What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?

Hi everyone,

I don’t usually like to use Fitness & Feta as a forum to complain, but today I am using my lunch break to vent about my crappy night/morning.  I’m entitled to do that every once in a while, right?!

Last night I couldn’t fall asleep.  I don’t know why, but I was tossing and turning until about two in the morning.  What the heck?  I ended up taking one of the muscle relaxers I was prescribed for my shoulder strain.  That knocked me out, but sure as hell didn’t help me wake up easily this morning.  I had to drag myself out of bed and was so groggy the entire commute to work.  Which, by the way, was not very peachy.  The highway was completely backed up, and my normally half hour commute was over an hour long.  I was so annoyed that I was already running late and thought, what would an extra ten minutes be?  I tried to stop at Dunks to get a coffee to get me through the morning, and you know what?  Dunks was closed because of the town’s water ban.  I never stop for coffee in the morning.  Ever.  Grrrr.  Now I’m chugging boring company coffee and feeling annoyed at every single person that walks by my desk with a Dunks cup in tow.

Sleep deprivation, misuse of prescription drugs, caffeine.

Pinnacle of health, that I am.

Anyways!

I’d like to share some of the pictures I took this weekend in Washington DC, specifically ones from the exhibit Erin and I went to at the National Archives.

 

The exhibit was called “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?  The Government’s Effect on the American Diet.”

“Food. We love it, fear it, and obsess about it.

We demand that our Government ensure that it is safe, cheap, and abundant. In response, Government has been a factor in the production, regulation, research, innovation, and economics of our food supply. It has also attempted, with varying success, to change the eating habits of Americans.

From the farm to the dinner table, explore the records of the National Archives that trace the Government’s effect on what Americans eat.”

I love this description of the exhibit.  First of all, the love, fear, and obsess quote is so true.  Americans are obsessed with food.  It’s the focus of nearly all social events.  There’s food television.  The Biggest Loser.  Food magazines.  Going out to eat.  And people just love to talk about diets!  Start listening to the conversations that take place around you and I guarantee you will notice people frequently discussing what they ate for dinner last night and how much weight they need to lose.  And don’t forget about all those gosh darn food blogs out there!

The fear part is interesting too.  Seems to me that in recent years society has a peaked overall interest in eating organic, no?  Is our food clean?  Will it cause sickness?  Are food prices getting too high?  And so on.

The exhibit was broken down into four main areas, I pasted the descriptions from the website below:

  1. FARM:  Discover the many ways that Government has affected farming from the days of horse and plow to the combine harvester.
  2. FACTORY:  Explore how Government regulation of food processing and labeling evolved after the industrial revolution.
  3. KITCHEN:  Find out why the Government wanted us to “eat the carp,” “share the meat,” and “know our onions.”
  4. TABLE:  Learn about how the Government has affected our eating habits and its unintentional effects on the American appetite.

Here were some of the highlights, in my opinion.

JFK’s Fish Chowder Recipe from 1961:

Food Administration Poster from 1916:

I loved this, probably because I love cottage cheese, and I don’t think many people do.  This poster was from the Food Administration under Herbert Hoover during World War I.  They used to promote “Wheatless Wednesdays” and “Meatless Mondays,” and this poster encourages eating cottage cheese for protein intake instead!

I think this next one is the Pure Food and Drug Act.  There were lots of pictures up about the horrifying factory conditions, contaminated food, and all the efforts made to ensure Americans were eating cleanly.  I thought the actual size original document was so cool.

Every Child Needs a Good School Lunch.  This poster was one of the promotional materials when the government was trying to expand the school lunch program.

The old food “pyramid.”  I think this was my favorite.  Butter has its own food group!?!  And notice at the bottom, “In addition to the basic 7, eat any other foods you want!”   Cracked me up!

Question(s) of the Day:  Do you think Americans are too obsessed with food and dieting?  Do you think that you personally are obsessed with any one aspect of them?

Hope your Wednesdays are going better than mine!

Georgetown Cupcake

Hello, readers!

From my Fitness & Feta Facebook page:  “It’s Monday!  Time to get back on track.  What are your nutrition and fitness goals this week!?”

I’m writing on my lunch break today as I try to get back on track after the fabulous weekend I spent being a tourist, eating, and catching up with two of my college dance friends in Washington DC.  If you were wondering why I haven’t posted in a few days, this is why!  Erin and I took a much-needed girls getaway to visit Meg at her apartment in DC and we had quite the fun-filled weekend.  Here’s a quick glance at what kept me busy in DC this weekend, in no particular order!

AND.

Georgetown Cupcake.

I was a little skeptical at first of standing in this humongous line just to get a cupcake, but let me tell you that as DC’s destination for designer cupcakes, it was totally worth it.

From the website:  “Georgetown Cupcake was founded by sisters Katherine Kallinis and Sophie LaMontagne. Katherine and Sophie traded careers in fashion and private equity to pursue something a little sweeter — their passion for artful cupcakes. Both lifelong bakers, inspired by their grandmothers, Katherine and Sophie opened Georgetown Cupcake in February 2008 as DC’s first and only cupcakery. Watch Katherine and Sophie in action in DC CUPCAKES, their new TV series on TLC! Check out their new book available November 8th — The Cupcake Diaries: Recipes and Memories from the Sisters of Georgetown Cupcake.”

Look at how unbelievable all these cupcakes look!

There are certain flavors available on the menu every day, then there are daily specials, and they also have a fantastic seasonal selection.  September’s included Caramel Apple, Apple Cinnamon, and the Labor Day Cupcakes.  Not gonna lie, I’m really considering ordering October’s Pumpkin Spice for cross-country delivery around Halloween.  I bet it’s awesome.

It took me a long time to decide, but I finally went with:

  1. A seasonal Apple Cinnamon:  Fresh apple cinnamon cupcake topped with a cinnamon buttercream frosting and fondant red apple
  2. Mint Cookies & Creme:  Madagascar bourbon vanilla cupcake baked with Oreo crumbles topped with a mint Oreo crumble-infused buttercream frosting
  3. Milk Chocolate Birthday:  Classic Madagascar Bourbon vanilla cake topped with a milk chocolate buttercream frosting and rainbow sprinkles

Whoops, I got three.  It was cool to see the cupcake-making in action while we were waiting for our order:

We were really excited about our selections, so we asked a policeman standing nearby to take our picture:

We held onto those boxes for dear life as we continued our day.  Once we were back at Meghan’s apartment after our day of fun, we were super pumped to dive into our goodies!

I decided to go with the Apple Cinnamon first.  What a treat 🙂

Then we got silly and decided to snap pictures of the whole Georgetown Cupcake eating process.

Ready…

and… bite!

I’m sure these had barely any caloric intake, right!?  I was okay with it.  Remember, it’s good to treat yourself every now and then!  Since I let myself have these yummy sweets this weekend, I’m willing to bet I won’t crave them for a while!  And since I let myself indulge, I feel extra excited for the workouts I have planned for the week as well as some healthy meals I have in mind to try.

Question of the DayWhat is the best cupcake you’ve ever had?!