Monday, March 7, 2011


I keep a pile of food related pulled out magazine articles on my computer desk - things I find amusing or interesting to share with you. I pulled out the messy stack and the third page showed an image of a middle aged, gray haired man lifting free weights with the huge slogan "ARE YOU KIDDING YOURSELF?" overpowering the scene in bold blue lettering. I expected to find a food related article on the back, but all the flip side contained were the 'important' facts about the drug Lipitor.

It must have gotten pulled out with some other article, but I couldn't help but wonder if this page stood as a Freudian message from inner critic. "ARE YOU KIDDING YOURSELF?" a pretty good mantra for the cynic inside. I can't stand that chick, but she has a point.

When there are so many people out there in the world with all the talent and determination imaginable (and probably no kids, husbands/wives, houses that seem to get bigger every time they have to clean them...) I get to wondering if my meager time, questionable skills, and wandering eye for the next point of interest/obsession will ever get me anywhere.

I woke up before dawn this morning to pounding rain. Downstairs I turned on the tea kettle, and saw a streak fly by on the car-free road behind my house. The road dead-ends and I waited for the streak to come back again - wanting to see what kind of maniac was out there in the dark rain at 5 am.

A woman, very fit, probably about forty, and a little white dog were running hard, 8 or 9 miles per hour, through the cold rain. What makes her different from me?

I am too easily allured by the beguiling quit demon. At the push-through point, that inner critic of mine starts to sneak up, telling me that I will not may just be easier, less wasteful of time and energy, to stop trying (or more bluntly, to quote the Lipitor add: Are you kidding yourself??). That early morning runner got her butt, and her dog's butt, out the door before the sun, in a freezing downpour.

What does if feel like to say "NO! I am NOT kidding myself you jerk, so back off"?
So at that moment, I got my pen and began to write again.

I have to fight that critic, a lot. I may get knocked out more often than I want to...but sometimes I get the nerve to say SHUT UP! and throw her a left hook. The anonymous runner in the rain inspired me to fight back. This is for her.


Splashing speed
The heavy sodden shoes
and fierce gusts
cannot weigh her down

A small white dog
runs a few paces ahead
while rumbling rain fights
unrelenting brick brown mud
for his coat,
again and again

A dark dawn
Cold pounding of pavement
marks her determination
to beat the drumming drops,
falling faster than the clock ticks away
on her moment, as a pulsing flash,
under the water sheets and black blubbering clouds

I watch her from a warm window,
steaming pomegranate tea
hot in my hand,
and wonder where to find
dedication like

*The site is still down...hopefully it will be fixed soon. In the mean time I will be focusing on getting my fingers to the keyboard here at Owl Cook. Thanks for your continued support! 

Monday, January 31, 2011

Losing It and a Sad Substitute for Dessert, Extra Dessert Delights

*my 4RFood site is under some construction, so here are my latest thoughts posted to owlcook :)

Ah, January - you bring with you a brand new year and a few new unwanted pounds. December, its the same thing every sneak up with your cutesy holiday cheer, abundant cookies, creamy fudge, garlic cream mashed potatoes, and on and on and on...and on. Who knew you were so passive aggressive? Ok, everyone knows. December comes with an accessory, blinders. It's December - you can eat what ever the heck you want. All month long. 
I, myself, am on the bandwagon along with millions of other people who have pried off their December goggles. Back to writing down (thanks to a very cool ipod app) every calorie allowed to enter, back to simple grilled chicken, salads, saying no to brownies *super sigh*, and eating pretty much the same thing every day. I am in a state of anti-December. 
It is going well (ok, it has only been about four days, so ask me again in about two weeks...)The detox has already begun. My downfall, unfortunately, happens also to be my soul nurturing hobby...making home baked goods. So no more plump persimmon cookies, no more dense banana bread, no more caramel apple cake (cue silent tear running down cheek). The bakery, at least for now, is closed. 
Some people may know that I am a fan of the TV program The Biggest Loser. After watching people who have a long way to go in their weight loss journey put forth such amazing efforts, makes me feel like a jerk if I don't. What is my point food wise here? Well TBL show does a lot of  really, really, really bad product placement ads and one of them happens to be for Extra Gum. Guess what? The lame product placement ad worked on me...
They say the gum will help curve a craving, especially for my beloved sugar kind, and give you a sense that you got a sweet treat. I am a fan of the spearmint Extra gum, but that doesn't make me feel like I have had a cookie or anything.
I bought the Strawberry Shortcake flavor of this product, and to be honest with you, it is just strawberry gum. Not too sure what I was expecting (hello! I was expecting something along the lines of Willy Wonka's by gum its gum - minus blowing up like a strawberry and being wheeled away by lil' orange dudes) but it let me down. Come on people, way to misdirect us sugar addicts. I know they have a Key Lime Pie flavor (not even my first choice in REAL dessert form, so not too excited about that flavor) and a Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream flavor (which might be pretty good). So I can't say I recommend this flavor of Extra Gum as a dessert substitute, but it works ok as a plain strawberry flavored gum.