What’s in the RediSetGo? Part Nine

November 22, 2010

This is technically my first blog post from my little vacation to Colorado, as I am writing this from the Rocky Mountain state, but the post is about stuff that happened prior to leaving Los Angeles.

That’s because, this morning, I used a piece of kitchen equipment that I love blogging about (and you love reading about, which makes writing about it even more fun) – and so, without further ado, it’s time for another round of everyone’s favorite blog-based game, What’s in the RediSetGo?

The rules are so simple.  There’s something in the RediSetGo, and you have to guess what it is.  That’s it.  There’s no chutes or ladders, no collecting $200 for passing Go, no triple letter squares.  If you’d like to practice before tackling today’s challenge, than click here or here or even here.

Now that you’re all spackled and primed, let’s play!

What’s in the RediSetGo?


I had a sweet potato I wanted to consume, but since I already featured sweet potato fries in a prior edition of What’s in the RediSetGo? (you can click here to read about them), I decided to do something different.  Today’s creation is based on the Spanish tortilla that I grew up eating.  A tortilla is kinda known as a poor man’s omelet, as it’s mostly potatoes instead of mostly egg.  The tortilla my grandmother makes has only 4 ingredients (I think):  oil, potatoes, onion, and eggs.  Maybe salt and pepper too.  Actually, to say that today’s RediSetGo creation is based on that tortilla is a big stretch – ‘loosely inspired’ is perhaps a better description.

First I peeled and diced up the sweet potato, slicked the RediSetGo with some Pam, and threw them in, adding dried thyme, rosemary, oregano, and garlic powder:

I love how you can see the steam rising from the RediSetGo in that pic.

After they got all soft and cooked through, I added the eggs.  I would have added onion, too, but I didn’t have any.  I wanted to add three egg whites, but try as I might, I couldn’t prevent one of the yolks from slipping away from me and into the RediSetGo.  Oh well, it’s not the end of the world.  That one yolk probably made it tastier.

The finished product:

You can see I couldn’t really stir the yolk throughout the frittata because some of it had already begun to set.  The RediSetGo moves quickly!  The final product was delicious.  I really wanted a piece of toast to go with it, but I’m out of bread right now.

Since this post is all about food, I thought I’d follow up on a post from last week, where I tried to buy the perfect amount of produce to last me three days.  Since I’m going to be in Colorado through this weekend, I didn’t want to have tons of produce sitting around my house, going bad in my absense.

This is what I bought:

Before heading to the airport, I took a quick photo of what remains – I’d say I did pretty well eating most of that produce!

Let’s go through it, item by item:

  • 1 head of celery: 80% EATEN
  • 2 Granny Smith apples: 1 EATEN, 1 NOT.
  • 1 pound of carrots: 60% EATEN
  • 1 bag of red seedless grapes:  25% EATEN
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 Rome apple
  • 1 yam
  • 1 zucchini

I washed the grapes and put them in that container, and they’re now in my freezer, where they’ll keep for a nice long time.  The carrots and celery, which I washed and cut down into strips, are being stored in green bags – they’re actually sitting on top of the green bags (and paper towel) in the photo.  I picked up the green bags at the supermarket a few months ago – basically, they’re breathable, allowing ethylene gas, which accelerates the deterioration of fruits and vegetables, to escape, keeping produce fresher for longer.  They’ll be fine by the time I return to California.

But I certainly will need to head to the store within 24 hours of my return!

Keep it up, David!


My Incredible Shrinking Clothes – Swimsuit Edition

November 22, 2010

I bought a swimsuit yesterday.  I haven’t bought a swimsuit since early 2008, before going on a family vacation to Key West.  I still have that swimsuit, so the first thing I did when I got home was take a photo to compare my new swimsuit to my old one.

This isn’t the first time I’ve photographed my Incredible Shrinking Clothes – check out the inaugural edition here and the workout pants edition here.

But before you go clicking on those links – check out my Incredible Shrinking Swimsuit!

I lined up the seam along the right side of the photo (left side of the swimsuits) to create the optimal comparison.   The purply-grey pair with the red side panels is a size 3XL.  I never liked the color – it’s hideous and unflattering – but I didn’t have many options at the big & tall store when I bought them.  I wore them almost daily to the pool during that week in Key West, and actually, now that I think about it, that may be the last time I’ve worn a swimsuit.  Almost three years ago.

When I was growing up, if I had been told that there would be a period in my life where I would go three years without wearing a swimsuit, I would never have believed it.  I practically grew up in water.  The house I grew up in had a pool, and I have memories of being in it before I knew how to swim.  I actually learned to swim as a toddler at the YMCA, and I have memories of that, too.  And then there were the 10 years of being on competitive swim teams, and 2 years of water polo – all told, I spent thousands of hours in the water by the time I graduated high school.

I bought the new swimsuit (the black one, which is a size XL) because later today I’m headed to Colorado to spend Thanksgiving week at my sister’s house, and she and her hubby take their kids to the local pool every Friday night, and I’m excited to go with them.  I was in Colorado last year for Thanksgiving too, and opted not to go to the pool, because I didn’t want to wear my swimsuit (although that wasn’t reason I told my family at the time).  If, a year ago, I had been told that in 1 year I would be excited to go to the pool, I would never have believed it.

Just because I was curious, I scoured the photos I have from that Key West trip to see if there was one of me in my old swimsuit.  There’s not, which doesn’t surprise me – I wouldn’t have allowed anyone to take a photo of me shirtless – but I saw other photos and decided to end this post with a ‘Before’ and ‘Current’ photo comparision.

Me in Key West (I was in a head-shaving phase):

Me now (another photo from a recent visit to see my friend Judie, who has llamas):

Keep it up, David!

Sand, Salad, & Scale

November 21, 2010

Happy Sunday!  It’s the beginning of a new week, or the end of one, depending on how you look at it.  I’ve always thought of Sunday as the end of the week.  It’s much better for me to get through a tough week knowing there’s 2 weekend days at the end, instead of only one.  But this wasn’t a tough week – I’m just making conversation.

Went to the gym today, but not before finding the very valuable sand I was looking for in my shoes.  I’ve been pouring sand out of my shoes for days – well, ever since Thursday, when I went walking on the beach with Alix.  I thought I got all the sand out of them that day – but on Friday, the sand elves paid a visit and left some more for me.  The sand elves came again on Saturday, and again today.  I would like to hope that there will be no more sand in my shoes, but who knows.  Maybe this will go on for weeks.  This is what I poured out of my shoes today:

With my (hopefully) sand-free shoes on, I headed to the gym, and had a nice good long cardio workout:  30 minutes on the bike, and then 30 minutes on the elliptical.  I flipped through a couple magazines on the bike, and read a wonderful article in New York Magazine about the growing trend of vegetarian menus at high-end eateries, called “Why Vegetables Are the New Meat.”  It mentioned vegetables I’ve never heard of before, like salsify and spigarello, so I’m definitely going to keep an eye out for those at the grocery store, since I do enjoy bringing home things from the produce department that I’ve never tried before (read my most recent produce adventure, which failed, here).

The gym worked up my appetite, and so for lunch, I made myself a big ol’ salad.  I haven’t treated all my lovely readers to a salad picture in a while, so I grabbed my camera:

In the bowl:  One 5-oz can of Trader Joe’s albacore tuna (packed in water, no salt added), romaine, grape tomatoes, zucchini, green pepper, bamboo shoots (read about them in this post), and a few teaspoons of Trader Joe’s nonfat Sesame Soy Ginger dressing.  Deeeee-lish!

I saved the best part of this post for last: I had a weigh-in this morning, and I’ve down another pound!  I got to update my chart:

I also did something else new today – I photographed the scale.  I thought it’d be a nice visual.

I only look at the first three numbers.  I know I can easily become obsessed, and dealing with 10ths of pounds seems like a one-way ticket on the express train to Crazytown.

I’m now three pounds away from my next goal, and I’ve lost 149 pounds altogether!

Keep it up, David!

Big & Tall Catalog Model Drama 4

November 20, 2010

I don’t need to buy Big & Tall clothes anymore, but the catalogs still come to my house.  Who knew the models’ lives were so drama-filled?


Haircut & Produce & More

November 19, 2010

Where to start today?  Lots of little things to blog about…

1) Haircut. I didn’t just get a hair cut – I got them all cut!  [Rim Shot].  I’ve been going to Heather at the Glendale Salon Spa for a couple of years now, and have always walked away happy.  Here’s what I looked like before Heather and her scissors worked their magic:

And the end result:

2) Produce. Had to go grocery shopping today, and had to be thoughtful about it.  Today is Friday, and on Monday evening I’m leaving on a jet plane to Colorado to visit my sister and her family for Thanksgiving week.  I’ll be gone for 5 days (though I plan to blog from Colorado, and my sister is excited to help me), so the challenge was this:  buy enough fruits and veggies to last exactly until Monday, and if I happen to buy too many, make sure I buy kinds that will last until I get back.  I don’t like buying produce and throwing it away, like I did with that disgusting Yali pear.

So I was off to one of my favorite grocery stores, Jon’s.  I looked up their weekly ad online, and saw that they had grapes on sale (99 cents a pound), which is perfect for my situation, because I can freeze them, and whatever I don’t eat in the next few days will keep for the next few weeks (read about the benefits of freezing grapes here).  Other good produce that will keep if I need it to include apples, carrots, and celery, so all those went into my basket.  Here’s what I walked away with:

1 head of celery, 1 yam, 1 zucchini, 1 pound of carrots, 1 bag of red seedless grapes (brand name: Supergrape!), 2 bananas, 1 green pepper, 1 Rome apple, and 2 Granny Smith apples.  I haven’t had a green apple since I don’t know when, and plus the Granny Smiths were on sale for 50 cents a pound, so I bought a couple.

The grand total?  $5.34!   Some pricing highlights include the yam for 9 cents, the zucchini for 24 cents, and the bell pepper for 34 cents.  Even on sale, the grapes were nearly 1/2 of my bill, at $2.48 – but still a great price for 2 1/2 pounds of grapes!

3) Flat Tire Update. I posed a question in the title of my last postHow Many Calories Do You Burn Changing A Flat Tire? I asked the question rhetorically, but earlier today, I snooped around to see if anyone actually knew the answer.  Lo and behold, someone did!  Eric Lupher, a reporter for KKTV, the CBS affiliate in Colorado Springs, posted a blog in April (you can read it here) claiming he burned 367 calories changing his tire!  Seems like a lot to me, but who am I to argue?

4) Workout. Was up early today for my 3rd session in the park with Oscar and Joe, although Joe couldn’t make it today, so it was just me and Oscar.  Oscar had me do a workout similar to the one I did on Wednesday (read about it and see pictures here), and he added a new piece of equipment into the routine: the kettlebell.  I like Wikipedia’s description: a “weight looking somewhat like a cannonball with a handle, used to perform ballistic exercises that combine cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training.”  Oscar’s kettlebell is a little more sophisticated than that, with plates that slide in and out so you can adjust the weight.  Oscar had me do kettlebell swings, where I start in a squat position, and simultaneously stand up, thrust my hips forward, and swing the kettlebell from between my legs to straight up in front of me.  You can watch what the movement looks like here (starting at 2 min, 30 sec into the video), except that I did them with each arm individually, instead of both. I felt ready to collapse when the workout was over – a good thing!

Keep it up, David!

How Many Calories Do You Burn Changing A Flat Tire?

November 18, 2010

One of the great things about living in Los Angeles is having the ocean so close.  I’m not a big beach lover (I can count on 2 hands the number of times I’ve been to the beach in the 8 years I’ve lived here), but it really is beautiful.

I was reminded of that today because I went with my friend Alix for a walk on the beach.  She lives in Culver City, so I swung by her house, and then we headed to Marina Del Ray, about ten minutes away.  We walked about a mile down the beach or so, and they headed over to the marina, and walked among the docks.  I love walking on the beach – walking on sand is more difficult than walking on a harder surface, and you use your whole foot and more muscles in your legs.

Here’s some photographic evidence.  Me on the beach:

Me with some boats:

I had a really nice time catching up with Alix, who I hadn’t seen the beginning of 2010 (if I recall correctly).   And I saw some clever boat names, too – my favorites were ‘Sail La Vie’ and ‘Anchor Management.’  Wordplay!

While my morning was really enjoyable, my car’s day pretty much sucked.  Let’s start with this present that was left for me:

Thank you, City of Culver City, for the parking ticket.  You are correct, I failed to notice the signs saying that parking was prohibited on the east side of the street between 10am-2pm on Thursdays due to street cleaning.  What’s the damage?

Just $55!  Suh-weet.  Can I have you earmark my money to go towards arts education in the Culver City Unified School District?  Thank you very much.

Then, on the way home from Culver City (about a 30 minute drive), guess who gets a flat tire?  Me!  Luckily, it was just a few blocks from my place.  If I had gotten it on the freeway, and had to pull over to the shoulder, I probably would have cried.  The last time I had a flat (about ten years ago, when I was in college), my friend Becky was with me, and she knew what she was doing, so I barely paid attention.  Having to change a tire with traffic whizzing by at 70mph would probably give me a heart attack.  And when the ambulance came, that would lead to a traffic jam, and my death would anger thousands of Angelenos.  It’s not the way I want to go.

Thankfully, as I said earlier, I was a few blocks from home, so I was able to slowly inch my way back into my parking garage, and I changed the tire ALL MY MYSELF.  I know it’s not rocket science, but I’m still proud.  Even though it’s not health/food/exercise related, I still documented the process and will walk you through it in this blog.

My flat tire:

My car all jacked up:

Flat tire off, spare tire on:

Car lowered, jack removed, lug nuts tightened.  All done!

My first plan was to take it to the dealership first thing in the morning to get a new tire.  But since changing it took less time than I thought (about 45 minutes), and it was 4:30pm, I decided to head out and get the new tire today.   The Goodyear tire place less than a mile down the road didn’t close until 6, so I had plenty of time, and by 5:15, I was driving home $100 poorer but with a new tire.

Total car-related expenses today?  $155.  Unless I don’t pay that parking ticket. [Insert maniacally evil laugh here]

The good thing about getting the tire today and not tomorrow is that I’ll be able to attend two workouts that I really enjoy.  Latin Jam class is tonight (you can watch a video about it in this blog post), and tomorrow I’m heading back bright and early to the park to work out with Joe and Oscar, like I did on Wednesday.  Both would be off the table if I didn’t get a new tire, because getting to both involves freeway driving, which you’re not supposed to do on a spare tire.

Keep it up, David!

Yali Pear FAIL

November 17, 2010

Last week at Super King Market, I continued my quest to purchase fruits and vegetables I’ve never purchased before, and came home with a Yali Pear.

I had high hopes for my little Yali, because pears (specifically Bartlett and Anjou) are perhaps my favorite of all fruits.  Some internet research yielded very little information – Yalis are a variety of Asian pears that originated in China, are high in Vitamin C, and have very white, sweet, juicy flesh.

Not this Yali.

I cut mine open and found this:

It was brown.  Let’s take a look from a slightly different angle:

Yep – still brown.

I cut a very small piece off and tried it – it was mealy and bitter.  Like so many at-risk youths, this pear had gone bad.

I tried to look up information on why or how a pear ends up like this, and, again, didn’t find much – except for a brief mention of ‘brown core’ being “an internal disorder sometimes seen in pears under controlled atmosphere storage.”  That’s courtesy of Volume 17 Issue 8 of the academic journal Food Control, which featured an article on Yali pears in August 2006.  Some researchers at the College of Food Science and Nutritional Engineering at China Agricultural University in Beijing devised a way to determine if Yalis have a brown core without cutting into the fruit – apparently brown core is common enough to warrant academic papers and studies!  I don’t quite understand what the test entails – as I have no idea what ‘transmission visible–NIR spectroscopy’ is (sounds like magic to me), but my Yali failed.  It made it all the way from China to North Hollywood, CA, with a brown core.

So my brown core Yali ended up someplace where very little of my uneaten produce ends up – in the trash can.  I had a plum instead.  Its core was succulent and delicious, thank you very much.

Will I try another Yali?  Maybe.  If I do, you’ll be sure to hear about it.

Keep it up, David!