I'm still here!

Raquel StecherAbout Me
Blogger at Thoughtful Eating and Vintage Brand New. Please add my to your circles.

I've been MIA from this blog for the entire month of January! But that doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about food. In fact, lots of stuff has been going on since I've been on my blogging hiatus. Here are a few things:

Wedding Diet - My wedding is 5 months away and I'm trying to lose the 30 pounds I gained during first couple of years of my relationship with Carlos. I doubt I'm going to lose all that weight but I'm working on going to the gym, eating healthy snacks, reducing my portion sizes and eating healthy in general as much as I can. Reading Twitter and health magazines has been helping to motivate me and Carlos was willing to take on the role of being my personal trainer.

10 foods I'm avoiding - As part of my wedding diet, I'm avoiding these 10 foods until after the wedding. They are 1) Baked Goods 2) Pizza 3) Hot Dogs 4) Burgers (except for B.Good's veggie burger!) 5) French Fries 6) Soda (I don't drink it anyways but always good to avoid) 7) Sour Cream 8) Ice Cream 9) Breakfast Bacon & Sausage 10) Anything from a fast food restaurant chain. I don't really indulge in most of these on a regular basis (except for baked goods and sour cream) but crossing them off my list is easier for me than to try to portion control. Who can eat a few french fries when the restaurant gives you a huge pile?! Best not to order them in the first place.

Have I mentioned how much I love b.good and their fabulous veggie burgers?!

Whole Foods - I have been spending a lot of time at Whole Foods, eating lunches from their salad bar, picking up organic herbal teas, dark chocolates and different health supplements. I've been learning a lot about food from the book What to Eat by Marion Nestle and all things organic are on my mind lately. Whole Foods is a certified organic grocer and I'm wondering if I can change my grocery shopping habits and meal planning enough to be able to buy all my groceries from Whole Foods. I'm definitely not going to become a Healthy Living Blogger but I do want to makeover my diet and be healthier overall.

I'm also in love with Allegro's Nilla Nut Dream tea. Whole Foods serves it at their coffee bar but they don't sell the tea by the box. It's a wonderful black tea with hints of vanilla and hazelnut and none of the acridness that black tea is known for. Delicious with a splash of soy milk and some raw agave nectar.

Utilisima - My favorite new television channel! Unfortunately, I don't have Comcast's digital cable with the Spanish language package but my parents do. Whenever I visit them, I try to watch the channel with my mom. Utilisima is a Spanish-language channel full of shows about cooking, decorating and home improvement. It's wonderful! The cooking shows are my favorite and I'm getting a lot of recipe ideas from them while practicing and improving my Spanish. I'm trying to cook one Receta/Recipe from the Utilisima site each week. If you love to cook and speak Spanish fluently, watch their free recipe videos!

Losing my Freelance Food Writing Gig -  For all of 2011 and a few weeks of 2010, I was writing recipes and restaurant reviews for a local online newspaper. I lost the gig in the new year. The gig itself was quite a bit of work but it was also a lot of fun. I got to explore restaurants around the city and in the neighboring towns and write about it. I also pushed myself to come up with my own unique recipes, ones that were easy to make, didn't require a lot of fancy ingredients and would be of interest to locals. While it was really nice to have a freelance job, I'm glad for the extra free time I have now. It's also helping my waistline not baking so many desserts and also not visiting a new restaurant each week to review! The gig did help me pay for my wedding dress and for that I will be forever appreciative.

So what is there to expect from Thoughtful Eats from 2012? Fewer restaurant reviews but still some, absolutely no commissioned product reviews (I hated doing them anyways and big-time bloggers get the good stuff anyways), more healthy recipes, more about Latina cooking and more thoughts about cooking, eating and food in general. And perhaps I'll even write a blog post in Spanish! :: fingers crossed::


Laura said...

Great to see you have a new post up! I'll be watching for more. Good luck on your goals for this year!

Best wishes,

Athena Ortiz said...

Im sorry to hear you no longer have your gig. I miss the articles. Why did they get rid of it? Stupid decision in my opinion. I still need to head over to b.good!

Raquelle said...

Laura - Thanks so much for your encouragement and for stopping by.

Athena - Thank you for your kind words! The reason they got rid of my columns was because of a reduced budget. My articles were not hard-hitting news, just fun additional content. I kind of expected it to happen eventually. From what I've read on business blogs, the whole chain of sites hasn't been making the revenue they'd hope for so there were some budget cuts, some layoffs, they won't be expanding to other cities and there is an increased focus on selling ad space to make money. I think part of the reason they took on local bloggers was for free content (kind of like HuffPo which is owned by the same company). The whole experience was definitely fun while it lasted and I loved writing and participating.

David said...

I too am sorry not to see your columns on Patch; had heard about their budget constraints. Will just need to visit here more often. Sounds like you've been doing well with the health eating.

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