Five on Friday – 5 blog posts that are worth reading

Hi there!

Happy Friday!!

Friday

(Seriously, I really was. No joke.)

So, I want to share with you a few (or five) blog posts that I’ve read recently that I think are definitely worth adding to your reading list.

PS: I follow some absolutely amazing bloggers!

Being proud of your body is nothing to be ashamed about

Jennifer at Wine to Weightlifting wrote this post a few days ago and I just think it’s brilliant.

All too often, women (and men – I’m not forgetting or glossing over the fact that men deal with this issue too) struggle with body issues.

Part of that comes from fashion magazines and models and people we see in movies and on television – their bodies are portrayed as what is considered “beautiful” and what we all should strive to be. And that’s just impossible for most of us. I mean, for one thing, we don’t have access to personal trainers, personal photographers, airbrushers, etc. And, and least in my case, that’s not my personal career choice.

Go through the grocery store or the Wal-Mart and look at those magazines there by the registers. Articles like “Best and Worst Beach Bodies,”  “baby bump or burrito?”, “You’ll never believe who gained 110 pounds!” fly out at us attempting to draw us in while showing us that the public only likes a perfect body.

And then there are the commercials for this diet system or that miracle fat-absorbing pill. I could go on. It just frustrates me. Because I’ve dealt with those issues.

I’ll be honest – I have a booty. It wasn’t always cool to have a booty. Like back when I was in high school. I got made fun of for it – called “bubble butt” or “BB” (for short). I was super self-conscious about what I wore and where I went and who might be walking somewhere behind me. And you know what? You can’t “diet” a booty away.

I just have to say thank you to Sir Mix-a-Lot and J.Lo. for showing the world that having a booty is NOT a bad thing. :)

The Problem I Have With ‘The Pornographication of Fitness’

And speaking of causing body issues, especially in women……

Taylor at Lifting Revolution responds with her take on Tosca Reno’s article “The Pornographication of Fitness Needs to Stop.”

I’ll let you read the original and Taylor’s response. Let me know what you think.

In my opinion, if you came from the fitness model environment and KNOW what it does to the body image of many women and are potentially in a position to make changes to the way women’s bodies are portrayed in magazines, then I think you should do something instead of just talking (slightly hypocritically) about it. Again, my opinion. Your opinion may differ.

Happy Weight Series: Improving Body Confidence

Are you sensing a theme here?

Alex at Delicious Knowledge shares her thoughts on improving body confidence.

Seriously people, we have to stop the “fat” talk.

Fat is something we eat, not something we are.

Choose FOOD, Not Drugs, For Weight Loss

Meet Alysia at Slim Sanity (clever name, isn’t it?!)

And, back to those “quick-fix diet” thingies. Seriously, they don’t work.

Food works. Um, real food, that is. Exercise works. Moderation works. HARD WORK and TIME works.

Okay, okay, okay. I’m off my soap box. This next one is food related but not body image related. If you have kids, you’ll probably appreciate it. If you know anyone with kids, you might appreciate it. If you enjoy eating, you might appreciate it. :)

What Registered Dietitians Feed their Kids

I have many friends who say “but he/she’s so picky” when it comes to feeding their kid(s).

Hell, I’m pretty picky at times when it comes to feeding ME.

Lindsay at the Lean Green Bean asked some of her RD friends what THEY feed their kids and got some interesting answers.

I think this information is great, not only for parents trying to navigate the land of convenience and quick dinners and avoid all the processed food choices, but also for ANYONE who’s interesting in making some changes to their diet. I mean, we’re all kids when it comes to trying new things. Maybe we should approach changes in our diets the same way we would approach introducing change to someone who has no control over his/her life. Just a thought. :)

 Talk to me: Have you read anything interesting lately? Anything that made you think? Anything that made you change your perception of something?

Wine Wednesday – Rare Red (or as I liked to call it – “Guess the grapes”)

Hello, hello!

Guess what day it is?!?!

I <3 Wine Wednesdays!

fermented grapes

And, you’re in luck! I remembered to get the pictures off my camera!

Usually I take them with my phone but for some reason, I decided to be all fancy and use my regular camera.

fancy

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Don’t worry, it won’t happen again.

Anyway, this is another wine I found at my local wine market.

The Rare Red 4 Grape Blend.

Mike knows I like blends so he wanted me to give it a try.

wine 2

I can’t remember exactly how much the bottle cost and I’ve since thrown my receipt away but I’m pretty positive this was one of my less than $10 bottles.

I bought 6 bottles that day (1/2 case discount, thankyouverymuch) and only spent around $60 total. After tax. #winning

As with all blends, I flipped the bottle around to read the breakdown of the grapes.

And discovered that they didn’t say ANYWHERE on the label what ANY of the 4 grapes are!

Oh, ho, ho, it’s a guessing game now, is it?

challenge accepted

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The first thing I noticed when I poured the wine was the dark ruby color.

wine in glass

When I swirled and took the first sniff, I was treated to lovely earthy aromas, some black pepper, and dark fruit. I also thought I smelled a little chocolate which, honestly, I’ve only smelled in a Port so I wasn’t really sure.

I was pretty positive I knew one of the grapes just from the color and the aromas, maybe two, but you know I had to taste it. I mean, c’mon, it was practically inviting me in!

glass from the top

My first sip was luscious and smooth, all fruit and earth and yumminess. There was a bit of spice/pepper on the back of my throat but not too much. The tannins, for a wine that’s 13.5% alcohol, were really mild which surprised me. Especially since I knew at that point that I definitely knew what 2 of the 4 grapes were.

I said with certainty that the wine was a blend of Syrah (hello fruit!) and Zinfandel (hello earth & pepper/spice).

And those wines can be quite tannic and big. Like maybe 14% alchohol or more!

(If you don’t know, tannins come the skins, seeds, and stems of the grapes. Red wines are more tannic than white because the skins are left in the juice longer. That also helps to add color and depth to the wine. Tannins are what makes a wine taste “dry” – like you want to pucker a little and not because it’s sour like a green apple. High tannins are also known to cause massive headaches in people that drink too of the much wine. Wine hangovers can really suck. #justsayin)

Anyway, I swished and swirled and sniffed and tasted my way through that glass in the hopes that I would come up with the other 2 grapes used in the blend.

I never did figure it out but I can say with definite certainty that the Rare Red 4 Grape Blend is a very delicious wine!

And, because it’s so smooth, you can pair it with a variety of foods. Pasta, burgers, pizza, grilled chicken, grilled salmon or tuna (I think a white/lighter fish might not be a good choice), chili, stews, hot dogs, sausages (that’s what we had!), etc, etc, etc.

The other two grapes? I had to look them up. Barbera and Sangiovese.

I never would have gotten that.

I can’t remember the last time I drank a Sangiovese and it’s been a few years since I had a Barbera.

Guess it’s time for me to grab some of those and refresh my taste buds’ memories! :)

Talk to me: Do you like challenges? Can you pick out different aromas and tastes in a glass of wine/beer/whiskey/bourbon/etc?

Grilled bacon-wrapped salmon fillets

Hi there!

It’s Tuesday and I’m back with another food related post! Hooray!

As I mentioned last week, my friend Lena hosts Tasty Tuesday over at her blog (leanlena.com) and I’ve decided that I’m going to join in – every week.

Tasty-Tuesday-Badge-2000x2000-800x800

Whoop!

What that means is every Tuesday, you’re guaranteed to get something food related from me.

It may be a recipe like today or I may highlight some other bloggers’ recipes that I want to make (like I did last week) or it may even be about a food product/fresh veggie/piece of fruit I’ve recently discovered and decided I can’t live without.

I actually really like the idea because it gives me a schedule (I’m ALL about a schedule) and it guarantees you’ll at least get one food related post each week (talking to you, Mom). Plus, it’ll get me in the kitchen creating a little more. :)

So, I snagged up some frozen, wild-caught salmon fillets at Harris Teeter last week – on sale, thankyouverymuch.

I really prefer to buy the fresh but that stuff isn’t always in the budget. The frozen is still a little expensive but it’s worth a grab when it goes on sale. Especially since it’s wild-caught.

Anywho, I had some and decided it was time too grill it up!

rafiki

Now, that being said, salmon is not my sailor’s favorite.

He finds out it’s on my menu and suddenly he’s working late, has a tummy ache, needs to deploy, etc.

He cray. Salmon is YUM!

So, I decided I would wrap it in bacon for him. Because he always says that bacon makes everything better.

bacon

Two can play that game, mister! Tee hee! :)

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So, I rubbed the salmon fillets down with some olive oil and seasoned them up with some salt and pepper. Then, I wrapped each in 3 slices of bacon.

I used the skewers to help hold the bacon strips on so they didn’t fall off when I flipped the fillets.

Yes, I’m aware I only used 2 skewers each and there are 3 slices of bacon. I figured I would be okay as long as I was careful. Once one side cooked, the bacon would be cooked, too, and attach to the salmon. That was my Bill Nye science brain working. :)

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I also made some foil-wrapped taters (Yukon golds) to go along with the salmon. Om nom nom!

(PS – those are super easy, too. Wash and wedge the taters, divide them among the foil squares, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt, pepper, & fresh garlic (if desired), fold them up and toss them on the grill for 25 minutes-ish.)

I flipped the fillets after about 5-6 minutes (more time for a fatter fillet, less for a thinner) and as you can see, the bacon stuck around. Quite literally. Haha!

Oh, and side note, when you’re flipping the fillets, watch out for those skewers. They get kinda hot. Trust me.

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One part of my grill was a little hotter than I had planned so the bacon on one was a little crispy. But that’s okay – crispy bacon is good, too! :)

The bacon adds a lot of flavor to the salmon – gives it a nice smokey flavor. And, it kinda acts as a buffer from the heat and helps keep the moisture in the fish so, even though the bacon got crispy, it didn’t get overcooked.

The verdict? YUM!

Talk to me: What’s your favorite way to eat bacon – besides with your hands? :)