I’m definitely not an eleven year old boy. I’m trying to hunt down a good gift for my nephew. He’s into fishing, and he likes RC cars. My dad and him bond over the RC car stuff, so I think I’ll leave that for them. So, I’m trying to find something fishing related, or something fun while educational (without being too educational).
I’ve previous bought him Hard Boys novels, but he’s just not that into reading. I’d like him to be, which is why I bought him the books. He said he read them, but I can’t be certain about buying more when I live 5000 miles away. I don’t want him to be bored, and I don’t want to lose my status as a cool aunt.
So, I’m leaning toward a cool gyroscope toy or a book about a boy whose family is going through a tough time, and the only way they’ll make it is if he catches a huge fish. I think the book would be good for my nephew as he has some personal struggles in his life. I want him to feel empowered, and like he has some control over his life.
I could get both, but money is tight. I’m a poor college student without a real income. Blogging doesn’t make me any money, nor does studying my butt off every day. So, I have to budget myself a bit.
I already bought his sister’s gifts. I got her a couple of books. As far as I am aware, she loves to read. Last time I saw her (last summer) she was ready to read a book when everyone else was watching TV. How very much like me she is in that way. I was in my room reading when I was her age. I can still be found to do that at times, but it’s mostly for school these days.
If my nephew liked reading I might get him a Piers Anthony book. Are those appropriate for 11 year old boys? They seem clean enough. I could always get him one on the cheap and see if he likes it. I’d love for him to like Piers Anthony. I certainly do!
Outside of this dilemma, I have been working on research for an Anthropology paper. I’ve also done minor amounts of research for my Human Rights paper, which is due first. The Anthropology paper should be a bit easier to write though, so I think if I get it out of the way it will make me feel better about how much work I have to do.
Since studying like this doesn’t make much time for cooking, and because we’ve had such a lovely week of rainy weather, I threw some ingredients for beef stew in the crockpot this morning. I used the recipe in Make it Fast, Cook it Slow by Stephanie O’Dea of Crockpot365 fame. I used some of the last of the quarter cow rib stew meat from March (don’t worry, it’s been in the freezer). While I tried to trim off the majority of the fat, the soup still ended up being a bit greasy. I’ve put the pot in the fridge overnight, and hopefully I’ll be able to easily skim some of the fat off in the morning. Even though the soup was a bit greasy, the meat had the best texture and I could tell the flavors were there. My tongue was just covered with too much fat to really be able to pin them all down. I increased the amount of garlic powder (something I don’t generally use and finally broke down and bought) and the Worcestershire sauce since a couple of times I’ve found the crockpot soup recipes to be a little bland. I think it’s a problem of not enough concentration of the soup. I must give her black bean soup a good rating though. I had leftovers of that today, and dowsers it was spicy and zippy.
Breakfast was a simple bowl of Peanut Butter Panda Puffs (Caitlin at Healthytippingpoint made me crave it with all of her posts showcasing the cereal) with So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Beverage. I prefer the unsweetened because we don’t really need to consume more sugar, and because it’s more versatile that way. I once tried the vanilla flavor. Wow, I won’t be doing that again. I might as well have been drinking a milkshake.
Lunch was the black bean soup leftovers, followed by some fresh coconut water and a small piece of coconut. My sister-in-law cracked me open a couple, and I’ve stored the extra meat and water in the fridge for our hike tomorrow.
Dessert was a Brown Cow cream on top raspberry yogurt (all of their yogurts are gluten free). I split one with Devin a few nights a week. It’s like we’re eating ice cream or frozen yogurt, with a surprise on the bottom (the fruit or chocolate), while only consuming half the calories of one serving. That makes dessert well under 100 calories a piece. While I’m not in need of losing any more weight, Devin has decided that it’s time for him to reduce his portions and lose a few pounds. I will support him in whatever his decision is with that, especially if it means he’ll be healthier and hopefully live a long long time.
Dieting for us definitely doesn’t mean low fat foods. It basically means recognizing where we were getting too lax with our eating habits, where our portions have gotten out of hand, and how we can make adjustments to that. Dieting is not about a fixed period of time, or until weight comes off. It’s a lifestyle adjustment. We like Michael Pollan‘s quote: “Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” While we just bought a quarter of a cow, it will last us almost a year, guaranteed. We do eat mostly plant matter, and we definitely eat real food. It’s the “Not too much” where we can fall of the wagon.
Today I saw a link posted about the best diets in America, according to some panel of so called “health experts.” Well, I certainly wouldn’t say we adhere to any of them. I wouldn’t say we’ve ever tried. I didn’t like that they included vegetarianism and veganism on the list as diet fads. That’s not how they should be viewed. As you know, I’m neither a vegetarian nor a vegan, but I respect the right for other people to choose to eat that way. I don’t see them as yo-yo diets. I do see things like Atkins and Weight Watchers as yo-yo diets. I’ve watched people use WW and fall off the wagon after losing a hundred pounds. I’ve seen the same with Atkins. They aren’t lifestyle eating. They’re dieting. (Here’s hoping I don’t get sued for either comment.)
Do you diet? Or do you eat more along the lines of what Michael Pollan has advocated?
I don’t have a lot going on at the moment because I’m terribly busy with school. All of my classes wrap up this month, and Thanksgiving is just around the corner with almost 20 guests at my dinner table. You’ll be hearing more about that as the month goes on (My turkey order is in!). You’ll also be happy to hear that the giveaway for a fantastic cookbook is just around the bend. I’ll try to catch up with you all again very soon. Now it’s time for a little self-pampering. The bathtub is calling my name.
A hui hou!