This is a cute picture of our youngest feline, Nicco. He is curled up with his human father in chair in the family room. He likes to burrow into little places and be as close to his humans as possible. I think he has the most expressive little face and he loves to be center of attention which means he gladly poses for the camera. It is sometimes hard to believe he has a warning on his medical record at the vet. Who ever heard of a vicious 6 pound cat? I meant other than my vet of course.
His older brother Massimo on the other hand is not cooperative for the camera. He hates to have his picture taken and almost always manages to get his eyes closed in time for all pictures. Of the thousands of photos I have of him 95% are like this. I thought this one was funny since he appears to be sticking his tongue out saying, “Nanny nanny boo boo I ruined another picture. When are you going to stop trying mom?”
Our female feline, Luca Bella, is not cooperative, which is why you don’t often see pictures of her. She is a spoiled little diva and has no intention of doing anything she doesn’t want to do. Sounds just like a woman right?
After I ran my errands today and made caponata I kicked back for a while with another book. I needed a little time to recharge. While reading I decided to grab some frozen grapes. Have you tried them yet? They are like little frozen grape bon bons. I love the texture of frozen grapes cold but somehow not frozen solid. I buy large containers of grapes, clean them and toss them into the freezer in one cup servings. A cup of grapes is roughly 100 calories for those that are trying to keep track of that. They make a great warm weather snack that is also healthy. If they freeze together pour them into a colander and run cold water over them and they separate but don’t defrost. They have the added benefit of providing you with a little resveratrol. It is odd, I am not much of grape fan unless they are frozen.
Since I made caponata today and really didn’t want to have lasagna with Dan for dinner tonight I made some quinoa and topped it with caponata, which I warmed. I used quinoa because it is a whole grain that is a decent source of protein. Each 1 cup serving of quinoa contains approximately 220 calories and 8 grams of protein. Caponata topped quinoa and a green salad and I had dinner. Quinoa is another grain that you can make in large batches and reheat in the microwave if you like to minimize your cooking time.
Fun Facts Friday:
My friend Heather has started doing a "fun facts Friday post" as a way to get to know her readers and I thought it was a brilliant idea. I decided I would start doing the same thing here so we could all get to know each other a little better. Here are my facts for this Friday:
- My birthday is coming up soon and I will be 48 years old. Shivers….. it hurts to “say” that out loud. I really hate the fact that I am getting SO old. But as my buddy Louis says, “It is better than the alternative.” Thanks Louis, I can’t argue with that logic as dark as it is. For the time being I still look younger than I am, which may not last forever so I am trying to appreciate it now, while it lasts. Lately I feel like I am aging every day.
- I am married to Dan, my best friend, and we have been together since 1987.
- Our favorite place to vacation is Italy.
Something interesting from the e-Cornell course:
One of the lectures from course two discussed the calorie density of food groups and separated food by broad categories as follows:
- Salad (raw salad veggies) – 100 calories per pound
- Vegetables (corn, carrots and broccoli) – 200 calories per pound
- Fruits – 300 calories per pound
- Starches (rice, potatoes, beans) – 500 calories per pound
- Beef tenderloin – 1,100 calories
- Cheese – 1,700 calories per pound
- Pure sugar – 1,800 calories per pound
- Nuts and Seeds – 2,000 to 2,500 calories per pound
- Chocolate – 2,500 calories per pound
- Potato Chips and French Fries – 2,500 calories per pound
- Pure fat (like oil) – 4,000 calories per pound
Also I have heard many omnis comment on the calorie density of nuts that vegetarians eat. But when you compare the nuts and seeds to oil there is no question that nuts are a better choice than oil just from a calorie perspective. Not to mention the fact that nuts have micronutrients which have been stripped from the oils. Additionally when you compare nuts to meat or cheese, nuts are still a better choice since they are normally consumed in much smaller quantities than animal products.
I also found this list interesting from a meal planning perspective. Sometimes I make meals that need more calories. But looking at this list it is obvious that by including some heartier vegetables, starches and nuts and seeds I can built a substantial meal without needing to resort unhealthy foods or unhealthy preparations of otherwise healthy foods. I tend to fall into the trap of using a lot of “salad vegetables” (for their nutrition)which results in dishes that don’t have many calories. This is fine when you are eating 5 or 6 times a day but if you follow a more traditional schedule of eating three times a day meals need to be more substantial.
I thought this concept was quite interesting. It gave me a lot to think about and I thought some of you may enjoy the presentation format like I did. What do you think was this enlightening or thought provoking for you?
That is going to be it for me today. I really need to relax and recharge tonight. I will be back tomorrow. Have a great evening!