Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I Love a Good Sweat

I've been working out regularly for the past month now. It's weird...if I don't do some sort of exercise, I feel really guilty! (Like today...)I guess that trick to making exercise habit forming stuck.

I've been hitting the treadmill whenever I can, or doing my Walk Away The Pounds DVDs. I also use the weight machines every other day. I don't stop until I get a good sweat, and my heart rate is in a good range. It makes me think about all those times when I just got on the treadmill and leisurely walked. Right now, I make sure I walk on an incline and make sure I go faster than 2.5 mph.

All that sweating paid off. Stepped on the scales this weekend, and I had lost 3 pounds! Which is good for me due to my PCOS. Now I have to make sure I eat at least 3 times a day. In the past, I would only eat a big meal at dinner time and graze throughout the day. Today I eat when hubby eats, regardless if I go back to sleep (since hubby has to get back to work so early in the morning). I try to drink more water now, too, since I was drinking tons of soda. Now I either drink water (which I have been slacking about recently), or tea. Now, if I could only stop my iced coffee cravings...

And of course, compliments help. The other day, Mr. Salt said he could tell I was working out due to my butt getting firmer. ;)


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Am I nesting?

I don't know if there's a pre-nesting stage in a woman's life, but it feels like that for me right now.

I am hopelessly addicted to Nick Jr. Once Mr. Salt is off to work it's time to turn on Nickelodeon. Nick Jr. has all the preschool programs geared to the little ones, and I'm finding that a lot of them are very good. I don't remember any other shows like this when I was growing up, besides Seseme Street and Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.

My favorite Nick Jr. programs are The Wonder Pets and The Backyardigans. The Wonder Pets, based on school pet superheros, singing and lyrics are great and very cute. The messages they employ are not heavy handed like other shows I've seen. Teamwork is important, and their differences are played up as strengths.

The Backyardigans is great for showing the powers of playing together and using your imagination. Their latest double episode, International Secret Spy, was great and funny. I think I liked it a lot more than some other movies I've seen recently.

Now, there are some I can't stand. That's reserved for Dora the Explorer and Go, Diego, Go! The pauses for audience participation drives me nuts! If they actually had a voice for the audience one their shows and not just silence it would be much better.

But I digress. Maybe I'm preparing myself to watch all these shows in the future. Or maybe I'm just bored with adult TV right now. But it's good to enjoy it while I can.


Friday, September 14, 2007

Frybread Power!

Diamond in the blog post below this asked about frybread, so I decided to post about this since I finally uploaded my pictures.

Frybread is dough fried in shortening or lard until it's crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. The Dine like their frybread just a tad bit more salty than other tribes, so the recipe I use for Mr. Salt adds just a bit more salt.

The recipe for frybread I use calls for:

2 Cups of flour. I use Bluebird Flour from the Rez when I can get it. If not,
use King Author All purpose flour. This is the brand I've found that is closest to BlueBird.

1/2 Tablespoon of Baking Powder. Make sure it's fresh!

1/2 teaspoon plus a little more of salt. This varies a bit since I eyeball it. I can use up to 3/4 of a teaspoon. If you don't like salty food, use a little less than half .

Enough warm water to make a dough ball, about a 1 cup.

Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. Add enough water to form a ball of dough. Note the spoon in the bowl. SaltMama uses her hands to mix the flour and water together. I have long nails, so I use the spoon.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface, and kneed the dough until it's soft, but not sticky. Separate the dough into smaller pieces, about 6 or 7.

Now here's the tricky part: You need to flatten a piece a dough to a uniform thickness. I press the dough ball between the palms of my hands to flatten it out, forming a shape like a miniature pizza. You can use a small rolling pin for this if it's easier for you. SaltMama(and others) can do this really fast by tossing the dough between their hands like a pizza. I'm not up to that level yet. Google some frybread making on YouTube to get a better picture.

Melt enough shortening in a large skillet so that the oil comes halfway up the side. Gently place one of the flattened pieces of dough into the skillet. The dough will cook quickly...and watch out for spatter. When it puffs up, floats and turns brown around the edges, flip the piece of dough with a pair of tongs. Let cook for about two minutes more, then remove when browned. Place frybread onto paper towels towels to drain.

While the dough is cooking, I'm usually flattening another piece of dough. You can do this advance, because if you're not fast enough, the bread can burn. Continue frying the dough, and stacking the frybread on a paper towel.

Voila! You get the frybread pictured at the beginning of the post. You can eat the frybread as is, or drizzle it with some honey. Eat it while it's hot!

The batch pictured here was called my best batch I've ever made by Mr. Salt. Yum!


P.S. Oh yeah...make sure you have some sort of vent and close the doors to your kitchen when you make frybread. Or open a window.The smell of frybread gets everywhere, so if you don't want to smell like a fried bread at state fair the next day, make sure the vent is on. ;)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Mmm...Comfort foods

This evening, I made a pan of cornbread from scratch just for the express purpose of being eaten with milk. Mmmm....

Something I got from my father, sweet cornbread with a splash of milk is a dish I eat when there's nothing else to eat or I'm sick. Reminds me when I was little, learning how to cook from Dad. It's very filling and a great meal replacer in a pinch.

Fettuccine Alfredo is another comfort food of mine. It's usually made for my lunch, but only when I have good Parmesan, cream and garlic in the house. Since I've been trying to lose weight, this dish hasn't been made in a while.

Mr. Salt's comfort foods are ground beef with fried potatoes. With frybread, this is made when he's going on a work trip somewhere. Other comfort foods are beef stew and fried bologna sandwiches. And fried SPAM. All made by SaltMama back in day.

Yum. You know, maybe I'll make a small dish of Fettuccine Alfredo with my fish tomorrow...


Saturday, September 8, 2007

Are you red or brown or...

Last night, I posed this question to Mr. Salt:

DineBoo: Do you consider yourself brown or red?
Mr. Salt: Hmm...Brown.
DineBoo: Where did red come from?
Mr. Salt: Don't know. Always wondered about that myself.

It's funny how we perceive ourselves. A good portion of minorities can look mostly brown, but classify as brown, red, or black. Going further, if others are perceived to act too white, we're either an Oreo (as I've been called on occasion when I was younger) or an Apple for Native Americans.

Then, when it comes to Mr. Salt, there's the whole 'You don't look like an Indian!" comments that he gets, which is another blog post in and of itself.


Sunday, September 2, 2007

I love my hair, but...

Yesterday, I was able to go to the beauty shop (read: beauty salon) in order to get my hair retouched. A retouch is when a beautician applies a relaxer only to new hair growth, instead of all of the hair. My head feels much better, as I've been really sweating into my hair as I've been working out every day.

As the retouch was being applied, I started thinking about how much work my hair is to maintain:

On average, I spend over $100 on hair products due to its length, which is midway down my back. I usually have to spend a whole night to a weekend in the kitchen when I decide to wash my hair, due to amount of products I put on my hair just to keep it healthy. Since I only trust few people to do my hair, only one beautician does my hair, and has been doing it since I was in jr. high. Mr. Salt has graciously learned how to apply a retouch when I can't get back to my beautician in time.

And why do I put myself through this?

My hair, in its natural state, is thick and course. NAPPY. If I didn't put a relaxer on my hair years ago, it would be a thick bush. Hard to control and hard to maintain. Thus the monthly regimen.

Love the results, but it does have its drawbacks. For instance:

I can't swim. Or get rained on. If I did, I would have do my hair washing for hours afterwards. So much for jumping in the pool on a whim.

Humidity in the air takes out any style I may have placed in my hair. Ditto sweat. My hair turns into a frizzy, poofy mess.

I have to be diligent about what I put into my hair. If I don't, that risks my hair breaking or causing it damage. I've already done the cut my hair to get rid of the damage routine twice now, and I don't care to do that again.

So does the good outweigh the bad? Perhaps. For the most part I love the way my hair looks. Mr. Salt is getting an quality education by sitting in a black beauty shop for 3+ hours. And now he knows why I complain when I'm caught in a sudden downpour.

I really hope that any future zhindians doesn't inherit my course hair. It will be up to them how they want their hair, but at least they will have any options open to them. I want any future little ones to enjoy a hot summer or a dip in the pool like I did when I was a kid...without any worries.