5 Reasons Your Diet is Stupid

Diets are stupid and destined to fail. All of them. Yes, yours too.

I don’t want to get too science-y and should tell you upfront I’m not an expert and am not giving advice (if that is illegal without a license in your jurisdiction). I was a sports medicine major a million years ago before I dropped out of college and I did learn a few things about nutrition but I forgot all of those things. This is all from decades of experience. So here’s why your diet is stupid:

  1. You keep denying math. Math is real, people. It rules the world and it ruins your diet. I read an article somewhere the other day about how keeping track of calories consumed vs calories burned is irrelevant. Bullshit. Your mom is irrelevant. Use a calorie counting app religiously and you will see results. I like MyFitnessPal the best and have been using it for years. In addition to calories, it helps you track your nutrition so you can avoid empty calories that make you want to gnaw off your own arm.
  2. You keep depriving yourself. Stop doing that. You’re making yourself miserable and that makes all the people around you miserable. I refuse to give up the things I love. I drink beer nearly every day (not that light garbage either) and I eat ice cream regularly. I pay close attention to portion sizes, though, and spent about $10 on a digital kitchen scale that is worth its weight in gold. Get one with a tare weight button that zeroes out so you can keep adding ingredients to your container.
  3. You keep skipping meals/snacks. I eat a Pure Protein bar nearly every morning that contains 19 grams of protein. It’s the only way I can make it until lunch without turning into Aretha Franklin. Then I have a snack (usually a Luna Bar) at that mid-afternoon hangry time. That will keep my blood sugar level until dinner so I don’t overeat. Then, depending on whether I chose to have one beer or two, I may have a snack after dinner. It could be ice cream or chips or a cookie. I don’t go over my daily calorie budget, though, (see #1) unless it’s a designated cheat day.
  4. You keep thinking this is only temporary. We’ve all done that thing where we hit our goal weight and then go crazy. That’s why we have jeans in five different sizes. It’s expensive; knock it off. Once you hit your goal weight, you have to maintain it. If you eat Taco Bell for a week when your parents visit (don’t ask), get right back into your routine when they leave. Don’t think if you blow your calorie budget for a holiday weekend that everything is ruined so you should just eat all of the things. That would be like splurging on a Louis Vuitton purse and then deciding to buy a car because you ruined your finances.
  5. You keep being unrealistic. Don’t set some unhealthy and unattainable goal. You don’t want your breath to stink or your hair to fall out. You certainly don’t want to pass out at the dog park because you aren’t giving your body enough fuel. Focus on slow, steady, and healthy progress. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has an incredible calculator that I have used many times to set my daily calorie budgets based on whether I need to reach a goal weight or maintain my current weight.

Stop snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory by being a dumbass. Stop paying attention to whether eggs are great for you or will kill you tomorrow because some study said something. Channel your inner grandmother and eat a balanced diet. And always remember that beer has food value but food has no beer value. Unless it’s that bitter IPA crap that I’m convinced is a prank on hipsters who think they’re drinking something really amazing that no one else has discovered but the reason no one else has discovered it is because it tastes like a bag of ass.

How Old is Too Old?

I may just be a bit too old for the Tucson nightlife. I’m definitely too old for the cold which descended upon us last week and forced me to wear boots and a sweater to dinner. I had a couple Warsteiner Pilsners before I left the house because I was really feeling my German roots and was super excited to have some authentic German food.

Ten55 Brewing and Sausage House looks great inside with the brick and the benches. There were quite a few hipster beards wrapped in flannel, though, so my GenX avocado toast avoidance alarm bells were sounding. The Pork Schnitzel Sliders were good, if a bit dry, but I love purple cabbage and the dijonnaise saved the day. It’s really awkward to eat there with a group and have to order at the bar. It’s also awkward for your friend who chose to drink water to schlep on over to the water bar. Like, say what now? My main issue was I was craving bierocks and they are not to be found in Tucson so I was just going to be disappointed. It really wasn’t the food’s fault.

So then I ordered shots containing Pop Rocks in some alleyway bar behind Johnny Gibson’s Downtown Market. I was like, “Where am I and what am I drinking?” I don’t remember seeing a sign and sort of questioned whether it was a licensed establishment for a sec. That area kind of has a flea market feel to it with the outdoor seating and heaters. Turns out it was HighWire Lounge and I am definitely not in their target demographic. I would tell you more about the shots, which I think they call Molecular, but I can’t be sure because they can’t be bothered to complete their website.

We then proceeded to Batch Cafe & Bar, which is a bit more grown-up. I had The Stud doughnut with bourbon caramel Bavarian creme, dark chocolate, and chopped bacon. It went perfectly with a couple ounces of Jameson neat. Honestly, I didn’t notice any bourbon in the creme but that is likely because it wasn’t our first stop. I could do some serious diet damage in that place. We sat outside so we could critique the surprising number of drivers who attempted to parallel park in front of Empire Pizza on Congress. Is your pizza so damned important that you feel the need to hold up downtown traffic on a Saturday night? How rude. To be fair, though, we gave the successful parkers generous rounds of applause, which I’m sure they appreciated.

I’m still very confused about the next place. The Owls Club has a terrific drink menu but the seating is extremely limited so we left. Old people need to sit while doing the drinking. In retrospect, I’m not certain I could have remained on one of those wooden pews long enough to finish a drink. My back hurts just thinking about it.

We spent a while searching for some of the murals on my map but it seems they have been painted over at some point. Here’s a metal bird instead.

We finally made our way to Scott & Co, which is connected to 47 Scott. It was completely packed and their cocktail menu is quite extensive so I had a Kölsch-style beer and called it good. I just wasn’t in a place mentally to study for an exam at that point. This is one of those places that you need to revisit when the weather is warmer and college is not in session. I want to try all of the ancient cocktails. Someone carry me.

Breaking My Own Rules

What do a hidden mural, a steak coma, and a play about omelets have in common? They’re all part of my latest harebrained scheme.

I don’t typically do the after dark things when I have to work the next day (because I’m obviously 80) but I made an exception to see Something Rotten! at Centennial Hall as part of the Broadway in Tucson 2018/2019 Season.

Whenever I have to do something all the way in Tucson (because it’s so FAR), I always check the proximity to the Trident Grill locations and Sunday was no exception. The original Trident is right next to the UA campus and I was craving steak and Founders Porter. Imagine my dismay when I was told they no longer serve the Founders Porter and I had to make do with Guinness. The horror!

Where does this bionic asparagus grow?!?

I can’t be mad, though, because I needed that steak. It was cooked exactly as I requested (medium rare) and although I completely demolished it, I really needed a nap by the time I was finished.

We then set out to find this particular mural for the photo op. Unfortunately, we were in a hurry to get to the play on time and we couldn’t find it. The sun was setting, there were college students everywhere, and we couldn’t find the damned mural. The backup plan was basic af but couldn’t be helped. I couldn’t stop laughing at the absurdity of it and look like a complete goober in even the best pic. There are nearly 1,000 murals in Tucson and I need photos with all of them. You know, to prove I occasionally leave my house. It’s a different proof of life concept without the Polaroid of the day’s newspaper.

Lame, lame, lame…maybe a little shame in my game.

We got to Centennial Hall just in time and the play was a riot. I had to dig deep in my memory to get some of the Shakespeare jokes but Thomas Nostradamus was hilarious. I don’t normally like musicals but I needed all of the singing and the dancing to keep my ass awake. Thank God for the lady with the crazy laugh at all the quiet moments. This woman seriously had the most Marty McFly laugh I have ever heard in real life and I would invite her to parties just to hear it.

What does any of this have to do with omelets? Nostradamus foretold the most popular Shakespeare play of all time and confused Hamlet with Omelet. Or vice versa. You know what I mean. So there were literally people dancing around on stage wearing egg and then omelet costumes. It’s funnier than that, what with all of the Shakespeare references and sexual innuendo, and I’m glad I broke my Sunday night rule to see it.

As we were driving down Broadway, we passed The Screening Room and I saw on the marquee they’re showing Two Women Drinking Wine and Talking About Murder. My friend and I agreed that one might have been more our speed but such is life. You can still catch it tonight! I won’t be there, however. Two work nights in a row is outside the realm of possibilities.

Another Tucson Saturday Night

You just never know what you’ll find when you’re out and about in the Tucson area. This past Saturday, I walked far too many steps in extremely uncomfortable heels but it was so worth it.

I’ve loved DOWNTOWN Kitchen + Cocktails since I moved here in 2012. The menu changes frequently but I can always count on a Cuban Sunset to get me started. The habañero infused vodka garnished with cilantro is my everything. I would order pitchers of these things if they would let me.

I started with the calamari because I’m that person who has to order the same thing every single time. I would have taken a photo but I destroyed the entire plate before it even crossed my mind. This is the best calamari I have ever had and I think the candied ginger deserves most of the praise. But the green chile vinaigrette is also money. It’s just a tiny bit crispy and doesn’t have the rubber tire bounce-back effect. If you’ve ever made the mistake of eating calamari at a Chinese buffet, you know what I mean.

I sat down thinking I would be having lamb because that’s the usual drill. Instead, I chose Duck Wanders Into Tucson Autumn and loved everything about it. My friend said she read recent reviews that said it wasn’t that great but I don’t know what those people were thinking. Honestly, every part of this dish belonged there and it was superb.

Apologies for cutting off the plate. I was trying to avoid being “that person”.

I’m not quite sure what to say about dessert because I may have been a bit tipsy. I ordered the Dark Chocolate Jalapeño Ice Cream Sundae (because I always do) and it seemed like they changed it on me. I didn’t pick up any jalapeño flavor this time but that could have been because of the Cuban Sunsets. It was delicious either way.

I ate the entire thing.

Afterward, I had to huddle next to a giant fire pit to stay warm while waiting for my friend’s husband to retrieve us. The parking in downtown Tucson can be slightly ridiculous and I’m not exactly known for wearing sensible shoes.

Not even close to my best pic but that little girl’s photo bomb made my night.

It was still early when we were heading home so we decided to stop at a casino south of Tucson for another drink. Lord have mercy. I don’t even want to name names because it is a hot mess. I’m not a fan of gambling and I have worked in the gaming industry so… The interior reminds me of a 1990s shopping mall and the HVAC was just swirling smoke around so everything (including my Ralph Lauren dress) smelled like it rolled out of an ashtray. Let’s just say my pearls were a little over the top for this establishment.

My friend and I hit the restroom on our way to the bar and while we were in there, some woman came in and yelled out to her friend, “What are you doing in there, taking a shit?” After that, I shouldn’t have been surprised by the watered down concoction masquerading as whiskey or the intensely interesting people watching. What. An. Experience.

Dinner with La Fufi

I’ve been putting off describing my dinner at Caffé Milano in Tucson for weeks, mainly because doing so meant I would first have to listen to a soft jazz CD.

Allow me to rewind. I chose Caffé Milano because I saw somewhere on the interwebs they have live jazz the first Saturday of the month and I heard the food is incredible. I wanted to wear a dress that has a jazz kind of vibe so it seemed like a perfect fit.

Because winter in Tucson is truly a delight and because I am always tragically early (even for reservations), we chose to eat on the patio. The people watching was phenomenal. There was a man yelling at the sky in the middle of Congress Street. We got to see a woman jump out of a moving vehicle to get a mediocre street taco. I gave her a 10 for her flawless dismount. There was what looked like a gaggle of street walkers about to catch their deaths in the “cold” wearing dresses up to their ass cheeks, hanging on arcade security guards. Perfection!

Speaking of perfection, I had the Salmone al Sauvignon Blanc with a bottle of Tommasi Le Rosse Pinot Grigio and finished with the Spicy Mousse au Chocolat for dessert. Honestly, I could have just stuck with the bread and the wine and been fine for the night but I’m not a filthy savage (anymore). I was promised a flawless meal and I was not disappointed. That’s about all I remember from the meal because I did drink a bottle of wine.

So about the jazz. I didn’t realize the “live jazz” would be a woman channeling her inner Sade to a karaoke machine. And I’m not saying she can’t sing because she does have a decent voice and I give her mad props for putting herself out there. It’s just…not exactly what I had in mind. I was looking for something with more of an edge. The playlist was better suited to an elevator. Or hold music. Or a nursing home. It may be obvious by this point that the singer passed out her demo CD at the end of her set. I admire her hustle but man, I will not listen to it twice.

Basically, downtown Tucson in December is a hot mess and it is glorious. They don’t call it the Dirty T for nothing.

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