consists of asking for world peace or even happiness for all of my family and friends but on a regular basis it is just one simple desire... "please God just for one day can I wake up skinny? I promise if you just give me one day I will do everything right. Ill watch what I eat, Ill exercise, I'll do whatever you want me to." And as I wake up at 6am i hold my breath for one second as that dream quickly rushes away and reality sets in.
I actually feel like a skinny girl stuck in this body. I am almost astounded when i step on the scale every morning. I step on read the results, step off shake my head in bewilderment, check that the dial is in the right place, step on again...same results! There was a time I was even heavier that I am now but the point of this social experiment is to never see any of these numbers again. So on to the day...

My Menu for today's clients:
Pecan crusted Artic Char
Stirfried Chicken and Mangos
Jalapeno Chicken
Fresh Summer Chopped Salad
Low fat Mac and cheese with Broccoli
Oven roasted Broccoli with pinenuts and Parmesan
Homestyle Meatloaf

Ok well thats what ill be cooking today. I'll check in later to tell you how my day went.

xoxo chef a


On the IPOD:

"Gravity" by Sara Bareilles

To understand me is to understand my family dynamics. I grew up in a Jewish home (well my mom was jewish and my dad was a not so closet Lutheran).

I have two older brothers Adam (36) and Andrew (33). Adam lives in Dallas with his beautiful wife Audra and Andrew lives in Austin. They were born to be skinny. I'm pretty sure i havent weighed what they do since i was 13.

My father was a ladies hat designer, fashion was pretty much his life and I'm pretty sure his dream for me was to be a movie star, well a very skinny movie star this is. Sadly my father passed away last year from prostate cancer and it has changed my life forever.

My mom spent most of my childhood as a stay at home mom. She is one of my best friends. We talk on average 8 times a day. She has been on a constant diet... Let me explain, she has never had a weight issue like me (her wedding dress was easily the size of my pinky), but i guess its all about perspective.

I am married to the most wonderful man named Mike. We just tied the knot last april but have been dating since 1998. Nope you didn't misread that! He has become my rock and I would not truly understand the word support without him in my life.

So now that you know the background info... let me explain to you why I am here. I am on a mission to cure my personal addiction of food. I am not on a mission to be skinny, although if that happens great! I am trying to figure out why I eat, what I eat, when I eat. It should be a journey filled with laughter, tears and probably a little self abuse. Some enteries will be about my personal life, some about my professional life as a personal chef but all will be about food. Sounds fun right? Stayed tuned...
xoxo chef a