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Lara Bar is about to release three new secret flavors! I cannot wait. I only hope that I will love one of them as much as I love the PB, cashew cookie, and lemon bar flavors.

I have gained weight in the past 6 months. It is difficult to deal with–I think longingly about liposuction, detox diets and personal trainers these days–but I believe in my ability to lose the weight. I know I can do it, and I know that it takes time and perseverance.  The state of the economy, my friends’ lack of jobs, my lack of a job…it all makes focusing on health and fitness more difficult.


I always get excited when spring starts popping up, and it’s not just because we actually get more sunlight here in the Pacific NW. I get excited because I automatically eat better. I adore all the summer fruits; I love picking berries, and summer salads are the best! Olive oil and vinegar tastes good on everything, and everyone automatically feels skinnier anyway without all those bulky sweaters and coats, don’t they?

In honor of the coming warm weather, I’m already breaking out my summer recipes. This one was originally in Shape magazine a while back. (In May 2006, I believe.) It’s light and tasty. Quinoa is an amazing grain: it is chock-full of protein and pretty low on calories to boot. It works well as a substitute for couscous, bulgur, rice, etc, and it’s pretty cheap to buy at Trader Joe’s. (It can be incredibly expensive elsewhere, so be sure to comparison shop.) Equally important: WASH IT. You have to get the bitter coat off of it.

Quinoa Caprese
1 cup quinoa
14 oz. chicken or veggie broth
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
3 ounces fresh mozarella, diced (or the mozzarella balls, cut in half)
1 cup torn basil leaves2
1/2 tablespoons lemon juice1
1/4 tablespoon garlic oil (OR heat some olive oil with smashed garlic cloves in it for a few minutes)
salt and pepper

Rinse the quinoa thoroughly (IMPORTANT, especially if the quinoa isn’t prewashed)
In a medium saucepan, bring the stock to a boil. Add the quinoa, reduce heat and simmer about 12-15 minutes until the liquid is absorbed. The quinoa should be tender. Transfer to a large bowl, let it cool down to room temperature.
Stir the cherry tomatoes, basil, and mozarella into the quinoa.
With a whisk or fork beat the lemon juice and oil together. Pour over the quinoa and toss well. Season to taste.

You can serve this over some spinach leaves; arugula would work, too. I like it without, too!

Three and a half years ago, I graduated from college. Like so many other college graduates, I was bewildered, confused, and overweight. Having been chubby for several years, I finally packed on about fifteen or twenty pounds during my senior year bringing my weight to somewhere over 170 pounds (from my best estimates, around 175). But I didn’t know that then; I was so focused on my lack of a post-grad job that I didn’t notice my weight creeping up until I tried on a pair of size 14-16 pants…and they were tight.

Unlike so many others, my weight loss journey didn’t actually start there. There was never one moment when I decided, “This is the time.” It sprung from a series of unintentional decisions and lucky situations. My new roommate (now known as ex-roomie) after graduation joined my gym; I started going more. She drank nonfat milk; I switched from 2%. She subscribed to Glamour; I started a subscription to Self. My dad sent me a BBQ.

That first summer, I lost about 7 pounds. Suddenly, things clicked: I was not destined to be overweight. I could be healthy! Ex-roomie started running, and I started–slowly–to jog a few minutes at a time with her.

The good things only continued: I found a job with a bunch of health-conscious men who provided valuable information gleaned from losing weight and starting running programs. They were always supportive and never judgmental. I signed up to run a 5k, and then starting training for a 10k. When I got below 150 pounds for the first time since my senior year of high school, I started to cry. While on the scale. At the gym. Needless to say, people were cutting some startled glances my way!

Of course, disaster struck: my knees developed “patellofemoral pain syndrome” or some such nonsense. I kept working out but I wasn’t able to do the activity I had become addicted to; yet, I managed to keep off the 30 pounds I had lost. I was

When I left my job to head to law school, my weight was steady around 142 pounds. I bid a fond adieu to Ex-Roomie, packed up my things and found myself without a gym buddy, without a truly regular schedule, and with a stressful seven months ahead of me. I did alright at first. The exercise was the first to go, but I was so busy the first few weeks that I actually lost weight because I simply didn’t have time to snack. I didn’t feel great, energy-wise, but I thought, “Hey, I’ll work out, eat on a regular schedule, and I’ll be happy and healthy.”

And then, I adjusted. And all that lovely muscle shrunk, taken over by more and more padding. I sunk back into the habit of eating when I was bored, of not eating healthy portions, of relying on sweets when I was in a bad mood.

I have two finals left before this quarter ends, and I have gained back the weight I lost at the beginning of fall quarter, plus five pounds. It sounds so ridiculous: five pounds. But what matters is NOT the weight: it’s how I feel. I am tired and stressed out, and I’m not making healthy choices. I have high cholesterol; even when I lost the 30 pounds, my levels were too high. My family has a history of diabetes and high blood pressure.

I am starting this blog because, yes, I don’t want to regain those 30 pounds (for one thing, losing and regaining weight is as bad if not worse than not losing weight at all). But it’s about more than that: it’s about being stressed out and still making healthy decisions.

I’m making a (semi-)public declaration here: I’m getting back on track. Starting right now.