Here’s something I don’t write about very often: FAST FOOD! Despite all the big changes I’ve made in my life over the past seven (almost eight!) years, I haven’t eliminated fast food out of my diet completely. Fast food is a rare treat, but it does happen. And like many of the treats I allow myself to occasionally indulge in, I handle fast food in a very specific way. Read the rest of this entry »
I love when family comes to visit. This past weekend, my sister Laura and her boyfriend Chuck were here, and it was a jam-packed few days. On Sunday, we hosted a brunch, and invited some cousins and friends (check out what I made here). But that was just the tip of the iceberg!
Laura and Chuck rented a convertible, and I loved tooling around town with the top down.
What a sucker I’ve been, driving all these years in a car with a roof!
Because we were Read the rest of this entry »
I wasn’t super prolific on the blog last week, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t keeping busy and staying (mostly) on program. I kept my camera handy and captured lots of fun moments. Some of these photos ended up on social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook), but a lot of them didn’t, so get ready for a photo explosion!
One of the parks where I run is in the Read the rest of this entry »
Are you comfy? Do you have a blanket and a (healthy) snack? Good, because you may be here a while. After sharing lots and lots about my trip to Vegas last week, it’s time to tackle part two of my tour of the western United States: The three days I spent in Seattle. There’s tons to share, so I decided to break it up into two posts. Today’s post will be kinda sorta mostly about food, and tomorrow’s will be kinda sorta mostly about exercise and activity.
But first, since I wasn’t near a scale on Tuesday (instead I was on virtually every form of transportation invented), my weekly weigh-in got pushed a day. When I got on the scale today… well, I’ll just let my updated chart share the good news:
That’s right, bitches – down 2 pounds! This puts me back at my lowest weight ever, 236 pounds, which represents 166 pounds lost. It also means that I’m successfully lost the 3 pounds I gained two weeks ago, and can continue on my downward path to new all-time lows. Today has been a good day in many ways, but seeing that number was definitely a nice boost. I think back to a couple weeks ago, and how awful I felt when I gained those 3 pounds, and how I almost skipped a weigh-in to avoid the inevitable, and it almost seems silly and over-dramatic. But I’m not embarrassed or ashamed at how I felt at the time, because it reflects how important all of this is to me, and it provided the kick in the nuts that reinvigorated me. Had I gained three pounds, shrugged it off, and gave up… that’d be a different story, now wouldn’t it?
So. I managed to lose 2 pounds during a week when I spent most of it traveling. It’s not easy to travel and stay on program, but no matter where you are, you can always make the best choices you can, in any situation. Sometimes, like my first day in Vegas, you can alleviate temptation by bringing your own food, but that wasn’t really an option for my time in Seattle. So how did I do it? A lot of it has to do with the choices I made every day in Seattle. And that, my friends, is what I’m sharing today and tomorrow.
Wow, that transition really couldn’t have worked out any better!
SEATTLE – Part 1.
I headed up to the Emerald City to spend a few days with a really great friend, Collin. I met Collin a few weeks into our freshman year at college, and we’ve been friends since (and roommates, too, during our senior year). Collin and his boyfriend Blayne live in a charming little house in Seattle, and, shockingly (and embarrassingly), this was my first time visiting him since we graduated, in any of the three cities he’s lived in.
Plum. My plane from Vegas landed on Saturday afternoon, and after dropping my stuff off at Collin’s house, the two of us went on a walk. First order of business: lunch. We ended up at Plum Bistro, a vegan restaurant in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.
Since it was Saturday, we ordered off their brunch menu. Collin went with their Mayan Blue Corn Pancakes, which had a tofu scramble on top:
I ordered the Mofongo. That’s right, you heard me – Mofongo. I’d never heard of it either – apparently it’s a traditional Puerto Rican plantain-based dish (here’s a non-vegan recipe from the New York Times) and, well, I’m a sucker for trying new things.
The Mofongo is the ball in the center, which is plantains mashed with other things, and fried. Those strips are baked tempeh, and there’s a creole sauce. Had I known the Mofongo was fried, I probably wouldn’t have ordered it, but I’m glad I did, because it was savory and flavorful, and incredibly delicious. Collin’s pancakes were great too. You know how sometimes you crave sweet breakfast food and sometimes savory? I’m glad I went savory, even if it was fried.
Pike Place Market. Our Saturday walk also included a brief stroll through Pike Place Market, one of Seattle’s most famous destinations. It’s a market that stretches a couple blocks, and features vendors selling food of all kinds, as well as souvenirs and crafts. Since it’s right on the water near the port, it’s best-known as being an extraordinary fish market – the fishmongers there like to throw fish – but what caught my eye were the beautiful produce displays:
Oprah Fish. That night, Collin, Blayne and I made dinner and had a quiet night at their place. Collin’s handy with a grill, so while we were out, we hit up the seafood counter at Whole Foods, and, thanks to a staffer’s recommendation, came home with Oprah fish. (Why didn’t we buy fish at Pike Place, you ask? Because we knew we’d be walking around for hours more before making it home, and we didn’t want to carry it around.)
Did you know that in addition to her own network, Oprah has her own fish now? She doesn’t. I’m lying. What we actually bought was opah, but we couldn’t resist calling it Oprah.
I had never heard of opah before (they’re also known as moonfish, but I’ve never heard of moonfish either). They’re big and steak-like, and the guy at Whole Foods compared it to swordfish and marlin (both of which I rarely eat). You can see what an opah looks like (they’re pretty!) in this Iron Chef America clip.
Here’s our opah steaks after Collin first put them on the grill:
Collin seasoned the opah with a Hawaiian ginger salt rub. That’s onions and zucchini, and a chicken breast for Blayne, who’s not a big seafood eater. My plate:
My contribution to the dinner was the salad – mixed greens, orange cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, red pepper, and bottled dressing.
The opah was mellow, satisfying, and delicious!
Farmers Market. On Sunday, we headed to Ballard, a neighborhood in Seattle that has a Sunday farmers market. We picked up some blackberries and raspberries and ate them as we strolled the stalls, and ended up finding a food stall that intrigued us so much we decided to get lunch there. It was Patty Pan Grill, which offers tamales and roasted vegetable quesadillas:
Collin got the roasted vegetable quesadilla, and I got a black bean tamale with roasted veggies on the side:
I don’t know if you can tell in the picture or not, but the roasted veggies must have contained well over a dozen types of veggies, from onions and peppers to beets to many types of leafy greens like chard and kale. They were insanely delicious. I wish I took a picture of the cook workin’ those veggies: she had a big flat top that had heaping piles of veggies cooking away, and she was stirring it up and flipping those veggies every-which-way with two spatulas. I want to go back!
Blueacre. On Monday, my final full day in Seattle, Collin and I met up at Blueacre Seafood, because they have happy hour specials on oysters, and you don’t go to Seattle and not indulge in some seafood! I don’t ever crave or think to seek out raw oysters, but when I do have them, about once a year, I really enjoy them. We split a dozen, which came with a horseradish cocktail sauce, a champagne mignonette, and a ginger soy sauce, and they were well-priced at $1 apiece:
These oysters came from Dabob Bay in Puget Sound, less than 20 miles from where we were sitting! We also ordered the potted salmon appetizer from the happy hour menu:
It’s basically a smoked salmon mousse, served with pickled red onions and herbs… I’m a sucker for smoked salmon, and it was tasty.
Collin and I wanted to do some shopping before having dinner (we treated the salmon and oysters as an appetizer), so we took off from Blueacre. Before we left, though, we looked over the dinner menu (because we were curious), and saw something that caught our attention:
Angry lobster? Do they poke it until it gets pissed off? The next time our server came by, we asked her what that meant. “We poke it with a stick,” she said. “That’s what we said!” Collin and I said, simultaneously. A good laugh was had by all, and then the server explained it’s prepared with a some sort of spicy rub or sauce or something – I guess I stopped paying attention.
Shopping. A few blocks from Blueacre is a Nordstrom Rack, so Collin and I ducked in and I ended up purchasing a bizarre item of clothing that I really like. It’s made from soft sweatshirt material, but it’s cut like a blazer. Collin combined those two words and came up the name I will forever call it: it’s a Swazer, and it’s really comfortable. Here I am, in my Swazer, lookin’ orange thanks to the setting sun, back down by Pike Place Market:
It looks like the sleeves are comically long, but my right hand is cropped out of the picture, and my left hand is blocked by my body – I assure you the sleeves fall at the right spot! Be sure to come back tomorrow, though, for a photo of me wearing a truly comical article of clothing!
And now that I’ve mentioned Collin 10,000 times, how about I show a picture? What a good idea! Here’s the two of us:
A stranger took this picture, and then her hubby/boyfriend insisted on taking one too, as he was convinced she took a crappy picture. So he took a picture of us, and then they argued about whose was better. They were kind, and probably a bit tipsy, but for the record, that’s the lady’s photo that I used.
Seatown. Our final dining excursion came after the Swazer purchase, when we sat down at Seatown Seabar & Rotisserie, a well-known restaurant right near Pike Place Market.
I ordered the dungeness crab cocktail off the appetizer menu:
And a side dish of watermelon and grilled corn:
The menu didn’t mention the part that the watermelon would also be grilled! Just like when I grilled watermelon on my RediSetGo a few months ago! Does this place have a RediSetGo too? How hilarious would it be if they did! My RediSetGo melon doesn’t hold a candle to this dish – the melon was velvety-smooth, well-spiced, and amazing. I could eat stacks of grilled watermelon!
Phew. Are you still with me? Has anyone made it this far? Thanks for bearing with me – like I said at the top, there’s lots to share! And I didn’t even cover everything – in addition to all those meals, I also had great meals I didn’t document at Columbia City Ale House and Portage Bay Cafe – the latter was lunch with my buddy Shawn, a friend from way back that I haven’t seen in 15 years, but reconnected with a couple years ago thanks to Facebook. Shawn, by the way, is a rock star realtor in the Seattle luxury market, so when you’re ready to buy or sell a high-end Seattle-area property, he’s your guy!
Are you ready for more? Because the fun’s not over yet! Tomorrow I’ll cover what I did to stay active, and some more of the sights I saw while sight-seeing. I’ll leave you with this little tease: I calculated that in 3 days, I walked or ran over 20 miles! See how it breaks down tomorrow. Until then…
…Keep it up, David!