Healthy Red, White and Blue Fourth of July treats!

Hello everyone! It’s been awhile! My life in New Orleans is going well so far. It’s taken awhile but I’m finally starting to settle in. I have a car now, so life is starting to feel a little more normal now that I can drive myself places and I’m not totally dependent on my boyfriend if I want to go anywhere.

I haven’t really done any cooking since I’ve been here. My boyfriend is the best cook, so why should I even bother?! Lol no I’m kidding. Sort of. But I’ve only cooked once in the past 6 weeks, and that was only hamburgers. There haven’t really been any blog-worthy recipes in my recent past.

Which is why instead of posting a new recipe, I’m simply posting links to my two “patriotic” recipes that I put up last year. I will do my best to get this blog back up and running ASAP.

Cheers!

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Red, White and Blue Cheesecake-stuffed Strawberries

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Red, White and Blue Ricotta Banana Split 

finished banana split with chocolate syrup

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My big news…

Now that I’ve officially given notice at work, I can finally share my big news with the rest of the world: in three weeks I’m moving to New Orleans!

Why am I moving? (That’s the question I’ve been asked at least a hundred times in the past few weeks.) Well, my boyfriend lives down there. We’ve been doing the long-distance thing for almost a year now. Things have been great, but the distance SUCKS (obviously), and I’m tired of it. I’ve known for a while that I would be moving down there, but I couldn’t really say anything about it because I didn’t want my job to find out before I was ready.

That’s why I haven’t been posting on the blog lately. In February I moved in with my mom, to spend time with her before I go, and I haven’t cooked a thing since I got there! My dieting hasn’t been going too good either, because I’ve been doing a lot of “going away” dinners and happy hours, eating and drinking at all my favorite places “for the last time.” But I’m still going to the gym every morning, so at least I haven’t gained any weight. I figure once I get down to New Orleans I can resume the pursuit of my eternal goal of losing 10 pounds.

I’m pretty excited about moving. Aside from getting to spend tons of time with my boyfriend, as a jaded New Yorker I’m really looking forward to moving somewhere where life moves a little bit slower and people are a little bit nicer. Every time I’ve been to New Orleans I’ve really loved the city, so hopefully that feeling will continue to grow once I’m down there.

There probably won’t be any recipe posts for awhile, at least not until I settle in a bit in New Orleans. But I do plan on starting back up in the future. My boyfriend is an AMAZING cook, and he has a lot of experience making healthy, gluten-free meals. (Sigh, we’re so perfect for each other. Lol.) So I definitely foresee a lot of healthy recipes to come.

So yeah, that’s what’s going on. My last day at work is May 7, and on May 13 I’ll be driving a rented minivan packed with my stuff down to New Orleans. Stay tuned to see how things go!

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But I don’t WANNA diet *pout*

 

This has NOT been an easy week as far as my diet was concerned.

It started on Saturday, when my mom gave me an Entenmann’s chocolate cake to bring to my brother the next day. As soon as she handed it to me, I knew there was no way that cake was making it to him. Lol. I shared a bit of it with my friends that night, and then when I got home around midnight I ate about half of what was left. The next day I forced myself to get rid of the rest.

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To make up for my cake transgression, I went to salsa class on Sunday. So that just about balanced out.

Fast forward to Wednesday. To thank us for coming in after a huge snowstorm, my job bought pizza for the entire firm. I ended up eating THREE slices! I did an hour of cardio that night to try to make up for it.

Fortunately, my weight has stayed the same this week. It sucks that I didn’t lose, but at least I didn’t gain.

And now I’m craving Chinese food. I’ve been thinking about it for days. And it’s really making me angry!! I mean, what is this life that I’ve created for myself that I can’t eat Chinese food when I feel like it??

I don’t know what I’m going to do.  Sike, yes I do. I’m going to order it tonight, this way I can get it out of my system. Week two of my diet will go down as a fail, but I can start fresh on Monday.

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Week 1 of my diet – so far, so good

Week one of my five-week “Must lose 10 pounds before my 35th birthday!” challenge went well – I’m down 2.5 pounds. I might have even lost a full three pounds if I hadn’t made that fettucini alfredo on Saturday night. I didn’t eat a lot of it…oh, wait, now that I think about it, I guess I did. Three bowls. I wanted to finish this jar of alfredo sauce I had in my fridge, and I hate wasting food, so there’s no way I would have thrown it out.

I justified it by telling myself that the diet would officially start on Monday. I mean, who starts a diet on a Friday anyway? Other than the pasta I didn’t stray really from my diet over the weekend (just a few bites of chocolate cake when I was at my grandma’s house), and on Monday I was officially in diet mode. I didn’t eat any bad carbs at all this week. Just salads for lunch, and meat and vegetables for dinner.  Tuesday was a bit of challenge, because they put out a platter of cakes and cookies at work and I REALLY wanted some. But I didn’t eat any – instead I just took some and gave them to a friend, and his happiness was almost as satisfying as eating them myself. Almost.

I DID allow myself to eat some banana bread – but it was made using my sugar-free, gluten-free recipe, so technically it’s not a cheat. I found it when I was cleaning out my freezer, and I brought it into work to share with my friend Tiffany, who is on this fitness kick with me. It’s definitely not something I should be eating every day, but it’s a good late afternoon snack that keeps me from being starving when I get home.

banana bread

Exercise-wise I’ve been doing good too. I exercised every day, and I went back to Zumba on Tuesday and my salsa class on Wednesday – both of which are super-intense cardio. I was gonna go to salsa on Thursday, but I had a dentist appointment. I’m planning to do Zumba every Tuesday and salsa every Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday (I have a year-long unlimited pass for salsa, so there’s really no reason for me NOT to go). If I throw the gym in there two or three times a week, the weight should just melt off me.

So yeah, down 2.5 pounds. I don’t really consider this to be “real” weight loss though. I’ve lost and regained the same five pounds a dozen times this past year, so I consider this “equalization” to get back to what I think is now my body’s normal weight. In a week or two I should be down to where I was before Australia, and that’s when the REAL challenge will begin. I’m not going to do anything differently than I am now, but I think it will take a bit longer for me to lose that last 5 pounds. Even still, I’m feeling pretty good.

To be continued…

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Different year, same resolution

Happy New Year everyone! Wow, it’s been forever since I last posted. There hasn’t been much to write about – between Australia, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, I have been doing very little cooking and WAYYYY too much eating. As a result, I am 6 pounds heavier than I was at the end of October, before I went to Australia.

I’m not too upset about it. I mean, what was I supposed to do, diet while I was on vacation? Not partake in the amazing Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts? No way!

But now I am committed to getting back on track. For last year’s resolution I said that I wanted to lose 15 pounds and then try to figure out how to change my lifestyle so I could be done with yo-yo dieting once and for all. Well, that didn’t happen – I weigh more now than I did a year ago!

So once again my resolution is to lose 15 pounds. I have a few events coming up, and I know that if I don’t lose the weight, I will be very depressed.

The first up – and most important – is my birthday. I’ll be 35 on February 15 (how did this happen?!?). I don’t have any plans yet, but I’m sure I will be dressed up and I do NOT want to look in the mirror that night and be unhappy with what I see. It’s 5 weeks away, so if I eat right and go to the gym at least 5 times a week, I will definitely lose 8-10 pounds.

Then I’m going to a wedding in New Orleans at the end of March, and I need to look great for that. There are also a few other things where I’ll have to be trying on dresses, and again, I do not want to be unhappy with myself when I’m trying on dresses in the dressing room.

So yeah, I am GOING to lose 15 pounds over the next two months. Because staying at this weight and being unhappy when I look in the mirror is NOT an option.

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Eating in Australia – Melbourne

I was in Melbourne for almost a week, and in that time my diet basically went to shit. But who cares? I’ll worry about it when I get home.

In Melbourne I stayed at my friend’s apartment, which meant access to a kitchen and therefore less eating out. Which is nice, because Melbourne is a bit expensive when it comes to, well, everything.

On my first night there we managed to find a place that served a steak dinner for only $20. The steak was cooked perfectly (I like it medium rare), and the unexpected cheese covering the steak and the unexpected shoestring fries (my fave) made the meal top notch. Well done, Ludlow bar.
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The next day I went on a bus tour of the Great Ocean Road while my friend was at work. I know this is a food blog, but here are some pics from that day. It was sooooooo beautiful – definitely the highlight of the trip so far. (For more pictures, follow me on Instagram @therealroryo, or just click on the Instagram button to the right.)
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It was a 12-hour tour, so along the way the bus stopped for breakfast and lunch. For breakfast I got a yummy bacon egg and cheese sandwich at some local cafe in Torquay (definitely nicer than the stuff I get from the Delish next door to my job), and for lunch I got a fish burger from Apollo Cafe in Apollo Bay. That fish burger was goooood. Just the thought of it is making me hungry!
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After the tour I met up with my friend and we went to a Thai restaurant called Cookie that another friend recommended on Facebook when he saw I was in Melbourne. I don’t want to post a picture of my food though. I ordered the fried soft shell crab, and even though it tasted good, the photos look *really* unappetizing (like poop :-/).

On Thursday (Halloween), I met my friend and her coworkers for lunch. We went to a Chinese dumpling place, where I proceeded to GORGE on various types of dumplings and noodles. #heavenonaplate

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On Saturday my friend and I went on a winetasting tour of the Yarra valley. Included in the tour was lunch at Rochford Winery. My choice: Moroccan Braised Wagyu Beef Cheek. The beef was tender and delicious, but I couldn’t decide if I liked the sauce that was covering the white stuff on the side. It was too citrusy/orangey. I ate all of it though, so…yeah.

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The next day, Sunday, was a day of firsts for me: I had my first churro and my first pho noodles. Thumbs up on both accounts! And to add to all the crap I ate that afternoon, I decided to wash it all down with some bubble tea.
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On Monday we went to the beach (just to look and walk around – Melbourne is pretty damn cold). We stopped at a bakery and sat down to have a Cappucino and try their famous Kugelhoupf – a German bundt cake that tastes like rugelach. It was sooo good.

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As I’m writing about all of these foods I’m literally pausing, closing my eyes, and remembering the taste, texture, and smell of each meal. I had a great “food experience” during my first week in Australia. As the Aussies would say (but I would not say, not aloud at least). “Good on ya, Melbourne!”

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I need coffee

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I landed in Melbourne a few hours ago. First order of business while I wait for my friend to pick me up? Coffee shop. Cappuccino to be precise. I slept two hours on the 24 hour flight over here. My goal is to stay awake all day (it’s 11am right now) so that tonight I’ll be dead tired and fall asleep easily. Then hopefully by tomorrow I’ll be on Melbourne time.

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