This weekend, we went to Five Guys for the first time. I will admit I was a bit skeptical having lived in California for 37 years. In-N-Out Burger has a cult following and during COVID-19 the drive-in line was never less than 50 cars wrapped in a serpent through their parking lot and out onto the street. It’s always busy. Everywhere you see an In-N-Out there is a line. Always for all 37 years I lived there.
When we pulled up to Five Guys there was one family and lady with a Yorkie in line ahead of us. That was it.
I did like the Five Guys burger. In fact it was one of the best burgers I’ve ever had. I’m not ready to say it’s better than In-N-Out though. My loyalty won’t allow it.
As for the fries….Five Guys was too salty. The salt ruined perfection. You could see the salt granules sticking to your fingers with every bite. Next time, I’ll ask them to go light.
Here’s a screen shot of In-N-Out’s website.
My first poll! I’m proud of myself for figuring out how to make one. Also, for my first post using Block Editor.
Do you have a favorite burger place? What is it? Or, please share your home kitchen secrets to the perfect burger.
I just read that the Vatican has instructed priests to sprinkle ashes on the heads of people, rather than the traditional cross on the forehead. I’m going to forgo Ash Wednesday services in person this year and will listen to the service online. That’s a new practice for churchgoers that I hope will go by the wayside by next year.
I do believe that Lent is a good time to reflect on our lives. One Ash Wednesday service in past years stands out to me. Rather than giving something up — like chocolate or alcohol — the priest suggested doing something. He talked about investing more time in prayer or volunteering to help someone else, he felt it should be a time of giving of ourselves. He suggested reading the book of Mark from the Bible during the 40 days of Lent.
I’m a convert to Catholicism so I had to learn about Lent. I didn’t grow up with it. My kids did and my daughter always said she was giving up piano lessons for Lent. Yes, she hated piano. I thought piano had so many benefits and forced her to take lessons, years beyond what I should have done, she often reminds me.
If you don’t observe Lent and wonder what it’s all about, here’s a definition from Britannica:
Lent, in the Christian church, a period of penitential preparation for Easter. In Western churches it begins on Ash Wednesday, six and a half weeks before Easter, and provides for a 40-day fast (Sundays are excluded), in imitation of Jesus Christ’s fasting in the wilderness before he began his public ministry. In Eastern churches Lent begins on the Monday of the seventh week before Easter and ends on the Friday that is nine days before Easter. This 40-day “Great Lent” includes Saturdays and Sundays as relaxed fast days.
Here’s a link to Good Housekeeping’s article called 25 Creative Things to Give Up for Lent in 2021: From gossip and complaining to junk food and coffee, ditching these habits could change your life by Juliana Labianca. There are a lot of good ideas to do in that article that could improve your life — whether or not you observe Lent.
A friend emailed this eight-minute Homily about Lent. It’s a time to be cheerful and transformative.
Back in the pool is my New Year’s Resolution. I’ve swam three days a week for two whole weeks and we’re not even into the second week of the year! I noticed, however, that I am not recovering. I feel tired afterwards and the next day, too. My daughter told me, “Make sure you drink some chocolate milk as soon as you get home!” Well, I forgot and after I showered and got dressed, I headed off to the grocery store, feeling weak and famished. “Shoot, I forgot the chocolate milk.” There was a Halloween-sized bag of M&Ms in the car, not quite chocolate milk, but I downed them thinking they’d be better than nothing.
That incident reminded me of a story I wrote about nutrition and recovery a couple years ago:
Nutella stuffed 1/2 cronuts. Food for thought?
I called one of my mentor swim moms, who has advised me all along the way from my son’s first swim meet in 2001 to navigating college recruiting years later. She worked as a dietitian years ago, and I wanted her input for a SwimSwam article about what kids should eat at meets. I asked a half dozen more moms what their kids ate at meets because we happened to be at UCLA and USC swim meets watching our Utah kids compete.
After I wrote that story, that you can read here, I thought, “Yikes! I do not practice what I preach!” I’m finding it harder to recover after a workout and perhaps if I looked at my own diet, I would feel stronger.
I’m swimming consistently three days a week, and after I swim I get so hungry. I have a tendency to believe that because I made it through a tiring swim practice, that I can eat whatever I want. Most often, I make terrible choices including a #1 meal at Taco Bell (taco and burrito supreme) or fried chicken! Seriously, what am I doing to myself?
At USC for a swim meet.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s okay to eat unhealthy now and then. But this has turned into a habit to reward myself after a healthy workout with fattening food that lacks much in nutritional value! It’s totally unproductive.
I discussed this with another mom via text. This mom is crazily fit and works out for hours every day. She had some great tips that I’m incorporating into my daily life that she promised would improve my muscle recovery.
AVOID SUGAR AND CARB LOADING
“I’ve actually been learning to fuel my body with fat. However, I’m not a swimmer so I would not begin to offer advice. But, after doing research I started limiting my carbs to less than 50g/day and saving them until dinner. During the day, I fuel my body with healthy fats. I’ve noticed a huge difference! Swimmers need a lot of energy but they won’t get any energy from sugar.”
“Have a plan. Know what you’re going to snack on after practice. Prepare eggs and a meat before you leave for practice so that it’s ready when you get home and you won’t eat the ‘worst stuff.’ Plus, the protein in the eggs will assist in muscle recovery. Or have peanut butter on a rice cake. But the important thing is to have it prepared so you can grab it right away.”
HOW ARE YOU FUELING YOUR BODY?
“Also, when eating your snacks, look at it and determine how you are fueling your body for recovery and the next day’s workout. That’s what keeps me honest with myself.”
At my first meet a year ago with my good friend and fellow swim mom, Linda.
Yesterday, after practice I had a half banana and a hard boiled egg when I walked through the kitchen door. I was able to make it through until dinner without fast or fried food and I feel less sluggish and tired today. I’m curious to see how this plan works for me and if I’ll feel stronger after a few days. After all, I have my own swim meet coming up this month!I’ll let you know how it goes.
I started a diet a few weeks ago and wrote about it here. I said I’d follow up to let you know how I’m doing.
I dropped about five pounds the first week. I marveled at the ease of sticking to a high-protein, low-carb diet. After all, how hard can a diet be if you can eat bacon?
The second week was harder. I was craving pasta. I had to force myself out of the drive-thru at Taco Bell. What I wouldn’t give for a Burrito Supreme.
I started to feel a little off kilter. I was dizzy, hungry, and going insane. I called my husband and demanded that he stop by In-N-Out on the way home.
“Make it protein style,” I said thinking that a single burger patty wrapped in lettuce would keep me on track, but add a little flavor and spice in my life.
Little did I know that he was going to bring home a Double Double protein style–and fries! I wolfed it down and it felt like a brick hit my stomach.
I weighed myself the next day. I had gained all the weight back. With one Double Double.
So much for dieting. I’m watching what I’m eating, following the guidelines of the diet, but not going overboard. It seems to be working for me. I was weighed at the doctor’s office today and I was five pounds lighter than my last exam.
Getting exercise seems to be key for me. I’m walking, stretching, doing sit-ups and weights.
What are you doing to stay fit and trim for middle-age?
When I was in college, my best friend and I went on crazy eating binges and diets. We actually put soy sauce on iceberg lettuce and called it a meal. We made shakes with nothing but ice, lettuce and sweet-n-low. Then we’d end the night eating a bag of Toll House semi-sweet chocolate morsels and undo our day of starvation.
All that craziness never resulted in losing weight. It wasn’t until I got hit by truck — as a pedestrian crossing a street — that I had common sense knocked into my head.
The week in the hospital made me realize how lucky I was to be alive. I was so thrilled when I could stand up and take a few steps with a walker — and go to the bathroom. That was so much more important to me than the goal of being five pounds lighter. Strangely, after I healed and returned to normal mobility — about six months later — I never had to diet again. I just ate what I wanted and liked. It was mostly seafood. I would choose a second helping of Dungeness crab or Ahi Sashimi over a piece of cake.
But, then something changed. Welcome to getting older. Weight has crept up on me the last couple years. I exercise every single day, yet ten to 15 pounds seemed to attach itself to my middle. (I guess that’s why they call it “Middle-Aged?”)
I asked some friends that are also middle-aged — who look terrific — what their secret was. They told me about a high protein, low carb diet. I decided to try it, since my kids are off to college and I no longer have to feed two always hungry swimmers.
Five days later, I’m four pounds smaller. But, I am seriously craving a big bowl of spaghetti with meat sauce. And potato salad.
Check back with me to see if I continue to diet — or not to diet.