Sunday, March 14, 2010

HL week day 7: food paparazzi

saturday rundown
before i get to the discussion on the merits and pitfalls of food blogging (as i experienced it), i will begin with yesterday's delicacies . . .

breakfast: flax waffles, almond butter, and a grapefruit half. and coffee, of course. basically a lot of circular things.

lunch: leftovers from friday night's dinner! i think that leftovers often make the most balanced and satisfying lunches.

snickersnack: i felt a need for some carbs prior to my gym session. dr. krackers, dried apricots, and some celebrity goat cheese spread fit the bill.

and then, we went out to dinner! we were a bit indecisive on where we wanted to go, and after much deliberation, ended up at rue cler, a french bistro-style eatery in downtown durham known for their excellent bread (there's an attached bakery) and fixed-price menus.

just look at those tantalizing options!

without a reservation, we spent some time hanging out at the bar (i know -- i'm SUCH a planner, but we often find ourselves on saturday night kicking ourselves for not having made any restaurant plans. oops?). the servers were extremely nice and knowledgeable about the wines when josh and i asked questions.

glass #1: i started with a glass of blanc cotes du rhone. it was clean-tasting with citrusy undertones. i liked it! there weren't a lot of by-the-glass options, but at least the choices that were available were interesting.

first bite: freshly baked french bread with butter. YUM! i had this slice (and josh finished off the loaf.)

glass #2: to be honest, i was somewhat torn about ordering a second drink.

me: uh-oh, this is not very "healthy lifestyle" of me.

josh: [slightly exasperated] what does healthy lifestyle even MEAN, anyway? NO FUN?

me: i'll be posting that.

as you can see below, i went for it and chose a glass of rosé. it went nicely with the rest of my meal, BUT did not do much for my night of sleep yesterday or leave me feeling super great this AM. le sigh . . .

first course: intrigued by the idea of pommes frites incorporated into a salad, i couldn't leave the second salad option untasted. i was rewarded with a pile of lightly dressed greens, tiny brie crostini (i donated one to josh), delicious frites, and crumbled bacon that was the highlight of the meal! whoever decided that a salad laced with fries would work is a genius.

round 2: for the second course, i picked asparagus topped with a farm-fresh egg and a hollandaise-like sauce. creamy and delicious! honestly, i would have been happy and completely satisfied ending the meal at this point.

final battle: the seared tuna arrived, surrounded by perfectly roasted brussels sprouts and potatoes. i ate all of the accoutréments, but surrendered half of the tuna to the world championship eater conveniently located across the table.

dessert!?: actually, none of the dessert options really spoke to me and i think josh had finally had his fill, so we headed for home. somewhere along the drive to durham, i found room for a see's, which i popped into my mouth when we arrived back in CH.

my food blogging experience
for better or for worse, this is the last healthy lifestyle series topic! as you know, i decided to undertake a week of food blogging [photojournaling, documentary-style, every bite that went into my mouth], in the name of curiosity and fun. i read several blogs that are of this style, and i wanted to see what it was like.

the experience was actually rather interesting. i didn't think i would be self-conscious about putting my meals out there, but for some reason i was, at least a little bit. i don't know what i was worried about -- being judged? negative comments (of which i received none -- thank you, nice readers!)? i guess it's just that eating choices and styles are sort of personal and so individualized -- to me, almost parallel to things like religious preferences and certain ethical stances.

then again, it was also somewhat fun and eye-opening to 'see' what goes into my mouth on a daily basis! for example, one thing i hadn't realized is that i eat SO much more at restaurants compared with a normal day. it all must even out somehow, but now i kind of get why i get 'restauranted out' after just a couple of nice dinners in a row on vacation.

viewing photos of a decadent meal after the fact in this context has some value to it. as i sit here, i am questioning my choices (would i have been just as happy without the 3 courses? with just one glass of wine? perhaps.) i could imagine that being a food blogger full-time might actually lead to some positive dietary changes. then again, maybe the novelty and the thoughtfulness would wear off if you did this ALL the time.

which i definitely will not be doing! monday, it will be back to business as usual on this blog :) which means that on the food front, i'll just be highlighting home-cooked creations, plus continuing with restaurant reviews (i've received some requests for a triangle restaurants page that compiles my favorites -- i'll let you know when it's up!).

one last HL question:

if you are a food blogger, how do you think it impacts your diet and/or relationship with food? if this pertains to you, i'll be really interested to read your answers!

the other fun part of going out to dinner?

i get to take my anthro finds out for a spin.

playing with the self-timer on my camera = fun!

enjoy the rest of your (sadly shortened) spring forward weekend!



workout: 45 minutes elliptical + weights
- 2 x 12 pushups
- 2 x 12 squats with ball, 10 lb weights
- 2 x 12 lat pull-downs, 55 lbs
- 2 x 12 walking double lunges, 8 lb weights each hand
- 2 x 12 tricep pushdowns, 15 lbs for most then 10 at end
- 2 x 15 abs -- ball roll-ins (tucks + pikes)

presentation progress report: okay, now i've started to have presentation nightmares -- dreamed last night that it was the AM of my talk and i showed up at work without my powerpoint file!! GAH.


  1. Anonymous11:07 AM

    Thanks for the themed week of posts...I think it has helped me understand, in a gestaldt sort of way, what HL means.

    I love Rue Cler as well, and if yall have not tried the French breads/pastries/tartines out at La Farm Bakery in Cary (, I'd highly recommend it for those dietary splurges.

    Thanks again for your perspective on things, you rock!

  2. See for me, I think I could live a healthier lifestyle by getting a drink or TWO! I see healthy lifestyle more as letting loose and enjoying life. I guess it's because my ultimate goal the last two years has just been to be happy and happy-->health. Mental health. Hmmmm.

    Sometimes I worry that people judge what I eat, but I haven't gotten any negativity/judgment YET at least out in the open/comments. Hopefully it'll stay that way.

  3. Natasha12:09 PM

    I love your blue couch! Where is it from?

  4. You look so cute!! love those shoes

  5. anonymous: ohhh my sister has told me about la farm! i'd love to go there sometime - i didn't realize there was an actual bakery.

    allie: we can go out for drinks together anytime :)

    natasha: hi! that's actually one of our oldest pieces of furniture :) it is ridiculously comfortable! i will ask josh where it's from (it's from before my time . . . so pre 2002 at least!)

    sarah: hi and thank you so much!

  6. Anonymous2:20 PM

    I love that photo of you and Josh. Seriously adorable!! Cutest couple ever. I want to raid your Anthro dress collection as we're around the same size/height and we unfortunately don't have Anthro here! I don't blog everything I eat anymore (my lunch is usually pretty boring and the same almost daily) but I find that I sometimes get self conscious if I have a huge meal what others will think etc. The biggest change is that I plate things nicer than if I wasn't going to be capturing it in photos. BTW, your photos are looking great - you can really tell the difference with your new camera.

  7. I'm not a food blogger, but I think if I decided to be one, the biggest change would be that I'd try for a lot more variety than I get now. You can only look at pictures of someone eating a turkey sandwich for lunch so many days in a row.

    It was interesting to get a glimpse into your "food life", though.

  8. As a food blogger, I don't find my every day eats very interesting. I eat the same things every day except for dinner. Dinner is what I highlight on my blog. I prefer to post about fun new recipes.

    I love when I can get a new recipe from a fellow food blogger who as tried and and loved it. Can't wait to see what you create.

  9. Anonymous2:48 PM

    i really liked the week of HL. it was fun to see what it means to you! and 2 drinks? total HL :)

  10. What a lovely recap (and that picture of waffles looks exactly like a shot from that cute Simply Breakfast blog). I think I share some of your feelings towards food blogging - while I do read and enjoy several food blogs, I could never shoot all of my meals. It would mostly be dull as dirt, though.
    There is such a wide spectrum of "healthy", that I think it's hard to say that one glass is healthy and two is overindulgence. Is drinking to excess on a rare special occasion going to push you into the unhealthy category? Dunno. Hope not.

  11. Ahh, snickersnack--a Hart family original alternative word for snack. But do you know the origin of the word? Think Lewis Carroll.
    L, da

  12. Wow, I will definitely be going to Rue Cler someday! Excellent choice on the salad, it looks like. I don't think you posted what Josh meat by any chance? I usually tend to go for beef or lamb at the fancier places--but your fish looked amazing.