Help!

Hi eaters!

I was going to write a post about how I’m getting back to my routine today and yadda yadda yadda. But instead there’s something slightly more interesting and definitely more important that I want to talk about.

And I reallyreallyreally want you to talk back to me about this one. I need your thoughts and opinions on this issue.

Thanks in advance.

So last night Sister, Stepmother and I were in the kitchen cooking dinner. We were having a risotto bar so Sister was stirring the risotto while Stepmother and I were chopping and sautéing the vegetable mixins. We were all talking about various things so I don’t exactly know what prompted this, but at some point my 9 year old sister (keep that age in mind) proclaimed that she needed to start eating healthier and exercising more.

Sounds pretty good, right?! It’s never to early to start the kiddies on the healthy living track. I was especially thrilled since she subsisted almost entirely off fries, chicken nuggets and Coke while in Paris.

So knowing her usual diet I was rather shocked that she should feel this way.

“What do you mean by that,” I asked.

“I eat too much candy,” Sister replied.

Well, I certainly couldn’t argue with that. She ate a Kinder Maxi bar every night in Paris and was constantly walking to the kitchen to nab a piece of Haribo or 2 (though I did that from time to time as well).

Right as I was about to commend her on her very mature goals she said something that shocked and disgusted me:

“Yeah, I’m getting puffy.”

In case you’re unaware, by puffy my 9 year old sister meant fat.

Allow me to repeat this:

My 9 year old sister who is stick-thin and highly active (far thinner and more active than I was at that age, for sure) said she was gaining weight.

^4th of July. She is obviously the short one in the front.^

My jaw must have hit the floor! This can’t be! How could she say that?! How could she think that?! That’s so wrong on so many levels! Where could a girl as young as her ever learn to think like that?!

I can tell you—her mother.

Puffy is a word I have heard Stepmother use numerous times. She used is a few times during our time in Paris, whether saying she was getting puffy or that she was happy she was walking enough so she wouldn’t get too puffy.

Now, I’m not entirely blaming Stepmother for Sister’s thinking. It’s not like she has been telling Sister that she’s puffy or that she needs to eat less/exercise more or anything of the sort. But simply by Stepmother saying those things about herself (which certainly isn’t true because Stepmother is incredibly fit) in front of Sister has gotten into her mind.

It’s alarming to say the least.

After Sister’s puffy comment I did my best to straighten out her thinking:

“You shouldn’t eat healthy and exercise to look good. You should do it to be healthy,” I told her.

“I do want to be healthy,” Sister replied. And then a few minutes later she said that when she gets back to Virginia (where they live) she is going to get on the treadmill.

Again, my jaw hit the floor!

She’s 9! Yes, she later explained that she wanted to get on the treadmill because she wanted to train to do a 5k with some of her friends (which doesn’t seem like a bad thing at all), but there is still something that seems wrong about that.

She’s a kid! Her exercise should be playing tag and riding bikes with her friends. Yeah sure, do some 5ks with the kids in the neighborhood, but don’t get on a boring treadmill and run in place while staring at a blank wall.

Go outside and run with your friends!

Ok, eaters, here is where I need you to help me. Am I crazy for reacting the way I did? Am I projecting the body image issues I had in years past on Sister? Like I said, I was a bit of a marshmallow-looking kid (especially when I had to wear this huge, white winter coat I used to have, but that’s another story for another day) and very sedentary so weight was always a bit of an issue for me. But then Sister is the exact opposite! She’s thin (without sucking it in) and always bouncing off the walls and trying to climb things and running.

What do you guys think? Is she normal? Am I crazy? Should I try to steer her in what I believe to be the right direction for a girl her age (once again, she’s only 9) or should I step back and let her figure weight and diet and body image herself?

Pleasepleaseplease and thank-you for your opinions, eaters.

Papa and Co in Paris: Day 6

Oh eaters, how can today possibly be my last day in this sweet, sweet city?!
I would be heartbroken to say the least except for 2 things:

First, today has been quite possibly the most perfect of days.

With everyone having different ideas of how to spend their last Parisian day we decided to split up. Frankly, I think I get a much better feel for a city when I explore it alone.

What did I choose to do with my free time?

Eat, of course!

Last time I was in Paris I had my first ever falafel experience. It was strange and wonderful and the start of a love affair I couldn’t have imagined at the time. My heart would have ached if I didn’t return to the site of my first rendezvous.

So I slowly meandered through the streets, stopping to browse in interesting shops, in not real hurry. Eventually I made my way to a Jewish neighborhood in search of falafel.

It wasn’t long before I found my mecca—a small side street with a half-dozen falafel restaurants. There was the famous L’as du Falafel restaurant, but the line outside was far too long for my liking. Instead I chose a small little window boasting “authentic food” and a Star of David over the window. It seemed like a good choice.

So with food in hand I quickly worked my way through the maze of side streets, this time in a slight hurry, to get to my designated picnicking location—Place des Vosges.

Did I mention this is quite possibly one of my favorite parks/squares/gardens ever?

Well it is.

So there I sat, falafel in hand, on a perfectly selected bench, ready to enjoy the day.

^Not a bad place for lunch, huh?^

And now, let us admire the perfection that is the falafel sandwich.

There on top are the moist, fluffy balls of fried chickpeas and spices, along with tender roasted eggplant, pickled cucumber and tomatoes, all drizzled with sweet taziki sauce.

After a few bites you discover the bed of beautiful bright purple cabbage everything is resting on.

From past experience you expect the rest of the warm pita to be filled with cucumbers, tomatoes, and cabbage. So imagine your surprise when under that layer of crisp purple is…

another round of falafel-y goodness!

From the first bite to the very last bite all I kept thinking was “if loving you is wrong, I don’t want to be right.”

Once my fingers were sufficiently licked clean I settled myself on the ground to digest. A can of Orangina and the last few pages of my book (Insanity Defense by Woody Allen) kept me company.

What could possibly follow up this spectacular, practically-religious experience?

A few hours strolling down Rue de Rivoli, once again popping into fun shops, before meeting the family on the Champe-Elysees.

Once together we strolled and shopped a little, but not much since big, expensive stores that I can find in every country are not my thing. But after a few laps, Sister started chanting for ice cream.

She screams, she screams, we all go for ice cream.

And champagne!

But this wasn’t just any ice cream. This was Berthillion ice cream, from the famous Berthillion glacerie on Ile Saint-Louis. If you ever come to Paris you will see restaurants all over the city serving this ice cream, and with good reason.

Together Papa and I split a couple of scoops of pistachio ice cream (a favorite of his that he turned me on to) and it, paired with my glass of champagne and the exquisite people watching, was the perfect thing after a hot day of walking.

Like I said, quite possibly the most perfect of days.

And the second reason I’m not totally heartbroken to return to the States tomorrow—I know I’ll be back.

This week has completely affirmed my love for the city, the people, the culture, and everything else. So much so that I threw a semi-easy “A” to the wind and dropped Spanish for French.

And it just so happens that College has an unbelievably amazing study abroad program in Paris.

And I know that there are some of the best (if not the best) schools here for what I want to study post-graduate (which will remain a secret for the time being, but I bet you could figure it out).

And I already promised Mother that her and I would go together (during which time I will see the last section of Louvre that I want to, and finally get to the Rodin Museum, which I have been dying to).

Au revoir por l’instant, Paris.

And g’bye for now, eaters.

Papa and Co in Paris: 5

Hello eaters.

Today has been a near perfect day in so many ways. Now let me count the ways for you—

1) I woke up at a time I’m happy with (no alarm and a malfunctioning body clock has made for some uncomfortably late mornings) and enjoyed another delicious Sojasun yogurt breakfast before some much needed exercise. I worked up a nice bit of a sweat.

2) I expected lunch to be just another sidewalk café affair so I failed to document any of it. But trust me, it was wonderful. And it included some of the best pomme frits (fries) I’ve had yet (and believe me, with a 9-year old companion I’ve sampled a lot) and some delicious roast beets. Every time I eat them I wonder why I don’t eat them more.

3) My day was spent at the Louvre. I was apprehensive of going since the last time I went was an utter disaster. But now with a few art history classes under my belt I felt prepared to tackle the beast. I made a game plan, consulted the map, and refused to let myself get distracted. After 3 hours of ooh-ing, aah-ing, and some mini-lessons everyone was tired and I had seen half of what I wanted to.

I guess that means I’ll just have to come back to Paris to see the rest…(hint, hint Mom).

4) By the time we were back at the apartment a snack was definitely in order. And luckily, my favorite I’m-starving-and-need-a-hearty-snack food was available—apples. I don’t know why, but whenever I’m really really hungry for a snack the best thing for me is an apple. (It could also have something to do with a little advice I got a while back—“If you’re not hungry enough to eat an apple, you’re not hungry.”) That and a glass of champagne and I was a very happy girl.

5) Eventually it became time to thing about dinner. But frankly, m’dear eaters, the idea of another bowl of vegetable soup or another slightly less than thrilling salad supplemented with a few trips to the bread basket and Sister’s pomme frits supply didn’t thrill me in the least. So when Papa asked what we were thinking I said I wanted something different. Apparently, my request (and Papa’s plan) was just vague enough to work.

So together the family set out to find someplace, somewhere that was in some way different. Alrighty!

Sounds like grim pickings, but look what we found:

I like to think of this little area as a Parisian food court. Down a small side street there we found a lovely square with 4 or 5 restaurants. We strolled around, scanning menus and hemming and hawing. Then we found this little gem:

Arirang, Specialites de barbecue Coreen

While I normally skip anything with barbecue in the title I saw bottles of sriracha on the table and vegetables on the menu. Sign me up!

^Hello, lover.^

Appetizers were tempura shrimp and pork dumplings.

Upon the discovery that the dumplings were in fact pork both were pawned off on the family.

Then it was dinnertime. I ordered the grilled vegetables and woah boy! Check them out!

Corn, peas, carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini, cabbage, sprouts, lentils, peppers, onions, watercress, and tofu.

^Oh tofu, I’ve missed you so.^

This wasn’t your ordinary bowl of veggies. This bowl was on fire!

The bowls were on little individual gas hot plates. While cool, this made me a little wary so I quickly turned mine off…and devoured almost the entire thing.

This was just what I needed—hot, spicy, flavorful, clean veggies with no oil-based sauces or pomme frits calling my name.

But right now, I think I have a pastry calling my name. Or maybe that’s my bed. I can’t decide.

Later eaters.

Papa and Co in Paris: Day 4

Woah boy, have I got a cultural food adventure to tell you about.

Open every Thursday and Sunday morning (I think from about 7am-1pm) is the Bastille Market, an open-air market specializing in local food, with some jewelry, wine, and clothes vendors and whatnot thrown in. To us Americans, this is known as a farmer’s market.

I read about this in a guidebook while preparing for the trip, but didn’t think much of it. But then I realized our apartment is about 4 blocks away from the Bastille, meaning it is about 5 blocks away from this market. Score!

So the family got up slightly earlier than normal, grabbed our new reusable Monoprix shopping bag and hoofed it down to the market. On the walk Papa kept asking where the market was and trying to look on the map. Silly Papa, don’t you know you find a farmers’ market by sense (and following all the people with their shopping carts—by which I mean this:

not this:

And wouldn’t you know it, that’s exactly what we did.

Oh boy, this market was huge! Easily 2 blocks long and half a block wide, every inch was jam-packed with vendors of all sorts.


The majority of the vendors were selling produce. Stalls of gorgeous, fresh, vibrant (and in some cases unusual-looking) fruits and vegetables lined most of the outer edge.


^Bio means organic^

There were also some heavenly-smelling bread stalls.

And then I stumbled upon one of the worst things I’ve seen in a while:

Whole pig heads,

Whole small turkeys, and men in big, blood-stained white aprons carrying this raw meat to the back side of their stall where they were cooking a serving it.

Papa bought some chicken.

What has happened it me?! I used to love the smell of meat cooking. Grocery store rotisserie chickens were one of my absolute favorite things growing up. I worked (and ate) at a fried chicken restaurant for over a year!

And now, after less than 6 months of being a veghead all these things make me sick to my stomach. I practically had to walk clear across the market to get away from the smell of frying, roasting, grilling meat. Honestly, seeing those pig heads completely reaffirmed my meat-free status.

In my attempt to rid myself of the pig heads and chicken gizzards dancing in my head I stumbled upon the perfect medicine—crepes!

I’ve been in Paris for how long without eating a crepe? It’s a crime I tell you.

Crepe making is such an art to me.

The guys use these little rake-looking things and get the crepe so thin, but somehow it doesn’t tear while they’re flipping it (or while they’re spreading strawberry jam inside).

It may not look like the ones they serve at IHOP, but believe me this was 10 times better.

I think I may have to find another crepe or two before I leave. I think next time I’ll go with Nutella and bananas.

Papa and Co in Paris: Day 3

Bonjour, again, eaters.

Yesterday was a busy day, to say the least.

We headed over to Galeries Lafayette, the oldest department store in France, for a little semi-annual sale shopping. Check out this ceiling!


This is what I call high class shopping.

I should have known, though, that if the building was this fancy that the clothes would be way out of my price range. 65 Euro ($85) for a gray jersey dress? No, thank-you.

After a time of shopping the family was getting hungry so we braved the hordes of people outside and found a place for lunch. Can it still be called lunch at 4 in the afternoon? Sure why not.

Wanting to keep things on the lighter side we all went with veggies of some sort. Papa and Brother ordered Cesar salads. We all know what comes on a Cesar salad, right?

Lettuce, dressing, croutons, cheese.

Well, it appears the French do things a little differently:

Lettuce, artichokes, hearts of palm, green beans, an unusual dressing, chicken, cheese, and there was supposed to be corn as well.

Oh well, they liked it. And as you can see by the picture below, I liked my lunch as well:

Pureed vegetable soup.

This is the kind of thing I would normally add hot sauce to, but since the spiciest thing in Paris is the mustard I had to do without. And you know what?

It wasn’t bad at all! And frankly, I doubt hot sauce would have gone very well with the wine.

Oh yes, wine with lunch is a beautiful thing. Three glasses later I was feeling quite lovely and ready for a second round of shopping. So back to Galeries Lafayette we went to check out the massive gourmet food store.

Note to self: Don’t go shopping in high volume areas while under the influence.

I think I did about 3 laps before I could really process anything. Luckily, one of the first things that registered were these massive piles of spices.

They had everything, and I mean everything, from every imaginable type of salt to pre-mixed blends (like legumes—vegetable spice—and ratatouie).

There was also plenty of regular groceries, pastries, meat, cheeses, Asian food, fish, and a plethora of olive oil. It was awesome.

You can bet I bought a few things, but I’m keeping them quiet for now as they are gifts for people who may or may not be reading right now. (Hi Mom!)

Dinner later on was also pretty awesome—a picnic on the Seine River.

Papa and I strolled over to Monoprix (the nearest grocery store) and picked up a baguette, wine, meats and cheeses for everyone else, and a little bowl of pre-fab tabouleh with vegetables for me.

And together we sat and sipped and nibbled with the rest of the French.

It was marvelous. We even saw 2 boats carrying wedding parties down the river.

And every July part of the Seine is turned into a sort of park-fair-type area. Part of that is a selection of food venders. One of which was a frozen yogurt stall.

After watching the blogosphere explode with adorable pictures of delicious fro-yo concoctions for months now I absolutely had to take advantage of this one.

Enter: MyBerry, the French approach to fro-yo.

What makes this French-yo, you ask?

Well in America it seems there are endless flavors of frozen yogurt—fruits, spices, coffee, cinnamon roll, chai, yadda yadda—in addition to a plethora of toppings—coconut, graham crackers, fruits, chocolates, more yadda yadda. But here they keep it simple; they keep it clean—plain yogurt topped with fruits, marshmallows or M&M-type; things. Any guesses of what I got?

Well, this little FoodBaby needed some balance. So she got a balanced cup:

Pineapple and M&Ms;.

A little sour, plenty sweet, and a good texture, I think this little cup was just the thing I needed to feel like a true blogirl.

Bonsoir, eaters.

Papa and Co in Paris: Day 2-3

Hello m’dear dear eaters.

J’aime Paris!

Oh it is simply glorious. I wake up every morning to the sound of the city below. When I throw back my curtains, open the windows and step out on my little balcony I am greeted with the most gorgeous, perfectly Parisian view—the Seine River, a bustling street, the old romantic buildings on Ile St-Louis and the Eiffel Tower in the background.

Cup of tea in hand I spend a few moments taking in this awe-inspiring view. Then I eat breakfast.

This morning’s breakfast was almost as glorious as the view (or maybe the view made it more glorious and if I had been eating it perched on my usual kitchen stool watching Kathy Lee and Hoda say ridiculous things on the Today Show it would have been blah—either way I’m not complaining).

Sojasun fig yogurt, raspberries, blueberries, and a hunk of Musseli bread.

Sojasun is a company that makes, you guessed it, soy products. Who knew people in the land of butter and cream ate soy-dairy? I was surprised and delighted, to say the least.

It appears French yogurt isn’t quite as thick as what we’re used to, but that just meant I had to have a piece of bread to wipe the bowl clean with, of course. And let me tell you about this bread—it is great.

This is a wheat bread chock-full-o-nuts and seeds and raisins, oh my. Slightly sweet, definitely hearty, and more than a tad addicting, you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be smuggling some of this back home.

Now I believe it is time for a YOGAmazing podcast (my form of exercise while abroad) before heading out for the day.

Yesterday we crossed a picnic in Place de Vosges

(the oldest square in Paris, and by far my favorite) and a Bataeux Mouches

(boat ride down the Seine) off the list. Today I believe we’ll be heading over to Galeries Lafayette (one of the oldest department stores in France) for some shopping.

G’bye eaters.

Papa and Co in Paris: Day 1

Bonjour mangeurs!

(That means “Hello eaters” in French, naturally.)

Yup, I’m currently writing to you while sitting in my ridiculously French sitting room

while looking out the window and seeing this gorgeous view

with, you guessed it,

the Eiffel Tower off in the distance.

Pretty cool, right? But you haven’t even seen the half of it yet.

Here is our foyer, while I affectionately dubbed the Hall of Doors.

Hell, this whole apartment is full of doors. Every room is connected by at least one, if not 2 doors. It’s a tad confusing.

Want to know something straightforward, though?

My love for this adorable kitchen!

This is a tiny kitchen with smaller-than-average everything. In all honesty, with the way that I cook, I would mess this kitchen up in no time flat, but everything is so neat and orderly and cool that I would be more than happy to try to condense my cooking.

Hopefully I’ll get a chance to this week. And we’ll eat it in our dining room:

And don’t you worry, m’dear eaters, I’ve already had a glass of wine and a slice or two of glorious bakery bread—crusty on the outside, but oh some pillowy on the inside (there may have been a schmear of Nutella on one of those slices).

Later eaters. I think the family and I are heading out for a sidewalk café dinner. My favorite!

PS-I had my first encounter with dairy and…it didn’t go as smoothly as I had hoped. I didn’t think dairy would be anywhere near as bad as meat since there has probably been a time or two when I’ve missed a dairy product on an ingredient list or something of the sort. So when I ordered the pasta dinner on the flight over and was handed a box of cheese and spinach-covered penne I wasn’t terribly terribly concerned. There were a handful of non-cheesy pieces and I figured a bit of dairy now would be good as far as easing it back into my diet goes.

An hour or so later I was feeling the effects. While it wasn’t as bad as meat, my stomach was certainly not happy with me. And we didn’t get on good terms again for a good few hours. Maybe this vegetarian thing is going to be harder than I thought.

Paris Rules

Hi eaters.

This is my last post while on American soil for a week. Gah!

Let me repeat: Gah!!!! And one more !

Today has been spent running around, preparing plane food and scrambling a little bit (though not much because I’m Ms Organization when it comes to traveling). But now, as the hour of departure looms near, I can say I’m pretty ready.

I’ve got my plane book:

My extra book:

A guilty pleasure:

An assortment of food stuffs and fully charged electronics.

Yeah, I’m definitely prepared.

Another thing I’m prepared for is the food situation I will encounter overseas. I’m a realist. I’m fully aware that I’m going to the land of stinky cheese where everything is cooked in butter. I’ve watched Julia Child. I know the menus I’m about to be presented with.

That is why I have made the decision to switch from vegan to vegetarian for this week.

Here’s my reasoning:

Much like the moon, I’m pretty sure France is made of cheese. And drizzled in butter. It’s not reasonable for me to expect to find things without dairy or to ask for things to be specially made without dairy. Hell, I don’t speak French. I probably won’t even be able to tell if things are made with dairy.

My traveling companions (AKA my family) love their animal products. I would feel selfish making them alter their diets simply to accommodate mine. This is a family vacation.

And possibly the biggest reason is that…I’m going to France! It’s not every day that I get a chance to travel to another country and eat authentic food. So I’m going to. I’m going to eat buttery flaky croissants. I’m going to eat stinky cheese (and not so stinky Brie, my favorite). I’m going to eat crepes (the batter for which is mostly eggs).

Don’t worry, I’m not going to be living off eggs and dairy. I’m going to limit my intake as much as possible (because after the ham fiasco I’m a tad afraid of how my body will react). I do have a list of vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants.

But I will be partaking, you can bet your bottom dollar on that. And I’m going to enjoy every buttery second of it.

Au revoir, eaters. Next time you hear from this FoodBaby I’ll be in Paris!!!

Happy Camper

Another day, another 9am alarm, another YOGAmazing podcast. This morning Chaz was leading me through Moon Salutations.

After a few rounds of this I was nice and energized.

When I looked in the fridge to figure out breakfast I was quite thrilled to find some leftover peach and blueberry salad. Toast up some Ezekiel bread, slather on some peanut butter and I was a happy camper.

A sweaty Cain class also made me a happy camper. Knowing that this was going to be the last time that I would be able to take a class for 2 week I made sure to push myself as hard as I could. And in doing so I learned a few things…

I hatehatehate flat-back, free weight flies. I don’t know what muscles that works, but judging on how much I was struggling through this (with only 7 lbs weights!) I would guess mine are about as strong as a newborn’s.

But I lovelovelove crunches on a peanut stability ball!

They are some much more comfortable than doing them on the floor. I would almost venture to say I had fun doing them.

My coordination must be improving because I was able to jump rope for over a minute straight. As a kid I could jump something ridiculous like 5 times before tripping, but today it was smooth sailing.

The harder I work the more I enjoy my Shake-n-Shake. You would think this cup of protein-packed, coffee goodness was manna from heaven the way I was drinking it.

A very happy, sweaty camper.

With protein in my belly I headed out to do some errands. One of those errands was to re-stock my tea supply. While browsing the tea selection at Fresh Market (always trying to find a cheaper version) I found this:

Yes, this tea does claim to help in weight loss (by curbing cravings and whatnot), but before anyone has a cow I assure you I’m not using it to lose weight (though I could stand to lose a few pounds by cutting out some mindless snacking, but that’s a whole other post). I bought it because it has carob in it.

Verdict:

So-so. I probably should have read the tasting notes before buying it because then I would have seen that it has orange and cinnamon flavors, which are two things I’m not terribly crazy about in tea. But I’ll still drink it. Maybe it’s an acquired taste.

A few more errands and I was hungry. The only thing I knew for lunch was that I had one last slice of tofu that needed to be eaten. So I set up my makeshift tofu press…

And started browsing through the kitchen. Nothing looked terribly appealing to me. I finally decided on zucchini, breaded (panko, corn meal, nooch, pepper, cayenne) and baked (425 for 20 minutes, flipping half way).

With plenty of dipping options—ketchup, spicy mustard, sriracha, zesty BBQ sauce.

The spicy mustard went best with the tofu and the BBQ went best with the zucchini.

The rest of the afternoon was spent organizing and cleaning and attempting to learn some basic French. Attempting being the key word.

Dinner was a little bit of a blast from the past for me. Not only did Mother, Brother and I all eat together (something we normally do anyway), but we all ate basically the same thing—protein “parmesan”, pasta with marinara sauce, string beans.

Mother and Brother had chicken Parmesan.

I had a black bean patty with Diaya mozzarella.

The pasta was a little different, though. Instead of our usual refined white pasta I got the family to try Garden Delights vegetable penne.

Verdict:

Brother liked it more than whole wheat. Mother liked it. I really liked it.

And now I’m exhausted and planning on vegging out in front of the Boob Tube. And yes, I’ll probably be watching Teen Mom. I’m hooked!

G’night eaters. Tomorrow is a big day.

Just Plane Awesome Everything

Hi eaters.

I’m going to rush through my eats and whatnot because I have something super fun (and possibly envy inducing) to tell you about.

Back to the alarm this morning. But instead of starting my tea as soon as I silenced the annoying blare I started a podcast. A 20 minute YOGAmazing meditative flow later I was feeling great (calm, balanced, AWAKE) and ready for breakfast: canteloupe, ½ peach, blueberries and homemade granola (I may have also dipped a spoon into the peanut butter jar, just maybe).

This peach was so perfectly ripe and juicy and delicious.

Summer in my mouth.

Then it was time for the gym. Weights yesterday meant cardio today. And a little bit of retail therapy with Mother this weekend meant new sneakers today.

Funny story: I own 2 pairs of sneakers and rotate them each day to save my feet and shoes. I needed a new pair because mine were getting a little too worn so we went to the running store. Mother suggested I make things easy and get another of one of the pairs I already have, but I wanted to get fit again incase anything changed. I ended up buying Muzuno X10. When I got home I took out my old shoes to decide which ones were going to get replaced and low and behold I already owned Muzuno X10s. I guess they’re the shoes for me!

And these are the laces for me:

If you haven’t discovered Yankz or any other elastic laces I highly recommend them. I never have to tie my shoes. It’s great!

My workout was also pretty great. Instead of parking myself on the elliptical for 30-45 minutes like I normally did I started off with 10 minutes of more intense than normal treadmill intervals. Then I parked myself on the elliptical for 25 minutes. Same time frame, but I felt like I worked harder (and I was definitely sweatier).

I liked last night’s salad so much so I beefed it up (so to speak) and had it again for lunch:

Mixed greens, cucumbers, green beans, sautéed onions and yellow squash, browned tofu, roasted red pepper hummus, a squirt of lemon and a few cracks of pepper.

This is exactly how I felt.

But that’s not quite how I felt when I snacked on one of my still warm Chai Fig Cupcakes.

Words cannot describe how much I love these little babies.

Dinner: the rest of the sautéed onions and yellow squash, spinach, Nate’s meatless balls, marinara sauce, fruit salad (peaches and blueberries).

I freaking love Nate’s balls. They are so good. This whole meal was so good. Comforting, but still light and summery.

Okay, exciting news: I’m leaving for a family vacation Wednesday. Want to know where I’m going?

Paris! Ahhhhhhh! I can’t wait.

Papa and co decided that we absolutely needed a fabulous family vacation this year since we skipped last year. So we’re spending a week in the City of Lights. It gets better, though.

We’re not just staying in a boring hotel. Oh no! Papa found a company that rents apartments right in the city. So we’re staying in a gorgeous apartment overlooking the Seine River…with a gourmet kitchen. But there’s more.

We planned this trip so that we would be in Paris during the last stage of the Tour de France, which ends (I believe) with the riders doing a loop through the city a few times (called a crit) and finishing at the Champs-Elysees.

Yeah, absolutely freaking amazing. I’m quite possibly literally dying of excitement.

But for now, I’ve got to wrestle with my laundry and try to fit as many fabulous (hopefully French looking) clothes into my suitcase as possible.

Later, eaters.