Poor Dispicable Little Me

So much going on!  So little time to explain….

For those of you following this little soap opera, you know I have a new job now.  I think I have finally settled in the position now.  I am still learing what all of my responsibilities are because there seem to be new ones that pop up every week.  But that is OK….I’m finally in a cool position doing marketing.  Which brings me to some new hurdles in life.

First hurdle is sitting in a car for a two-hour round trip to work everyday.  Second hurdle, sitting most of the day for my 8-9 hour work day.  Third hurdle, looking at a computer screen for most of it.

So now that I am no longer physical in my job, I have to figure out a way to keep the body looking good.  Food has become more important than ever for me cause with my “Oooo Shinny” disease, hunger can play games with my attention span.

Problems solved????

The drive to work can be a very stressful time.  Most of my commute is spent in a “bamboo splinter shoved up my finger nail” type pain traffic.  Thankfully my wife works in the same vicinity as I do so we commute together, which makes the drive that much better (can you feel the sarcasm?).  She loves a traffic jam as much as a cat loves a bath.  Most of her time is spent in the passenger seat with her head down playing games on her phone while I smile stupidly at all the A-hole Maryland drivers cutting me off, zigzagging all around me, and slamming into each other all over the road and causing even more havoc.  My problem was solved once I took my Prozac!

So sitting most of the day has played one heck of a shake the puzzle box game on my spine.  I have learned that we (those of us that sit in office type chairs) are destroying our bodies each and every day we use those blasted devices that hold our asses off the ground.  My problem was solved two weeks ago when I brought in my exercise ball to sit on instead of using my chair.  Hey, I’m blasting my core and working at the same time!  Plus the majority of us in our office are doing a version of the biggest loser.  So I now have a little added incentive to keep up an active lifestyle.

Those of you that have read me for a while do know I used to be a happy fat kid with a piece of chocolate cake in one hand and a stick of butter in the other.  Now I have done a whole life changing event by going Paleo.  The months I have been learning, experimenting, and living Paleo I have never felt better.

The day I said no more to grains, highly refined foods, anything in boxes, most things in cans, and all fast food I made a life decision that probably has added years to my life.  I have taken some sage advice from some of the Paleo food bloggers that are extreme workout peeps and full-time professionals on meal prep.  I cook huge batches of meals on Sundays so I don’t have to make excuses that there is nothing to take for lunch or there is nothing for dinner.  I don’t want to fall into the eating out all week routine that I once was in.

So yeah, that’s about where I’m at right now.  I work with a bunch of great people and enjoy what I do.

Oh, I almost forgot the funny part of my post!  So I went on a run the other day with two of the girls that are doing the biggest loser at work.  It was cold so I was wearing my black thermal tights and my black UA winter running jacket.  The one girl said I had skinny legs for a guy then the other said with my bald head and what I was wearing I looked like Gru from Dispicable Me.

Yeah, it’s true, I looked like Gru that day.

OK, so you can stop laughing at me now….

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My Phone Is Smarter Than Your Phone

Well, let me just clarify: my phone is super intelligent.  It’s not because I have a super cool brand or the latest of the latest or some super secret prototype made by the Chinese government.  It’s because I feed it knowledge to assist me in my everyday needs.  And in turn my very well-educated phone became super intelligent, like me!  I can’t help it my phone is smarter than yours.  I really can’t, I’m sorry.  Maybe if you were a better owner and took it for walks or showed it some attention now and then it would learn something.

My phone loves me so much.  Just today it taught me some very insightful things about the food I eat.  Not just when I get it home but before I even buy it at the store.  Let me tell you a story:

So here I am slaving away at work, all of a sudden the big voice in the building calls for all cashiers to come to the front to assist with the huge line snaking around the store.  Of course I head up to help (as a good employee would).  I get “stuck” up front helping for over an hour.  Now I’m a fast cashier but these people kept coming and coming.  I swore they were just showing up because they all heard I was ringing today.

Anyway, I had this one customer that brought his daughter with him to shop.  She was being such a great help to him as his fat ass watched her unload the grocery cart.  It took forever!!!!!  She took at least a minute to place each item on the belt.  As she placed each item on the belt she would say a letter.  I was a bit confused but I was also preoccupied because I just wanted to not stand there in my most uncomfortable steel toed boots.  There goes another box and she says “B-“.  I was trying to think of a way to ask the dad what she was doing and not sound like I was peeved at her taking so long.

Finally after the millionth item I was done with them.  The girl came over to stand next to dad.  I looked down at her and asked “what was with all the alphabet stuff?”  She held up a smart phone and proceeded to tell me about this app she was using…..

Ohhhhh, an app!

“OK, now we are talkin.  What app were you using” I asked.

She mumbled something then just showed me her phone.

fooducated

unnamed

The app she was using is called Fooducate.  Now, just so you know I don’t get anything from anyone if I tout this awesome app. This is just me giving an opinion.  I don’t want to go on and on about what all this app can do.  You can see for yourself at their site HERE.

I spent most of the night after work grading my pantry by scanning all the stuff in there.  Then I attacked the refrigerator.  I had some interesting finds.  Some things were the total opposite that I thought.  But over all I believe my fridge and pantry averaged a “B+” to an “A-“.  I had a few items that dragged my grade down but who doesn’t?

So my bolgyblog friends, if you want to educate your phone as well as yourself, I suggest you check this cool app out and possibly add it to your healthy living toolbox.

Oh, almost forgot…..best part about this app…..IT’S FREE!!!!

Happy scanning my friends.

For Heaven’s Sake, Stop Squeezing the Avacados

And for that matter, stop throwing the apples around and dropping grapes on the floor, it’s making a terrible mess!

Tis the season to be jolly, fa-la-la-la-la la-la la la!

Yes, it’s me again.  Your friendly neighborhood sarcastic produce man.  I’m here today with your holiday produce tips.  Let me start off with a few that will be helpful to both you and I:

#1) Stay home!  It’s a mad house here!  There is no reason to be buying all this food for one day of gluttony.  You’re going to eat too much and explode.

#2) If you don’t heed my advice in tip #1, then be nice to the people around you while you’re out and about.  I had a hell of a time today trying to keep up with all you grabby grabs out there let alone getting to the holes on the line you left me.  If you see an empty spot on the produce line, that is not an invitation for you to park your keister there and block me from filling that spot back up.  And if I so happen to beat you to that spot to fill it back up, don’t be jamming your cart up my butt to try and make me move. I’m not going to.

I had this lady do exactly that today and after I took her third shot to the achilles she said she will try and be patient.  She actually said that out loud!  You’re damn right you’ll be patient.  I am much larger than you and I have access to your produce in the back room…..where you can’t see what I do…… 😉

Not 5 minutes later I had a really nice lady that just started talking with me.  She asked how my patience was doing today.  I said it was fine, how is yours?  She said it was at max capacity or she wouldn’t be out today.  If you don’t have any, you shouldn’t be out.  I told her if she showed me 1 other person with patience I would show her 50 without!  She laughed and wished me luck with the rest of my day.  I was joking but not really….

#3) If for some reason after tip #1 and #2 you still decide to come out and fill your basket up with tons of unnecessary amounts of food, follow this one please!!!!!!!  Don’t bring your damn kids with you!  But if you do, put them on a leash or tie them to something and keep them away from the apples and grapes!  Oh, and wash their freakin hands too, they’re filthy!  Last words of advice about your children……I push a large heavy cart around, while in the store I view children like squirrels and cats like when I’m driving a car, I don’t slow down for them!

#4)  For those of you that come in all holly jolly and singing your fancy holiday songs……STOP IT!  I am stuck in a building that plays that ish 24 hours a day and I’m already sick of hearing it.  Just like the question of, “Where’s the cranberry sauce?” right after you passed 3 large displays of that crap along with the two 2 pallets of it that you ran your cart into.  It’s in isle 12, good luck finding it in the dog food isle you crap happy holiday caroler!

#5)  Ok, now on to the serious stuff.  My advice to you is to make stuff from scratch.  Yes it will take longer but that gives you an excuse to not make 20 dishes of crap that Uncle Joe can’t have cause it either has too much salt in it or the pepper in it will give him gas.  No one needs that!

Keep it simple this year:

  • A nice sliced yam casserole
  • fresh steamed green beans or roasted brussel sprouts, skip the canned soup and greasy fried onions
  • homemade dressing made from toasted french bread/rosemary/thyme/sage/parsley/yellow onion/celery/and chicken broth. I plan on adding cranberries and orange zest to mine this year as well.
  • Start your meal off with either a nice light salad or a cup of butternut squash soup. This should eliminate that turkey hibernation factor at the end of the meal.  Less turkey=less hibernation…..or something like that.
  • And who says you need a whole turkey?  Mix it up this year, try just turkey legs or a turkey breast.  Why waste hours standing watch over a whole bird?  You know no one is gonna help you cook….make it easy on yourself.  It also leaves more time to enjoy more vino!
  • For desert make a nice fresh fruit salad.  This time of year citrus is the MacDaddy.  It not only keeps the troops lively for conversation after the meal but they won’t fall into a turkey coma watching football from the food, it will be the poor play of the teams that will do that!  Plus you get some vitamin C to ward off that flu and cold bug/virus thingy.
  • If the fam is crying cause of my desert menu, give them what they crave but without the crust.  Make a sweet potato or pumpkin custard.  Control their serving size by doing it in  individual ramekans.  That will teach them!!!
  • Last thing here.  For those snack attacks before the family meal, do a veggie tray.  If you don’t want to cut up your own veggies let the store do it.  We make them fresh to order.  They are pretty darn good when I make them.  But everything I do is pretty awesome anyway….

Well that should hold ya till I get the typing bug again.  If I don’t get to typing by next Thursday, I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with your families.  Remember to give thanks for all the cool stuff you already possess and to make a shopping list of all the groovy things you want to be additionally thankful for next year.

Writing Disclaimer: I am not responsible for anything I type, ever!  The voices in my head made me do it…..But please feel free to share with all your friends and family cause some of what I type is funny as hell!  Well, at least worthy of a good giggle….

Round And Round And Round

Sometimes your dreams get broken in pieces
But that doesn’t matter at all
Take it from me, there’s still gonna be
A summer, a winter, a spring and a fall

And sometimes a friend starts treating you bad
But the world goes ’round
And sometimes your heart breaks with a deafening sound

Somebody loses and somebody wins
Then one day it’s kicks, then it’s kicks in the shins
But the planet spins, and the world goes ’round
And ’round and ’round and ’round and ’round
The world goes ’round and ’round and ’round
And ’round!

Who knows that song?

I love the lyrics.  But maybe I should have titled my post Spin Spin Spin.  Why?  Cause my second half of my day consisted of things that Spin Spin Spin!

I broke out my new toy today.  Oh, what is this new toy you speak of, Mike?  Well, why don’t you let me show you….

My RONCO Rotisserie Oven

That’s a 5 lb chicken spin spin spinning in my new rotisserie oven!  Oh yeah!  I usually bought ready to eat rotisserie chicken from work on days I don’t feel like cooking.  I figured why not get a rotisserie for myself and save some money?  Well, I bought this thing before I really did the math.  At work I can buy a cooked rotisserie chicken for $6.  An uncooked one depending on weight is about $4-$6.  This bad boy was just under $5.  So if I average this size chicken my purchase will pay for itself within 100 chickens….(laughing at myself).  But I can make a lot of other things with this.  I could go on and on about what this thing can do but I don’t get paid to talk about companies products.

So what else did I do that went round and round?

My beautiful bike on its indoor trainer

So while my chicken was spinning I figured I might as well spin too.  So for the hour and a half that my chicken was spinning so was I.  Well, I had to make my potatoes too.  So I took a break to get those in the oven and then give them a flip in the oven.

Ugh I’m tired now.  Time to eat!

I went Caveman with dinner minus plates, fork and glass.  So what did I eat?

1 rotisserie chicken (I only ate half) rubbed with my own concoction I call Montreal chicken rub (red pepper, black pepper, garlic and onion powder, salt, paprika, and parsley)

I also had oven roasted red potatoes coated with salt, black pepper and rosemary

And of course I had one of the beers I picked up today.

Ahhhh, now to rest and watch some tv.

Bananas!

Welcome to the next instalment of The Commissary Diaries. 

There are so many things I have been learing since becoming the Produce Man.  Not only have I learned some interesting things about produce but I have learned a lot about “you” the customer.  Let’s attack both topics at the same time.

If I didn’t get the same nerve killing questions about some of the produce that I thought was common knowledge, I wouldn’t have done some research.   My research consisted of me doing hands on taste testing of some items and then some actual knowledge search on the interwebz.

Have you ever gone to the grocery store and had a list of ingredients for a recipe you have never tried before and realize once you skower the entire store they don’t have that specific item your recipe calls for?  Yeah, me neither…..

The other day I happened to be the only one on the floor stocking product and had this sweet young lady come up to me.  “May I ask you a question about apples?”  Sure, what is it?  “What is a Braeburn and do you have any?”  Well unfortunately; or fortunately, depending on your opinion on Braeburn apples, we didn’t have any.  I don’t like them and that is my opinion.  They are dirty looking and there usually isn’t a lot of sweetness to the ones I have tried.  I’m hooked on the Jazz apple.  Sweet and has a great “bite” to them.  Plus they are not so huge that they could be considered a meal in themselves.  The lady was hesitant in trying the Jazz in her recipe but I had tried what she was making (pork chops/sauerkraut/apples).  In that meal any apple would work. But I don’t think she even knew she was looking for apples.  She was like, oh it’s an apple with pork?!?

OK so I broke out into a story there instead of telling you about my research.  Do you know how many different kinds of apples there are?  I don’t either!  There are so many.  How about what is the difference between chives and the green ends to green onions?  Can you substitute one for the other?  Whats the difference between table grapes and wine grapes?  How do you pick a good melon, avocado, grapefruit, or tomatillo?  I did the research, now it’s your turn!  Or you could ask your local produce man, me.

So many questions to prep for and so little time.  It’s a good thing I cook and eat most of this stuff. 

So I have a question for you all…..What in the world do you guys do with all those bananas you buy?  Seriously!  I put out 10 cases of bananas the other day, each case consisting of  16 bunches with an average of 6 bananas per bunch and I go in the back to crush the boxes and I need more bananas 10 minutes later!  And that was on top of the other 16 cases that were already out there.  Seriously, stop buying bananas!  I’m just kiding….go ahead and get your bananas on. 

Did you know that bananas are at one of the top-selling items at grocery stores and they happen to be the #1 seller at Wal-Mart?  I know, I know!  I just blew your mind.  It’s one of the few things Wal-Mart sells that doesn’t come from China.  Oh and here is another mind blower….most of our garlic…comes from China.  I know!  Ka-Pow goes your mind! 

OK, one more thing here.  If you ever get a chance to try Japanese yams….do it!  They are awesome.  I have a great recipe for ya if you ever get some.  Here is a pic of one beside a regular yam….

 

On the left is the Japanese Yam

 

I leave you here with this Last thing, a produce tip: always pick from the back of the pile! That’s where the fresh items are or should be. Another clue to whether or not it is fresh, is if it feels colder compared to the other items, that means it just came from the back.  The refrigeration in the back warehouse is cooler than the produce line units.

Until next time…..Don’t squeeze the avocados!

The Watermelon Experience

There has been its ups and downs with working in a grocery store.  Hopefully you have read my first instalment of The Commissary Diaries and enjoyed the emotional ride with me.  There are more great experiences to come.  Like this one.

This isn’t truly a Commissary Diaries entry because it’s not about what happens there.  But the adventure did start there.

It was that time again to do some grocery shopping.  But I had to endure a long arduous shift behind the register before I got to partake in the goodies I saw swipe through my lane.

4PM finally hit and there was still a line beyond what I could see.  Oh well, sucks to be them, I’m done.  I did however offer to stay and help get the line down but we are no longer allowed to work non scheduled hours.  Whatever!  I offered and hopefully karma will remember.

I sign out and make  a mad dash to get a hand basket to grab a few items to get me through the next days to come.  First stop is the produce aisle.  Oh so many delicious items waiting for me.  I grab my staple, apples.  I decided to try out the Honey Krisp type this time.  Not much to write home on about those…. 😦  but an apple is an apple.  I grabbed an overflowing bag of my new favorite cherry, the Rainier variety.  WOW WOW WOW!  Two thumbs up and I’ll give it two big toes up as well.

I walk around and pick at the other fresh looking fruits.  I grabbed some veggies as well, carrots – onions – peppers – yams – etc.  I walk off to grab some chicken, whole wheat english muffins and eggs.  I had this strange feeling I forgot something.  So I walked back to the produce section and there it was…….a fresh cut half watermelon.  How did I miss this?  It was only $1 too!  At the commissary a whole one goes for $6.  Who cares if it’s on its last leg.  I’m gonna eat the crap out of it tonight!

I have been working a lot the past few weeks and feel like I have been neglecting my pups.  I decided to spend some extra time with them by playing ball and giving extra tummy rubs.  Two hours later we woke up from a nap and were all hungry.  How do I know they were hungry?  They are always hungry…

I needed to do a little cardio since I skipped any kind of workout today.  Like I said before, I have been really tired from being on my feet a lot at work.  Anyway, I jump on my bike that’s sitting on the trainer in the living room and watched the first half of the Hall of Fame Game on the NFL Network.  It’s not like an outdoor ride but I can sure max out my effort and get hungry doing it.

Shower, dressed, and now searching for some food.  I somehow managed to pull Duh moment and realized I put the chicken I just bought in the freezer when I got home.  So what to do for dinner?  Chicken-sicles?  Fast food?  Ugh!

I decided to pull out all of the fruit I bought and just have a healthy big snack of fruit.  And why not end the day by sharing the greatness of it with my little buddies.  🙂

Who doesn’t like watermelon?  They even ate the rind.

Sit back and share a little something good with your family.  You won’t regret it!

Been Gettin Any……….Exercise?

Howdy my blog-o-thingy friends!  How has Wednesday treated you?

If you have been following me on my Tumblr Bloggy Thingamabob you have been kept up to date on how my last two days off have gone.  If you have not, you just made me cry a little inside.  Do you feel bad?  Good!  Now go check it out!

Wait!  Not yet….finish reading this first.  Geez, you’re in such a hurry to leave me.

OK, so here is the deal.  I will give you a pass on missing my Tumbler blogs (I’m still crying if you care).  But you have to start checking them out.

Anyway, I will fill you in with what I have been doing. 

Here is the short story:

2 days off = Exercise Exercise Exercise and more Exercise with some really super healthy eating.

Now for the in-depth version..

Tuesday

The Plan: Run 5 miles then as fast as possible transition to cycling 50 miles.

What happened: Ran 6 miles and had a slow transition to cycling 40 miles.

Wednesday

The Plan: Run 6 miles then as fast as possible transition to cycling 50 miles

What Happened: Ran 6 miles and had a super slow transition to cycling 36 miles.

Food was the same for both days.  Here is what I ate:

A big thanks to Stephanie at My Glorified Journal for my breakfast recipe of Scrambled egg whites, Steamed green beans, and sweet potato with some red pepper.  Shhhh, don’t tell anyone about it….it’s her secret figure competition recipe!  But holy crap it was good!

Lunch was a whole wheat bow tie pasta with asparagus, carrots, spinach, tomatoes, garlic and a lot of hot sauce.  And of course my protein shake….. (there’s a picture on Tumblr)

Remember? Like this but different!

Dinner was my famous stuffed peppers with shredded chicken and salsa.  If you like super hot food use the Hunky Hot peppers, if not, then use your favorite color bell pepper. (there’s a picture on Tumblr……somewhere)

 

I finished off with some desert.  I had some fresh pineapple, a peach and a few hand fulls of shelled peanuts.  I’ll share a trick with ya.  If you get the peanuts in shells it takes you longer to eat them and allows your body to realize its consuming something, plus they’re cheaper to buy. Therefore, allowing you to eat less!  All finished off with another protein shake….

So I didn’t go all low carb on this episode of super healthy days but I did burn a few gazillion calories….and I stayed away from foods like…

Who needs drama like this anyway?

So Mike, why didn’t you meet your planned goals?  Good question!  Well, ya see, ummm…remember my post My Poor Body?    Yeah?  Well, my neck started to do it’s “I’m gonna F#<% with your life” thing again.  I’m learning to deal with most of the pain but it sure does SUCK!  The position my bike puts my body in is not very neck pain friendly.  So I did what I could without being a total….

Well, back to work tomorrow……

Thanks for stopping by!