Saturday, April 21, 2012

Just eat it.

Oh my gosh so I went on a diet you guys. When I was last in Iowa I took a book called The Flat Belly Diet from my parents’ bookshelves. I didn’t do this because I thought my belly wasn’t flat, I took it because (here, folks, is the true reason people like diets:) it told me exactly what to do.  People don’t need special diets; they just want precise meal planning instructions. This is why people ‘finish’ their diets, get overwhelmed with the chaos of meal preparation and then are always relieved to say ‘I’m going on a diet’ even if they pretend to be exasperated.

Person A: I’m going on a diet. *sigh*

Person B: Well, it’s true, you’re no Martha Stewart.

I’m no exception. I’ve rotated between the same 5 lunches and dinners since I’ve been responsible for feeding myself, one of which is chips and salsa. So a book that did all the thinking sounded like perfection.

The trip to the grocery store was challenging. I have never looked for ginger root, mushrooms, squash, turkey breast cutlets or mint leaves.
My first question was, ‘what do I do if I can’t find stuff?’
Nothing. As it turns out I didn’t care that much about following the diet super closely. I also didn’t write down the four day shopping list, instead opting to carry the heavy hard cover book around the store, trying to hold it without losing my place while putting produce in bags. I think I was trying not to take full credit for my shopping cart by giving people a chance to connect the dots (‘Look at all the varied items in that cart, how does she know she know what to buy?  Oooooh she has the Flat Belly Diet book, that’s cool’).

My favorite part about the Flat Belly Diet is the Sassy Water.  Oh yes. Sassy Water. It contains ginger root, lemon, cucumber and mint leaves and is quite refreshing.

On my second day of the Flat Belly Diet I realized the book had a sense of humor. Lunch was a piece of rolled up turkey, (ok honestly WTF? A piece of rolled turkey? Not an entrĂ©e. Is rolling it supposed to make us think we’re eating more?) string cheese, cherry tomatoes and Sassy Water. This, clearly being a snack, was treated accordingly (i.e. it was followed by lunch).
After the second day I had some other stuff going on and forgot about the diet. Until I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner one night and took out the book again. I made tilapia, green beans and roasted red potato!  It was probably the most balanced meal I’ve ever prepared, and it was delicious.
FBD is supposed to be a 21 day plan and it will probably take about 6 months to get through it. Which I think is fine. I’ve already bought 14 ingredients for the first time ever and prepared 3 healthy new dishes thanks to this easy as pie book. I’m really pleased with myself.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Arts week

I had another great arts week. Great arts weeks are never planned, they just happen. They're like finding the love of your life, you can't look for a great arts week, they just pop up when you least expect it. In some ways they're even better than finding the love of your life.  Questions like, Is this the love of my life? How sure are we about this? If only they had different parents. Should we take a break to be sure about this? Why do they insist on saying 'will you borrow me this' instead of 'will you lend me that'? cannot be applied to arts weeks.

 On Wednesday I went to Hay Fever at the Guthrie Theatre. This was a hilarious show, I laughed a lot and my cheeks hurt from smiling. Hay Fever isn't Shakespeare or high art, but it's fantastic comedic writing and just all around great fun.  The highlight was Harriet Harris who played Judith Bliss, a recently retired actress and mother of two grown children who call her 'darling'. She did an expert job at being the drama queen who would be fun to have around, the kind of person you watch on stage and think, 'I need to know someone like this.'

Friday I went to the James Sewell Ballet. I like JSB. They can always be counted on for someting creative and different.
I went with a group called Theoroi which goes to shows and then meets with the artists/directors/someone related to the show.  After the performance we went to the super cool JSB rehearsal space for drinks and apps (I ate a very un-ballerina like number of macaroons) and a Q&A with James Sewell and the dancers. It was the kind of thing you go to and think, 'My life should be more like this all the time.'  The best part was when one of the dancers was talking about the second part of the show and said, 'We were changing stuff at 6:30 today. I had no idea what was going on.'

Saturday I went to Madame Butterfly. I forgot how terrible this story is* but the music is just outstanding. Kelly Kaduce's (Butterfly) singing and acting was really moving. I actually almost cried and I always try not to be that pretentious person that is 'just soooo moved by the beauty of opera' that they can't control themselves (people who cry at the opera aren't always pretentious but it's a fine line I'm nervous about and therefore always lean more towards appearing to be an emotional black hole).
*To clarify, the story isn't badly told, it's just a terrible story - Pinkerton is a grade A jerk.