Guess What!? Grapefruit and Avocado Taste So Good Together!

July 5, 2018

I have a great salad idea, but first, a quick reminder:

If you’re in the Detroit area and free one week from tonight, you should definitely come listen to me make my Michigan debut as a motivational speaker! July 12th at 6pm at Birmingham Next. Click here for details, including how you can reserve a seat. See you then!

On to our regularly scheduled blogging. Ready to talk food? Read the rest of this entry »

Isn’t This The Coolest Restaurant Receipt You’ve Ever Seen?

April 28, 2017

I was going through my receipts and came across the best restaurant receipt I’ve ever seen. I ate lunch in the Denver International Airport two months ago, during a layover while en route to Minneapolis for an hour-long stair race extravaganza. I walked past McDonalds, Chick-Fil-A, and Cinnabon and found the healthiest option in the terminal – a place called Modern Market. Check out their receipt! Read the rest of this entry »

Chicken with Tarragon, Grapefruit, and Olives

June 23, 2015

I wanted to continue my little streak of cooking and eating citrus fruit, peel and all, so I came up with an easy, simple chicken recipe and tried it out on a couple friends who came to dinner. My recipe is inspired by a delicious meal my friend Katherine made in Sweden, which in turn was inspired by a Martha Stewart recipe. Leave it to me to mess around with Martha’s perfection!

It starts with Read the rest of this entry »

Greyhound Party

March 21, 2011

At the beginning of last week, I published a post called Food Logging 101, in which I shared how I log my food.  In it, I vowed to share my food logs for 7 days, so you all can see exactly what I eat for an entire week.  I kept my promise, and you see those food logs at the end of this post, this post, this post, this post, and this post.   Yesterday was the 7th and final day, and it turned out to be the worst food day I’ve had in a long, long time.  Add in the fact that I didn’t exercise, like I planned on doing, and the day should seem like a out-and-out disaster.  What’s surprised me, though, is my attitude about it.  I don’t really think it’s that big of a deal!

More on my attitude later – let me first walk you through my day, and put together my food log as I do it.  I slept in until about 10am or so – I was up late the night before (3am), and chose to turn off my alarms.  I awoke to the sound of heavy rain pounding my windows, which is a sound I love, especially since it’s so rare in Los Angeles, and stayed in bed, listening to it, for probably another hour.  A great day so far!

I finally got out of bed and headed to the kitchen to make some breakfast, although due to the late hour, it was more like brunch.  Brunch ended up being:

  • 2 Breakfast Burritos:  3 egg whites, scrambled with green pepper, scallion, Mrs. Dash, and cooked in PAM; 1 black bean/chipotle veggie burger, chopped up; 2-3 tbsp salsa – all mixed up and spread into 2 whole wheat tortillas.
  • 1 banana
  • 1 liter water + 8 oz skim milk

After eating, I threw on some gym clothes and headed down to the little gym in my building.  It was too cold and wet to head out to my regular gym.  Both cardio machines in the little gym – an exercise bike and an elliptical – were broken, so that was a fine how-do-you-do.  I could have gone up, grabbed my car keys, and headed to my regular gym, but I didn’t.  I just didn’t.

Later in the afternoon, I headed over to my friend Tavi’s house.  He was having a greyhound party.  Tavi has a few fruit trees in his backyard, including two grapefruit trees, and since he has more grapefruit right now than he could ever eat himself, he invited his friends over for greyhounds, which is a cocktail made from grapefruit juice and vodka.

Normally, when I head out to a party where I know there’ll be lots of snacky stuff, I prepare myself by eating before I go, so I don’t get feel hungry while I’m there.  I didn’t do that today.  When I’m at parties, I also try to make a point of drinking a lot of water.  I didn’t do that either.  I had a couple glasses of grapefruit juice (without vodka).

The party was quite nice.  I met some really friendly new people, and had a great time catching up with Tavi, who I haven’t seen in a couple weeks.  I also kinda went apeshit berserk with the snacks.  Tavi had a lot of them out – he had stocked up at both Trader Joe’s and Costco.  Here’s the list of everything I ate.  I started out fine:

  • about 10 strawberries
  • about 6-8 pretzel sticks

A little time went by, and soon it was around dinner time.  Since I didn’t eat anything before I came, I hadn’t had an actual meal since the aforementioned brunch, which was slightly before noon.  So I kept eating party snacks:

  • 1/2 cup of peanuts and dried cherries
  • 2 brownie bites
  • 2 Trader Joe’s mushroom turnover appetizer thingies
  • 2 Trader Joe’s pigs-in-a-blanket appetizer thingies

At this point I decided to walk to a different part of the room, away from the food.  Tavi, though, being a good host, and food set up in multiple places, and so I continued grazing:

  • 5-6 ginger snap mini-cookies
  • 8-10 pretzel sticks
  • another 1/2 cup peanuts and dried cherries
  • 3-4 Trader Joe’s chocolate-covered raspberry jellies
  • 2 Trader Joe’s spanakopita appetizers (mini spinach pies)

Usually the knowledge that I have to account for all this stuff in my food log is enough to get me to stop eating, but that wasn’t working tonight.  Soon, the party was over, and I stuck around to talk to Tavi a bit more, and help clean up.  Before I left for the evening, I added to the list:

  • 1 palmful Jelly Belly jelly beans
  • 1 mini-cinnamon bun (60 calories)
  • 2 more brownie bites
  • 1/2 a pummelo (Tavi ate the other half – his first ever pummelo – and loved it)
  • 4-5 glasses of water (finally!)

As I drove home, I started thinking: “How should I handle this on my blog?  Do I not include a food log for today, and hope that no one calls me out on it?  Or should I lie about my food log?”  By the time I got home, I decided to just be honest, and fess up.  Y’all respond well to honesty, and since I use to blog as a way to hold myself accountable, if I’m not honest with you, I’m also being honest with myself.  More importantly, though, I also realized during that car ride that I don’t care.

I’ll be crystal clear:  I’m not saying I don’t care about myself, or my health, or that I’ve somehow thrown in the towel or given up.  That’s not the case.  What I’m saying is this:  I’m acknowledging, and owning up to the fact that I was not on program today.  I couldn’t be much farther off program if I tried:  I didn’t exercise, ate tons of junk food, didn’t eat nearly enough vegetables, didn’t drink enough water… it’s a long list.

But I know that it’s an isolated incident.  I know days like this are very, very rare for me.  I know that tomorrow I’ll be back on track.  I know that I’m not going to beat myself up for my actions today.

I know all of this things as confidently as I know that two plus two equals four.  And that confidence is exciting, because it’s very new feeling for me.  Had this day happened a year ago, or even four months ago, I think I’d be flipping out, and possibly even feel ashamed or like a failure.  How will I ever get back on track?  How long will it take to lose the pounds I most definitely gained today?  Is this the beginning of the end?

But I’m stronger now.  I reviewed my whole week of food logs before writing this post, and I’m eating well.  I flipped through my calender, and so far in March, I’ve worked out 16 out of 20 days.  My weight loss chart shows that I’ve lost 4 pounds so far this month.  I really feel like I know what I’m doing.  This day was a bump in the road – hell, it was a Guatemalan sinkhole – but it’s over.  I’ll recover.  I’ll keep going.  I’ll be fine.

Tavi gave out little gift bags to his guests as they left, and by ‘little gift bag’, I mean ‘enormous bags of grapefruit’.  Here’s my haul:

That’s a pile of 28 grapefruit!  I have no idea what I’m going to do with so many grapefruit, but I’ll figure it out.  I pulled out some bowls and platters to create a more aesthetic arrangement:

Then it occurred to me that I was only some fancy linens and napkin rings away from having a Sandra Lee-esque tablescape, and since I can’t stand her tablescapes (click here to see what I’m talking about), all the vessels went back in the cupboard and the grapefruit are now just piled on my counter.

Regarding my confidence, and not my actions today, I end this post, like I always to, with…

…Keep it up, David!

A Third Way To Eat a Pummelo

February 28, 2011

Previously on Keep It Up, David: Inspired by a tweet sent out by fellow weight-loss blogger Julia, I bought a pummelo, and hacked it apart and consumed it in a manner I learned from a YouTube video (which I can also thank Julia for tweeting, so thank you!).  After blogging about it (read the post and see the pictures here), another blogger, Reinaldo, suggested another way of eating pummelos, so, when I bought my second pummelo, I ate it that way (and blogged about it, with pictures and everything, here).

Guess what?  I bought my third pummelo, and used a third method to eat it!  To refresh your memory, here’s what a pummelo looks like:

It’s the biggest citrus fruit in the world.  Bigger than navel oranges, bigger than grapefruit.

My friend Nicolette suggested, in a comment on the blog, that I try eating a pummelo like she eats a grapefruit.  Since pummelos are very similar to grapefruit (in that they’re big and sour, although not quite as sour), I thought I’d give it a whirl.  Turns out the way she eats grapefruit is the same way I ate grapefruit growing up.  My mom used to prepare grapefruit for me and my siblings this way when I was little (which she learned from her mom), but I haven’t eaten a grapefruit this way in years and years (I’ve bought grapefruit in the past year, and gotten free grapefruit from my friend Tavi’s tree, but I’ve just been juicing them).

Here’s what you do:

1) Cut the pummelo in half, around its equator, so to speak:

2) Using a paring knife, cut around the perimeter of the flesh, separating the edible part from the rind:

3) Then cut on either side of each membrane that radiate from the center to the outside:

(By the way, taking these photos with my left hand while cutting with my right was no easy feat!)

4) Once you’ve cut along both sides of each membrane, you’ll easily be able to lift individual segments of pummelo out with a spoon:

Mmm, pummelo!  Growing up, my mom would sprinkle a tiny bit of sugar on the grapefruit before doing all the cutting, just to sweeten it up a bit.  She also had grapefruit spoons – spoons with serrated tips that were especially designed for digging out grapefruit sections.  Here’s what a grapefruit spoon looks like (although my mom’s don’t have hideous handles like this one does):

After I ate all the segments, I squeezed all the juice into a glass:

Here’s my juice bounty:

I took about half of it, and added it to a tall glass of sparkling water that I made with my SodaStream, and voila! Pummelo-flavored sparkling water!

The other 1/2 of the pummelo juice I chugged, like it was a shot.  Delicious!

I like this method of pummelo consumption, mainly because it’s easy, relatively tidy (you don’t end up with puddles of juice on your plate or counter), and, for me, there’s a nice nostaglia factor.

Anyone else out there got any fantastic pummelos ideas?  I’m definitely planning on buying a fourth pummelo… help me figure out how I’m gonna eat it!

Keep it up, David!

Fruit Trees, Hike, Goodbye Shoes

January 25, 2011

I hung out with my friend Tavi this morning.  I’m totally envious of Tavi, for a couple reasons.  First of all, he has a super cool job: he’s an aerialist.  Yep, an acrobatic, ultra-flexible, death-defying performer.  You can catch him right now in a show called Cirque Berserk, playing in downtown Los Angeles – go here for info and tickets (act fast – it closes this weekend).  I’m also envious because Tavi has fruit trees in his backyard.  Two grapefruit trees and a tangerine tree.  Check out his fruit!

I totally wish I had fruit trees.  How fantastic would it be to wake up and think, ‘I want some juice this morning’ and then walk 15 feet and pluck some grapefruit off a tree!  Since Tavi has more tangerines and grapefruit than he knows what to do with, he let me help myself, which I did:

Tomorrow morning, I’m making some juice!

Tavi and I also went on a great hike this morning.  The last time I went hiking with Tavi, which is documented here, it involved a burned-out bridge, leaping over creeks, and coming across a naked old man.  Needless to say, hiking with Tavi is fun!  This morning we went to Fryman Canyon, a nearby trail in the Hollywood Hills.  I’ve been to Fryman before, on an early morning hike with my friends Jen and Tiffany.  I told Tavi this, and he says, “you’ve probably been on the main trail.  I go on a steeper, tougher, narrower trail.”  Yep, it’s fun already!

He was right.  His trail was tough.  I was out of breath at times.  It wound up and down through the hills, through canyons, alongside ridges, and through countless different types of terrain: lush tropical rain forest-lookin’ parts, sloping fields of 6-foot shrubs, rocky chasms with streams at the bottom…  and there were some great views, too!  Like this one:

There was also a fallen tree than we walked across:

And a random trapeze tied to a tree (why I’m the one holding it, and not Tavi the aerialist, is a good question):

Oh and did I mention Tavi got a great parking spot?

Near the end of the hike, we had to come down a steep ridge.  Tavi ran down it, full speed, but I was a wuss and negotiated it foot by foot:

It was on that descent that I decided to was time to say goodbye to the pair of shoes I was wearing.  They’re Under Armour shoes, and I loved them, but I wore them out, and they don’t have any traction anymore.  No good.  I bought them probably over a year ago, and wore them as gym shoes for three or four (or six) months.  When I got new gym shoes, I kept these around to wear occasionally: like when it was rainy outside, or when I went on hikes and there was the potential for lots of dust, dirt, or mud.  But just a few minutes before starting to write this post, I tossed them down the trash chute, into the dumpster.

Goodbye shoes, you served me well.

Oh, and that hike?  It was nearly two hours long.

Keep it up, David!

The Innards of a Passion Fruit

September 27, 2010

The innards of a passion fruit are green.  Did you know that?  I didn’t!  I found that out when I cut one of the passion fruits I bought at the farmer’s market open:

It looks kinda gross, but trust me, smells so good.  I decided I would use them in a little sauce that I was making to go over ice cream, which I was planning to serve to a couple friends that were gonna come over tonight.  I scooped the green goo out of all three passion fruits:

My friend Heidi, in the comments section the other day, suggested I give the innards a go-around in the food processor, to aid in the separation of the seeds from the goo.  But since would involve digging my food processor out of the cupboard, dusting it off, and plugging it in, I decided to skip it, and just go apeshit crazy pushing the goo through a sieve with a rubber spatula:

I watched last week’s episode of “Top Chef: Just Desserts” while I did this.  That Seth guy makes for great TV!  In this episode, he broke down into a sobbing fit during the Quickfire judging, and then it was one confrontation after another with him and the various other cheftestants.  When he spit out the sentence “The Red Hots are for my mommy!” while crying and fiercely hugging the guest judge…  well, that may be the best moment of the season for this show  – that’s right, I’m calling it now, even though they’ve only aired 2 episodes.

Anyhoo, after mashing and mashing for about 15 minutes, I was left with a few tablespoons of passion fruit juice.  I put about a teaspoon in a class of sparkling water (another Heidi suggestion, and it was delicious):

The rest went into a saucepan, along with about 3 cups of frozen blackberries, and the juice of 1 orange.  The idea was that I’d cook it on low for a little while, bringing it to a simmer, and letting it reduce into a nice thick syrupy-type sauce.  For a while, it was going quite well, until I stepped away from the kitchen to go quickly send an email.  And you know how writing 1 email turns into writing 4 emails AND checking Facebook AND checking out your blog stats?  My suggestion to you is not let that happen while a sauce is reducing on the stove.  I came back into the kitchen, and it had reduced past syrup stage and into sludge stage.  Thank goodness it hadn’t burned on the bottom of the pot.  It was practically the consistency of molasses, so I decided I needed to thin it out a little bit (I forgot to take photos during this time…  I was too busy cursing under my breath).  I grabbed an orange and started juicing it, but it was not until after I added the juice of 1/2 the orange that I realized it wasn’t an orange, it was a small grapefruit.  So now I have sour sludge.  I stirred it for a little while longer and got it to my desired consistency, and then mashed it through the sieve, to separate out the blackberry seeds.

Because I let it reduce so much, I wasn’t left with tons of sauce, but it’s a pretty color, and hopefully, it won’t be too sour:

I tried a little bit of it, and it wasn’t bad…  I just think the grapefruit overpowers the passion fruit.  My friends and I decided to reschedule for tomorrow anyway – so I’ll let you know what they think!  Hopefully it’s a hit.

Keep it up, David!