Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Off to the races

Well it looks like all the goodbye brunches and lunches and dinners caught up with me this week - I gained a pound. I'm okay with it, I definitely deserve it. And in the grand scheme of things, I enjoyed myself, got to drink one last glass of wine with some amazing friends I've met here in Singapore, and I don't regret it at all. 

Things have been crazy the past couple of days. Since we'll be in Japan for nine days before we head back to the States, we're trying to figure out what gets packed away, what comes to Japan, etc. It's a process and I am a terrible packer, so I hate it. When we were packing to move to Singapore my sister basically came over and took control because I was pretty much a blithering idiot. Same situation here, but unfortunately no sister to help. One thing I'm nervous about is our lack of warm clothing for Japan. We both have jeans and a couple of sweatshirts, long sleeves, so we should be fine, but we didn't bring any coats or anything like that. Hopefully it'll just stay cool, but not freezing. I hear when we get back to Denver it's going to be a totally different story though. Luckily all are warm clothes are snug inside our little house there. 

Today is our last day in Singapore. I'm about to go hit the gym for a good workout, then spend the afternoon finishing packing and trying to get the boy to get his shit together. Tonight we'll go have one last local meal, beers with friends, and then tomorrow we're off to Japan. I'm looking forward to lots of sushi, Harajuku girls and hopefully purchasing some cool electronics. I probably won't post until I get back to the States, so happy holidays to everyone. Enjoy the season and don't forget to take care of YOU! 

Monday, December 15, 2008

Food, Singapore Style

Food porn alert. I had the most fabulous brunch this weekend. Total food and booze coma overload. It was insane. I am not guilty, as this was a very very special occasion and I will probably never have the opportunity to do it again. 

We're coming up on our last days here in Singapore, so to celebrate Christmas/say goodbye to some of our good friends, we went out for one of Singapore's infamous Sunday brunches yesterday. These things are insane. All over Singapore fancy hotels and even just normal restaurants host extravagant brunches with free-flowing champagne and gobs of food. We've been wanting to go to one since we've gotten here, but the occasion just never presented itself. We like to go out for weekend breakfasts, but usually not for anything this fancy. 

Anyway, on to the meal. I got up and tried to hit the gym before we went, but of course I didn't leave myself very much time and when I got there both treadmills were occupied. I ended up doing some weights and some elliptical, but I didn't get to burn the calories I was hoping for with a good sweaty run. Did get that in today though so it's all good. 

I was hungry by the time we arrived, but not starving, which was good. Once I saw all the food though, I knew I was in trouble. So much to choose from means I want a bite of everything, which means I end up rolling myself home. I started with some yummy sushi and a heap of vegetables so I could feel like I started my day off right with protein and veggies. Here's a shot of the sushi table.

After my sushi/veggie plate I hit the egg station to get a vegetarian eggs benedict. This ended up being the only part of the meal I was really disappointed with - my egg was pretty much hard-boiled instead of soft and runny like it should be with eggs benny, so I didn't end up eating very much of that. 

Finally, I was off to hit the desserts, which I could hardly hold myself back from. I only got this shot of the chocolates but I must tell you, there was so much much more. A chocolate fountain. About ten kinds of cake. Berries flambe. Five different kinds of ice cream. I was in paradise. Sugar addiction, I thought I'd gotten rid of you. Yeah, not so much. 

All in all, I think I did okay. I took mainly tiny pieces of all the food I ate and I definitely ate more than I normally do, but not to the point of illness. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for my husband. Poor boy was not a happy camper after our meal and promptly fell asleep on the couch as soon as we got home. I was able to rouse him later in the afternoon, so it was all good.

We ended up going down to Merlion Park to see the big Merlion (Singapore's national animal? or mascot?). Something. Anyway Singapore is the Lion City of course, but the mere part of it represents its origins as a simple fishing village. It was a fun touristy thing to do and I'm glad we did it before we leave. 

Tonight we have to go out to dinner with the boy's boss, and I'm sort of nervous about it because we're going to a famous local place that serves lots of crazy local specialties like chili crab. We've never been because they serve shark's fin soup, and I make it a rule not to go to places that serve it, but this dinner is sort of out of the boy's hands and I pretty much have to go, so we'll see how it goes. I assume I'll end up with some sort of shrimp dish. 

Only four more days left in Singapore. I can't believe it! 

ETA: On the mouse front  - All of the mice were caught, and humanely, and the hole has been filled! I will hopefully come home to a mouse-free house later this month. 

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Eek! A Mouse!

So, apparently mice have invaded my home. In Denver, that home. I guess it is cold now, mice want somewhere warm to go, and since my doggie is no longer living there, they decided my house would be a good place to go. This is stressing me out, even from thousands of miles away.

My girlfriend, who is living there while we are gone, is of course not happy. She has caught three of them in a humane trap (oh how I love the Internet) and set them free at a park a couple of miles away, but one looked like a baby and she thinks there might be more. Yuck. I'm sure they are cute little guys and I certainly don't want to poison them, but I hate the idea of little mice running around my beautiful little house. And I hate that I'm so far away there is virtually nothing I can do. Ugh. 

In other news, let's see. Things are fine here, if boring. It is amazing how I occupy my time, even without a job. That said, the only person I've actually spoken to all day is the girl behind the counter at Starbucks. Wow, that is sad. I enjoy the alone time though, it gives me a chance to think. I know I'll miss it when we're back home. 

I am working on a slide show of all of our pictures from our travels since we've been in Singapore. We've been to Bintan, Indonesia, Bali, Cambodia, Thailand, and will add Japan to that list before we go home. I'm making it in iDVD, which is a very cool program. Figure it will be a nice gift for our parents, etc. It feels a little narcissistic but I guess that's never been a problem for me given all the blog writing and what not. I've noticed I haven't written in my travel blog as much since I started writing here again. I guess I just can't get the juices flowing for both at the same time. 

Tonight I'm on my own because the boy has going-away drinks with his coworkers, so I'm making myself another omelet with laughing cow and spinach. I'm on an omelet kick right now. I need to keep it healthy and under control while I can, because this weekend is going to be a challenge. 

Tomorrow we're having going away drinks with friends from our building and then out to dinner, which I'm sure will be a calorie minefield. Saturday is the BBQ with the boy's coworkers and their families, who knows what we'll have there. Local food I'm sure.  Then Sunday we're going to a fancy bon voyage brunch with our Thanksgiving buddies. What does this mean? Lots and lots of food. And booze. Hopefully I can offset any damage with some good workouts and actually being mindful about my eating. I'm all about approaching these things with intention right now. :)

Here's a pic of the last spinach omelet I made. Doesn't look that appetizing, I know, but it is. And yes, I realize I suck at the food photography thing. Sorry. 

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Weigh In

Weigh in results today: down .6 lbs. Boo. That is not very much. I know I know, moving in the right direction and all of that lovely nonsense, but really? Really? Just .6. After all of that worrying about being tired and wondering if my calories were too low. Hrmph

Oh well. Such is life and I will keep going. I guess I can't have stellar results every single week. I can tell you that I am so looking forward to getting back to the States and having some more healthy options in terms of eating out. I know that might sound funny to some of you, given the U.S. is known for all of its frighteningly unhealthy restaurants and fast food joints, where it's no problem to sit down to consume an entire day's worth of calories in one sitting. 

Well yes, we do have all of the crap. But where I'm from in Colorado, we also have lots of healthy, fast casual options. One of my favorite lunch spots is a little build-your-own salad place, and I know for a fact that everything I am getting there is wholesome and nutritious. Not to mention yummy. 

Even Chipotle, which I am missing like crazy, allows me to get a bowl with good beans, veggies, etc. Here it's just not that easy. Salad just isn't very common, and when you do find places that serve Western food, it's often a poor imitation.

Take yesterday for instance. I mentioned I was having lunch with a girlfriend. When I got down to her office building, she suggested three places. One had pizza, one had American style diner food (think greasy french fries and burgers with kangaroo meat, although they'd never tell you that) and one was an Irish place that had sandwiches and salads. Of course there was also a sea of local food, greasy noodles and rice dishes dishes, which I do enjoy from time to time, don't get me wrong, but yesterday wasn't the day. 

Anyway, I chose the Irish place. I figured the best approximation of western food was probably the pizza place, but I thought I might be able to find something a bit healthier on the Irish menu because I spied a salad on an advertisement in the front. 

And there was a salad option. Yes, it was a Caesar, but hey, that's okay. A little Caesar dressing isn't going to kill me. I ordered it with no bacon, add chicken, and hold the croutons. And on the side I ordered a cup of mushroom soup. Sounds good, no? 

It wasn't. It was gross. The chicken was thigh (breast is relatively rare in most places, and I should have known) so it was chewy and just not to my liking. The dressing was okay, so I mostly at the romaine leaves and picked around the chicken. The soup tastes like dirt, literally. Like they picked some dirty mushrooms off the ground, didn't wash them, and stuck them in a blender. I had about 2 bites. Gross. And to top it all off, this meal cost me like 17 Singapore dollars (around 11 US). 

I was not impressed. And the thing is, this happens all the time. It is just really hard to find a cheap, fast, but healthy meal. It's like that old triangle goes. You can have cheap and fast, but not healthy. You can have healthy and fast, but not cheap. Although that's debatable too. Healthy and cheap, but not fast? I doubt it. Anyway, this is why I mostly stick to eating at home for lunches. 

When you move to a new country it does take some adapting, and of course food has been one of the hardest things. There are things I've learned to absolutely love, like dim sum. But for the most part, it makes me realize how set in my ways I am when it comes to food and how lucky I am to have a shining beacon of health and wellness like Whole Foods so close. I honestly think as our move home date approaches, I'm just getting more anxious about things like this and I'm ready to have the comforts of home back, like RIGHT NOW. Not in three weeks or whatever it is. I probably need to just chill and enjoy Singapore's quirky food while I can, because next thing you know I'll be complaining about all the crap in the US. :) I am looking forward to eating lots of yummy healthy sushi when we go to Japan for Christmas though. 

On today's agenda, a LONG workout, laundry, and beginning to sift through all the crap we have accumulated here so I can figure out how we are going to get everything home. Hope everyone is having a nice week. :) 

Monday, December 08, 2008

Weekend wrap up

This weekend was good, we had lots of fun and got in some essential Singapore tourist opps before we leave in a couple of weeks. One was the night safari, which is pretty freaky. I'm not a big zoo person because I tend to get sad about seeing the animals in captivity. I felt the same way during this trip, but it's a bit different because you ride this tram around this open area and all the animals are kind of free to move around. There are natural barriers and what not, but it's still sort of scary to see them up close and personal like that. Let me tell you a rhino is a scary thing. And then there are the hippos. Wow. Apparently hippos kill more people in Africa than any other animal. I did not want to die at the hands (or mouth) of a hippo so I cowered inside the tram like a big baby the whole time. 

At the night safari we were supposed to have dinner, but our schedule ended up getting all messed up and we weren't going to be able to eat until like 9:30, and then it was at a burger joint, so I secretly ate a Think Thin bar. I felt kind of silly sneaking it, but I was hungry and didn't want to scarf down a bunch of crap later just because I had missed dinner. I ended up not really eating anything once we got to the burger place, but only because the bar filled me up and my only options were burgers and of course I don't do red meat. So I ended up picking at a few of the boy's fries, but besides that I was satisfied and happy I had planned in advance. 

Friday and Saturday I did have higher calorie days, mostly because we went out for dinner both nights and I ended up with a few adult beverages and just generally ate a bit more. I was happy with my choices though and think I did a good job. I think I'm really just going to have to play with my calories a bit to see what really works for me and what doesn't. It seems like it's going to be a lot of tinkering. 

Eating out is what really gets me, it always has. It's just so hard to make a good decision when confronted with so many options. I'm extremely nervous about this when we get home, but also over the next couple of weeks. We've got lots of goodbye lunches and dinners and what not scheduled so I'm going to have to be very aware of what I'm doing. In fact, I need to go get ready for a goodbye lunch right now. I am meeting a girlfriend down by the river. I don't know where we're going, but she's American too and we tend to like similar things, so hopefully she'll choose something good. Tomorrow's my weigh-in day, and I'm hoping it goes well. Fingers crossed. 

Friday, December 05, 2008


I am tired. I am losing weight and I am tired. I know this has happened to me before when I've been losing. I can't remember where or when but I know it's happened. I'm working out a lot. I'm keeping my calories low. Not too low, I'm eating, oh I'm definitely eating, but still. Low. 

And I think that's making me tired. I took the day off from working out yesterday to try and recover a bit, and I do think it helped, but I'm still tired. Part of me thinks this is normal and just part of the process, my body is getting used to a lower amount of calories and its having to work hard to process all that fat that is dropping down the toilet (or that's where I imagine my fat going when I'm losing it, sorry if that's TMI). But part of me, and I think it's the wild child devil on my shoulder part, is saying, "oh, this is a sign. up your calories. have some ice cream. have some pie. dive face first right into that mac and cheese sitting in the cupboard." My wild child doesn't use capitalization. 

I'm not overly hungry. I'm not depriving myself. I'm eating enough. But I just feel worn out. I want to keep this momentum but it's hard to know how to manage this tiredness. Losing weight is just not something your body wants to do. It kicks and screams and wants to hold on to every last drop of fat. It pounds its fists on the floor. 

I think I'm going to trick my body tomorrow and see if that helps. I'm going to have a higher calorie day tomorrow - just ONE day. And it's not going to be all booze either. ;) I'm just going to ramp it up for one day and then go right back to what I'm doing, because I know what I'm doing is working. And if I still feel tired, well then maybe it's something else and I'll have something else to worry and fret over.

In the meantime, I'm just going to go close my eyes for a bit...

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Weigh in day - down 1.8 lbs! Woot! I'm happy, really happy given the extravagance of Saturday night. Looking back, one high calorie day isn't so bad. In fact I think it's a good thing to switch it up now and then. Whatever I'm doing, it's working so it is ALL GOOD. No excuses for another crazy night, but I'm just sayin'. 

Today I am a klutz for some reason. This morning I mixed up some Fage Greek yogurt with some frozen blueberries. It turned into this beautiful shining blue bowl of healthy goodness. And as I sat on the couch, distractedly trying to read the Interwebs and eat at the same time, I dumped it all over floor. Blue goo all over the carpet. Yes the housekeeping staff of this lovely service apartment does not love me. I ended up with some hard-boiled eggs. Can't make too much of a mess with those. 

Workout was awesome today. I didn't feel like going, but I went and did a weight circuit, arms, legs, the whole bit, with two minute jogs here and there thrown in to keep the heart rate up. I also downloaded this podcast and added it on the end of my workout. Jillian Michaels I'm obsessed with you. You are a goddess. Major girl crush on Jillian. Don't tell my husband. Luckily when I almost fell on my face during the plank pose there wasn't anyone else in the gym. 

This afternoon, same thing happened as this morning, only this time with my celery and peanut butter snack. I just cannot keep my food on the plate. Or in my mouth. Maybe I should stop trying to multi-task and just focus on eating my food when I'm eating my food. Duh. 

Tonight I'm making a Mexican fiesta. Boy will have burrito(s) and I will have a taco salad. No shell of course. Delish. Let's hope I can get through dinner without ruining the rug. 

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Boring. I feel like I have been eating the same foods over and over and I am getting bored. 

Isn't this the classic weight loss issue? You find something that works, something you maybe even like, and you eat it. A lot. You overdo it. Then you get sick of it or you get bored with it and you go off of your plan because you want something different and then you run into trouble. 

This is how it always happens with me. And usually, when I'm in my weight loss mode, I overcompensate for this boredom by spending entirely too much time online, scouring the web for recipes. That way I can find new favorites and go-to's. 

It hasn't been so easy to do this in Singapore. Why? Because we live in a tiny service apartment. It's furnished, with dishes and pots and pans, but in a very sparse way. I have four plates. Four bowls. Four forks, knives, spoons. One big pot. One small pot. One big frying pan. I have a stove top with four burners. I have a refrigerator the size of a greeting card. And I have a microwave. 

I don't have an oven. I didn't have a cheese grater until I specially requested one. My knives are pathetically un-sharp. I don't have a blender or a food processor. I definitely don't have a dishwasher. Not to mention the fact that finding my preferred ingredients, not always so easy. 

It really hasn't been that bad. I've been making lots of soups and chili and salads. I can scramble and sauté with the best of 'em. I can microwave the hell out of anything you can throw at me. 

I've been managing, but I'm definitely ready to get back to my kitchen. I want options. I want to make baked sweet potato fries. I want to have a smoothie for breakfast. I want to pulverize some veggies and make fresh salsa. I want to dive headfirst into Cooking Light and see what I can come up with. 

For now, I'll stick to my tuna salads for lunch. My veggie chili for dinner. All of my healthy basics. And yeah, I'm probably going to have to go get my fill of some very unhealthy Singaporean food that I won't be able to have for a long time. I'm going to keep it in check though and hopefully, leave this country quite a bit lighter than I was when I entered it.