Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sister Love

I have a little sister, Maria, exactly 4 and 1/2 years younger than me. When my Moma was pregnant I wanted a baby sis SO much, and when she arrived I was overwhelmed with excitement.
Throughout high school we were friendly, but did not really connect - until my senior year, she was in 8th grade. Our town is tiny, literally more cows than people, so the middle and high school is combined into one building, housing less than 500 students. One of the reasons we grew closer that year was because of Sheeba - my run down, front yard special $450 1989 Saab. We shared so many laughs on the way to and from school, and plus how cool is it to be driven rather than taking the bus in 8th grade? I was on the swim team, and Maria decided she wanted to join the team as well. Obviously she needed to take the varsity test before she could officially be a member of the team, which was a pretty grueling test for an 8th grader. She blew the physical tests out of the water, BAM we were going to be on the same team! This was really exciting because we were both sad that we never got to share time on the soccer field together, but now we would in the pool. I was okay at swimming- win some, loose more kind of thing, but I had fun with it. Maria, I have decided is part fish or something, mermaid perhaps? She was and still is an extremely powerful and awe inspiring swimmer. We had so much fun together during swim team, she decided to join me on the track team! Although she quickly realized she hates running, and that was her sole season of track team.
We remained close when I left for college, and I can not believe she is already a grown woman, and a sophomore in college. On my Thanksgiving break home I realized something, and my recent Winter break confirmed my realization. Maria and I connect on a different level than have ever noticed before. This new connection is like all of the sudden there is a little switch has been flipped and we are almost on the same wave length for everything. I do not know if it is something we have grown into, or why all of the sudden we just get and understand each other on a whole new level.
I do know, however, I laughed so much during my time at home because of Maria, and I feel so lucky to have such a close relationship. Laughing is one of the natural holistic medicines you can give your body. During one day sledding we were making each other laugh so hard my stomach literally burned after. We have come up with so many inside jokes and corky words and expressions, which were initially unintentional - purely funny, that we can have an entire conversation and no one else will have a clue what we are talking about. Whether we are quoting Mel Brooks (one of our favorite movies is Dracula Dead and Loving it) or just inserting "egg-salad" for "excellent".
My main point in writing this is just to share how amazing it is to have a loved one so close, and feel so comfortable while having a good chuckle. Maria and I can be serious when we need to be, but we do enjoy a good time as well. I must say, I was unsure what going home was going to be like after having a crazy semester here in Ithaca. I am living solo, which allows me to do my own thing when and how I want. I feel like going home has rejuvenated me, and much of that I think I owe to Maria (and of course the rest of my crazy family) which allowed so much laughter. We all have heard that saying "laughter is the best medicine", and I need to say, I agree. Don't get me wrong, if you are all allergic to a bee's sting, and you get stung, do not stand there and laugh, please use your EpiPen, but for a good mental lift, laughing and being surrounded by loved ones does the trick. It is very Nutritious :)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

another day... while getting to my point

So, today I experienced another fun filled day of robbing people blind for straight up un-nutritious food. However, I am happy to report I had a rather fun filled conversation with a pleasant woman who was very enthusiastic that we served hand tossed salads!
Today really made me think about my comments, due to the following:
a mother and her son were were about to check out and the son grabbed a snickers bar, the mother sighed and said, please would you not get that and get something nutritious? The son went back and grabbed a basket full of french fries and the mother literally said... well I guess that is okay. I was standing there, stunned, and I am pretty sure my chin officially hit the floor. Luckily I re-cooped before she saw my reaction. I honestly do not know which was worse, fatty fried complex carbs, or a bunch of simple carbs... although with a snickers you are at least getting the protein of a few peanuts. Either way I was just thinking wow. My parents were/are
1. Too cheap to pay for us to get such ridiculous food at ridiculous prices
2. Very good at packing "healthy" snacks which satisfied us children
All the while I was just thinking wow, which is the better evil? I do not mean to sound like a healthy only eater all the time, but my goodness, why can't people be happy with a simple peanut butter and jelly?
I totally hear and agree with what both Rachel and Mike are saying. I am guilty of enjoying a brew during boarding, as well as loving the fried fattiness of potatoes. I also am a fan of eating what you want while you still can theory, but there is a limit to it. I think because of our field of study we have a better understanding of basic nutrition, however, I do not think it is okay for the "average Joe, or Josephine" to be, for lack of better word, clueless. A parent should have the knowledge to either bring or figure out what would be nutritious for the child, (ie. fruit, water, veggies, grilled chicken and pasta) opposed to leaving it up to the child to find some sugar or fried food.
I hate to sound over cynical, but I really think people should have a firmer grasp on "nutritious" before they start throwing the word around like have have any idea about what in the world they are talking about. I remember when my siblings and I were children and my mom would meet one of her friends with her children at a local lake for the day. My mom would bring cut up raw veggies and fruit, and her friend would poke fun at her because she was like "what kind of kid will eat those", but all the kids would down the fruits and veggies like there was no tomorrow. Naturally we loved the potato chips and candy too, but the healthy stuff got eaten as well. I just think that people should give kids the choice more often, and lead by example that it is actually okay to do something good for your body. Especially in an environment where you are already benefiting yourself through exercise. Take the amazing feeling of exercise and add good nutrition and see where the day takes you!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Next Day of Food Biz

I arrived to work on Christmas day, a little saddened to leave the family, knowing I would be missing out on presents being opened, and the family dinner. I arrived to an old ski lodge, stinking of fatty grease and burnt pizza. It was like day and night from my first day of work at the newer lodge I was trained in. I noticed there were already two girls on two registers and wondered why I was even there. Next thing I knew I was being yelled at to make mozzarella sticks and more chicken tenders. I quickly realized I needed to figure out where these items were, and next thing I knew I was the frialator girl. FUN! - not. The feeling of grease being splashed up on my face was disgusting and I knew this would make for a very long day. I was not trained or told what to do, but how can you really mess up dropping things into hot oil and then check it until they are done? Once I made the items I was told to, I started placing them into their disposable containers, and quickly told I was doing it all wrong because I did not place a little thin piece of paper in the bottom of the cardboard container. Phew, crisis averted on that, because if that little piece of paper was not in the bottom, who knows what would have happened!! (jking).
Next thing I knew there was a girl all of 15 telling me how to make a salad. I was actually impressed with the salad station, most due to the fact that there was salad station. I was slightly excited that among all the greasy and arguably non-healthy food there was a salad option. They used real romaine or spring mix lettuce, not iceberg as well as quality veggie toppings. The thing that surprised me the most was the price. For those of you who have been to a ski mountain recently will agree that food prices are literally unbelievable out of sight. At first I thought it might just be because I am a poor college student, but no. When ringing people up on the register nearly every one's eyes pop out of their head when they look at the price. For example, two chicken tenders laying on top of about fifteen french fries cost $8.50 plus tax. That is crazy. That is more than I make an hour working at the mountain. A salad, however, cost $5.95 plus tax. That is reasonable. I mean, I would guess that there is more than a pound between the lettuce, green peppers, red onion, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, parm cheese, croutons and dressing. At Wegmans the salad bar is $6.95 a pound, if my memory serves me correctly. My point is though, how can people seriously spend nearly three dollars more on two chicken tenders and a few fries. Do not get me wrong, I love french fries as much as the next person, but seriously, come on! When I am up on the mountain boarding, I need something that satisfies but does not sit too heavy. I do not understand why people out being active all day long would fill themselves with fat and salt. The irony is they are doing something rather healthy for themselves by being active and outside, and then nourishing themselves with a lot of empty expensive calories. !

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Food Biz

Nearly 9 years ago I had my first job at a local ski mountain only 7 miles from my home, which was also the place I learned to ski and snowboard. Over Thanksgiving break I applied to the mountain for any form of employment, hoping to get a free lift pass and earn a little money. I was very lucky to receive a call back for an interview, and at the end of the interview told I would have a job once I got back from college for break! The position would be in the food and concessions, which is where I started with my first job. I was thankful because this would allow me to receive a lift pass, however it was one of the most undesirable positions on the mountain in my opinion, due to my experiences with food in the past.
First day of work I walked into a refurbished lodge, completely different from what I grew up with. Among all the other greasy deep fat fried foods, I was impressed with the rather nutritionally rich food selections offered. I was given the job of "register girl", which is an easy enough job, while giving me the opportunity to practice my math and counting skills! I was placed in the more populated lodge, which had a wide variety of food options. The lodge has two main levels, a bottom which is for picnic lunch's, and an upstairs which is where food was sold.
I actually enjoyed my first day of work, I found the people I was working with as well as the costumers I was interacting with rather enjoyable. With about an hour of the work day, I was informed of my schedule for the remaining week, and lowered my spirits as I was told I would need to work Christmas from 11-7. Next I was told I would be moved to the other lodge, and you might understand my confusion as to why I would be trained in a different lodge than I would be permanently working in. Christmas day yielded a whole new experience in the new lodge...